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The Neighborhoods

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Lynn Becker returns today with an insightful investigation of Wrigleyville's past, present, and "intended" future— that is, the future intended by the Ricketts Family and Moneyball economics. For most of its existence, Wrigley Field was just one feature of a working class neighborhood. A focal point, yes, but not the economic driver. After The Trib acquired the ballpark in 1981, that began to change: rooftops sprouted pricey bleachers turning big profits, new sports bars and merchandise stores wooed gameday crowds up and down the avenues (an "Improv Olympics of rowdy urban fabric"), and plans were hatched for hotels, retail agglomerations (i.e. Addison Park), and more ballpark rights to streets for fairs and festivals. That's where we're at, with hyper-development in the pipeline and homogeneity on the march. [ArchitectureChicago PLUS, previously, rendering: Addison Park on Clark]