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Open Thread: Which abandoned buildings should be redeveloped in Chicago?

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Tell us what you’d like to see there instead

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Welcome to Friday Open Threads, where we pass the mic to readers to speak up about topics of interest, distress, horror, etc. Have something you want discussed? Let us know.


What was the last vacant building you noticed? Maybe it’s not something you do notice, which is perhaps a sign that your block is fortunate.

Lots of redevelopment has taken hold of vacant buildings that blighted neighborhoods such as the massive plan for Old Main Post Office, the 15-year vacant Edgewater Medical Center, and Bronzeville’s fire-damaged church turned National Gospel Museum.

But there are plenty of buildings that remain empty. One large property that comes to mind is down the street from one of Chicago’s most cherished escapes, the Garfield Park Conservatory. The Sacred Heart Hospital property has been vacant since 2013, its exterior decorated in graffiti tags and boarded up windows. What could that street corner be transformed into?

If you’re curious about the buildings on your block, here’s a map that details which buildings have been reported and whether or not they’re still vacant. You can get more information about the violations of certain vacant buildings through the city’s open data and search a map of registered vacant buildings too.

Maybe you’ve got an idea for the Moorish-revival style Hotel Guyon that’s in danger of being demolished?

What long vacant or abandoned buildings do you want developed into something different? What should be there instead? Affordable housing, community centers, shopping districts? Sound off in the comments below or email us.