Historical Riches | Letters | Chicago Reader

Historical Riches 

To the editors:

Kudos to Mary Bordelon and Ruby Harris ("The Plot to Destroy North Kenwood," October 15)! Every time I visit my grandfather's house at 51st and Michigan, I marvel at the few once-grand mansions that are miraculously still standing though not in all of their old glory. There is one in particular that always seems to remind me of the "Meet Me in St. Louis" era. Each time I visit one of the older or lower-income members of my family, I think of how lucky they are to live in such historically rich neighborhoods as 46th and Lake Park and 51st and Michigan, however run-down they appear to be. Even the neighborhood just a few blocks west of me, 33rd and Prairie (which is also fortunately being restored and developed), makes me wonder about the vast amount of history that they house. In fact, all over the lower east and south side of Chicago there are such valuable yet highly undervalued communities. As I'm reading this article, I stare out of my own fourth floor window in a Prairie Shores high-rise and look out at the Lake Meadows complexes and the one remaining artifice of history (the first black Baptist church built in Chicago). I wonder what once was and could've been had there been a Mary Bordelon back then.

Kimberly L. Anderson


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