Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scrubby Piece of Land in Printers Row being Transformed?

A reader writes:
There's a little patch of scrubby land on Polk just south of Federal (on the west side of Dearborn Station) that is getting some sort of awesome transformation . . . any idea who's behind it?

We're not sure, but was wondering if any other readers have an idea.

(Hat Tip: JC!)


Anonymous said...

Believe it is a new garden in honor of the one of the principle developers of Dearborn Park I; I think South Loop Neighbors is assisting in the project specifics. Good to see a group like the South Loop Neighbors actually doing something real for the neighborhood, instead of groups like the Greater South Loop Organization who use their positions to promote their board member businesses.

Stephen Reginald said...

To the anonymous poster above, how about revealing yourself when you decide to slander an entire organization.

To post something like that is not only mean-spirited, it's cowardly.

Anonymous said...

You are probably referring to the 'Ferd(inand*) Kramer Memorial Water Garden', a project of the Alliance for a Greener South Loop (website: . However, I don't believe there are any images of the design of the space that are accessible online, yet.). The idea behind the 'Water Garden', I believe, is to convert the area into a sustainable space that highlights thoughtful 'Green' planting and landscaping design. The Alliance for a Greener South Loop is an organization, dedicated to improving the visibility and feasibility of 'Green' efforts in the South Loop, that tries to coordinate support from disparate groups, including South Loop Neighbors, Greater South Loop Association, SLDogPAC, PDNA, Columbia College, and others. They have sponsored 'Green Awards' again this year to highlight the efforts of South Loop condominium associations, businesses and organizations to make changes that improve sustainability and lessen negative environmental impacts. They should be announcing winners fairly soon.

As for the dissing going on above, so it goes. That's the internets, and the opinions we read are always worth the price we paid for them. They're called 'anonymous cowards' for a reason, SLC, but AC's are people too, and if nothing else, it means somebody's all pissy about SLN being 'better' than GSLA. Ha ha ha! Why people would get all pissy about which South Loop organization is good and which is bad escapes me.

*Ferd Kramer's story is available here:

Liciti said...

South Loop Connection, are you saying Anon October 24, 10:15am's post cotains in accuracies, or is just mean spirited?

I checked out your blog, nice job by the way.

Gail Merritt said...

The Alliance for a Greener South Loop ( is indeed responsible for getting that site upgraded, with project partners Center for Neighborhood Technology, NeighborSpace, Draper+Kramer, 2nd Ward Ald. Fioretti's office, and others. The rain garden (to manage stormwater runoff) is part of the urban-friendly design.
And yes, as SouthLoopDogPoop indicates, GLSA, SLN, South Loop DogPAC, and others are members of the Alliance - working together for a greener South Loop.

Stephen Reginald said...

Liciti, the comments were both mean-spirited and without proof, they're inaccurate.

To make anonymous charges without providing proof just isn't right. Making those kind of charges without any substantiation it's just wrong no matter where you say, post, or report them.

If you think someone is doing something wrong or unethical or illegal, it's your responsibility to report the perpetrators. To just throw a lot of mud around serves no purpose.

Lastly, thanks for the compliment.

JJ said...

Thanks to "SLdogpoop" and Gail Merritt for the expanded information and for including the GSLA as part of this project.

However, I would like to address the anonymous comments slamming the GSLA. What are you accomplishing by taking a swipe at an entire organization? When you make anonymous comments like that, you can't expect to be taken seriously. If you think something improper is going on, contact the proper authorities. Otherwise, you're just throwing mud, and doing no one any good.

There seems to be a lot of negative comments on this blog and I'd like to know how the South Loop will ever develop into a community with so many people tearing it down with their words? Who would ever buy property or build a business in the South Loop if they witnessed this representation?

The Ferd Kramer Garden will be a beautiful transformation and I am proud that our neighbors have worked together to make this happen with Gail's leadership.

Anonymous said...

South Loop Connection, checked out your site tonight. My legal clan all run in the same circles, so not all of us are that ill-informed, that you should act shocked that some idiot above can put two and two together. You have the answers to your question on your own Hint: peruse your of list of 'sponsors' for certain events and let's guess together which ones ARE NOT affiliated with any organizations Officers or Directors?
Chicago Association of Realtors Eve in the City of Coldwell Banker
Hyde Park Bank
Prairie District Neighborhood Watch
WeatherMark Tavern
Wilson Rental

Anonymous said...


I agree, The South Loop Neighbors have some good people that are concerned about the community and community voice, real issues, and supporting the businesses of others in the neighborhood, not some not their own.

Other than Bonnie, I don't know what most of them do, nor do I want to. They have been great when we needed help.

Carl said...

Well, I think the project is just a great idea and I look forward to the improvement.

Does The Alliance for a Greener South Loop take donations? If so, where and how.

Thank you!

Stephen Reginald said...

This will be my last comment on the, once again, anonymous claims suggesting impropriety with certain community organizations. If there is something wrong going on, have the courage of your convictions and identify yourself.

If you don't, you just continue the junior high nonsense that serves no purpose. What are you afraid of?

Gail Merritt said...

Carl - thanks for the words of support. The Alliance for a Greener South Loop DOES take donations, gratefully, and they are tax-deductible, thanks to GSLA, which acts as the Alliance's fiscal agent. We appreciate their taking on this responsibility in support of our efforts. You can contact the Alliance directly to get the details on how to make a donation:

Anonymous said...

South Loop Connection, after reading all the posts, it seems you are incapable of listening to facts or addressing the obvious conflict issues the authors note, instead want to worry about the identities of these people.

MarkK said...

sloop connection:
i am confused, u requested clarification and proof
and that is what the poster provided. instead of responding to the information content provided, you turned into a problem about the poster and not the issue raised. as the voice, interested to hear your answer?

T said...

Anon and MarkK, the anon DIDN'T provide any specifics or evidence of their general accusation that the GSLA is 1. Not doing anything "real" for the neighborhood and 2. Using their positions solely to promote their board member business. If you are going to make general attacks against an organization without providing examples and naming names, you should at least stand behind your claim (i.e. by attaching your name or at least some identity to it). Not doing so is not only cowardly and slanderous, it's unproductive, assuming that you actually want your comments to have influence.

Anonymous said...

"DIDN'T provide any specifics or evidence of their general accusation that the GSLA is 1. Not doing anything "real" for the neighborhood and 2. Using their positions solely to promote their board member business."

T, did not see others using the word 'solely'. To most, the specifics were clear, because based on the information from the Anon post above, the linked SLoop Connection's own blog promotion contradicts her claims of "inaccurate" comments, and feathers are all ruffled by the questions of confirmation of the list linked or written. The precious irony is the lecturing to posters about the need to relay identity, by someone know at "T".

T said...

I added the word "solely" in an attempt to interpret anon's accusation. Not sure what difference it makes to you, but regardless, you'll notice that part was not in quotation marks.

As for my name, I am also not the one making non-specific attacks against someone.

Anonymous said...

There are two types of neighborhood groups in Chicago - the community-based resident-run neighborhood organizations such as South Loop Neighbors and Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance and the chamber of commerce type business-oriented neighborhood orgnizations like the Greater South Loop Association and the Near South Planning Board. They have different goals and both have their place, but only one has residents' needs and desires in mind first and foremost. If you ask a chamber of commerce group if they support a high rise development, they will see the potential customers and say "yes, how fast can you build it?". A community-based neighborhood organization will take a more critical eye and see if the development makes sense and may push back and ask for modifications. Who do you want making zoning decisions for you?

Eric Westberg said...

I have been involved with two community associations since moving to the South Loop in 2006: The Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance (PDNA) and the Greater South Loop Association (GSLA).

My experience with the PDNA was not good because it is ultimately controlled by only two people: Jeff Ayersman and Tina Feldstein. They make all the decisions and are the driving force behind the association.

They do a lot of good for the neighborhood and hold very popular events, but I did not find the group inclusive or transparent and at the end of the day I decided to look elsewhere.

The Greater South Loop Association is not perfect. Any organization, like this, that is powered by volunteers is going to have it's ups and downs. However, we do have open elections every year, we do have a networking event and an educational event every other month.

I helped organize the latest networking event held at the Glessner House Museum on 10.15.

An event like this costs money and we reached out for sponsors for 6 weeks prior to the event with personal visits to businesses, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and our newsletter letting people know that we were looking for sponsors to make the event special.

Yes, it is true that a few board members, myself included, convinced our employers to sponsor the event. In affect, "putting our money where our mouth is".

The 120+ people that attended enjoyed a great evening in the South Loop. As advertized, we offered Free Tours of the Glessner House Museum, a full-bar, Disc-Jockey,food from Cafe Society and lots of Networking.

From all accounts, it was a tremendous success and we will more than likely continue to do these types of events throughout the South Loop.

As for being a "Chamber of Commerce" type organization, this is not accurate from my experience.

Unlike, the PDNA, the board of the GSLA does not form an "opinion" about any proposal or development presented to our gourp. We do hold open meetings and invite the neighborhood to come, listen and form their own opinions.

This is the type of organization that I think should be listening to proposed business development in the South Loop.

I am proud to be a member and proud to be working with a great group of people that are committed to making the South Loop a great place to work and live.

Eric Westberg
South Loop Resident

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a whopper of a tail Mr. Westberg, "the board of the GSLA does not form an "opinion" about any proposal or development presented to our gourp."

You just killed any credibility with these claims. Many in the South Loop can tell you about the GSLA letters of support for developers which contradict your crazy spin. Even funnier is that some of these letters of support predate community review meetings.

"Putting our money where our mouth is", Wow, just Wow! He will be here all week folks. HaaaHaaaaHaaa.

Anonymous said...

So, anyway . . . the little park renovation seems to be complete and it looks just fantastic.

To everyone involved in getting this accomplished, my sincerest "thank you!".

Diane said...

You know Mr. Westberg, I have been to many community events in the South Loop and I do not remember ever seeing you or your group, but you sound to me like a weasle angling for personal gain. Exactly the reason many of us get out of volunteering for the community.