Newsletter – Volume 26, Issue 4

September 14 Zoom Meeting

Our next meeting will be held via Zoom at 6:30pm on September 14. Please plan to attend to discuss any topics of interest regarding the neighborhood of Mayfair. Zoom meeting attendance details will be sent out to our email list before the meeting. To join our email list, visit https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mayfair-civic and click “Ask to join group”.

Letter from the President

We hope that everyone has been enjoying the cooler weather and end of Summer.

We started Summer with a performance by vibraphonist Preyas Roy at the Mayfair Library Branch in June and open the Fall with the Mayfair Park Advisory Council’s Mayfest scheduled for Saturday, September 9 (see separate article).

We supported and coordinated with the North River Commission, Chicago Poetry Center, and Volta Elementary School to celebrate National Poetry Month through installation of four poems in Rany Management storefronts on Lawrence, photos of which are included here. We hope you enjoyed them and look forward to future installations.

We also supported installation of the new Community Mural sponsored by PEBA and designed by Erin Minckley of Relativity Textiles at the Rany Management building at 4219 W. Lawrence where Erin’s shop is located. See photos of the progress on the mural here. Thanks to each of them for this beautiful artwork!

Since our last meeting, votes continued to come in for the selection of a sculpture for installation at Mayfair Park. This resulted in a close choice between two works by Kirk Seese: Chess Table & Chair (which won) and Retro Space Junk, which received 12 and 10 votes, respectively, with all others receiving just 1 to 5 each. The Chess Table and Chair received the most first choice votes (9), 1 second and 2 third choice votes. Retro Space Junk received the second most #1 votes (3), 5 second choice and 2 third choice votes. Photos of both sculptures are included below. Unfortunately, we learned last week that The Chess Table and Chair was granted to a different location. Consequently, we will proceed with Retro Space Junk for the related Park Enhancement application to the Park District and installation arrangements with Chicago Sculpture International and the artist. Thanks to all and especially to Mayfair Park Advisory Council which is sharing the related cost.

Congressman Quigley has scheduled to attend our next meeting, unless his schedule is changed by Congressional demands. We always look forward to his attendance and updates. We hope to see you there, too!

We will meet via Zoom at 6:30pm on Thursday, September 14. Details are here.

2023 Meeting Schedule

Mayfair Civic Association meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of every month. No meetings are held in January, July, or August. These are the remaining dates for 2023. These are suggested meeting dates and topics, subject to any comments you may provide, but will be followed in the absence of alternative suggestions. Our Board generally meets quarterly as determined by Board members.

September 14
Traffic & Parking
November 9
Annual Party Planning
October 12
Elections
December 7
Holiday Party

Membership Meetings

Here are some details from recent meetings of the Mayfair Civic Association.

Thanks to the neighbors, as well as to the offices of Alderman Nugent for Ward 39 and Representative Mike Kelly for District 15 for attending.

Reminder: The MCA is looking for a new treasurer!

If you or someone you know has accounting skills and would like to get more involved and contribute directly to your neighborhood, Mayfair Civic Association is looking for a new treasurer. Those interested can contact MCA President Ron Duplack at rduplack@rieckcrotty.com. Thank you for your support!

Poems from Volta Elementary School for National Poetry Month

Here are the poems that were displayed in Rany Management storefronts on Lawrence as part of National Poetry Month in April, originally mentioned in the April issue.

Sculpture at Mayfair Park

Votes are in from the neighborhood for a sculpture to be installed in Mayfair Park. For details, see the article from the previous issue of this newsletter. Below are the top-voted sculptures, both by Kirk Seese. Work is proceeding on the application and installation details!

Retro Space Junk
Chess Table

Updates from the Alderman

The following are some highlights from Alderman Nugent’s newsletters and other communications.

Participatory Budgeting Cycle 4 Results

The results are in for community-selected infrastructure improvement projects that will be funded through the fourth cycle of Participatory Budgeting (PB) in the 39th Ward.

1,044 residents chose from 11 projects to improve our ward. Four projects will be funded, totaling $500,000.

Funded projects in Mayfair include:

For a full list of funded projects, visit https://aldermannugent.com/participatory-budgeting.

Thank you to the Participatory Budgeting Committee for their work and dedication to the process, and thank you to all the community members who submitted project proposals and ideas for improvements across the ward.

Visit and Subscribe!

Visit https://aldermannugent.com/ to subscribe to Alderman Nugent’s newsletter and learn about what she’s doing for the 39th Ward. My office is open Mondays from 9am to 7pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9am to 5pm and Fridays from 9am to 3pm. While the office is open for walk-ins, appointments are encouraged. We ask that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Please reach out should you have any questions, comments, or concerns at 773-736-5594 or via email at Ward39@CityOfChicago.Org.

In the Neighborhood

Mayfair Fest on September 9 at Mayfair Park

CAPS Meeting for Beat 1722

CAPS meetings for Beat 1722 are back in-person, and there is no Zoom or hybrid option. Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The next meeting is on September 20 at 6:30pm in the Community Room of the 17th District Police Department at 4650 N Pulaski. A full schedule of meetings for the year can be found here.

The primary purpose of the beat community meeting is to allow beat residents, other community stakeholders and police to discuss chronic problems on the beat and to engage in problem solving using the CAPS five-step problem-solving process. Beat community meetings provide an opportunity for police and community residents to exchange information about conditions in the neighborhood, to identify crime and disorder problems, and to develop strategies to combat those problems. The meeting also provides an opportunity for police and community to get to know one another.

For upcoming meeting info, or if you have questions or comments, please contact the CAPS office at 312-742-4588, or email caps.017district@chicagopolice.org. Learn about the Office of Community Policing at https://home.chicagopolice.org/community-policing-group/.

Progress on mural at Relativity Textiles

As of August 27
In June, before work started

As mentioned in the June issue, Erin Minckley, owner of Relativity Textiles at 4219 W Lawrence, had been in discussions with PEBA and Nick Yassen from Rany Management about doing a mural on the west side of the building. They’re making great progress, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the finished piece!

Nadig reports 42% increase in robberies since 2022

Nadig Newspaper reports in a August 23, 2023 article (link) that there have been 126 robberies in the 17th district of the Chicago Police — which covers Mayfair — in 2023 through August 20. That is a 42% increase from 89 during the same period last year. Be alert and stay safe out there!

Neighborhood businesses

St Edward School & Parish

4343 W SunnysideWebsite

Food Truck Festival & Block Party

Harvest Bash

Save the date to attend St. Edward Parish Harvest Bash on October 7. This is the parish’s biggest fundraiser and is a huge neighborhood-wide event. 

Harvest Bash Schedule is as follows:

  • 4:30pm – Outdoor Mass 
  • 5:30-7pm – Dinner Served (BBQ Pork & Vietnamese Food)
  • 7-10:30pm – Live Music from Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames

Tickets are $20 and you purchase those online at https://stedparish.org/harvest-bash

While you’re at this event feel free to get in touch with our school’s parent association to hear about new changes around our school. We implemented new security cameras, updated our library furniture, secured a new fence for our playlot, and partnered with Discovery Education to incorporate their STEM curriculum into our current science program in K-8.

Contributions

If you would like to contribute an article or other content to this newsletter, please reach out to us at mayfair-civic-newsletter@googlegroups.com. We have a distribution of 100s of Mayfair neighbors and growing. For more information on contributing to the newsletter, visit the Newsletter page.

Newsletter – Volume 26, Issue 3

Contributions

If you would like to contribute an article or other content to this newsletter, please reach out to us at mayfair-civic-newsletter@googlegroups.com. We have a distribution of 100s of Mayfair neighbors and growing. For more information on contributing to the newsletter, visit the Newsletter page.

June 8 Zoom Meeting

Our next meeting will be held via Zoom at 6:30pm on June 8. Please plan to attend to discuss any topics of interest regarding the neighborhood of Mayfair. Zoom meeting attendance details will be sent out to our email list before the meeting. To join our email list, visit https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mayfair-civic and click “Ask to join group”.

Letter from the President

Our last meeting addressed many topics, including preparations by PEBA/SSA 79 to revitalize Lawrence Avenue Bump-outs, gardens, etc. We recognized sponsors and volunteers that managed the Bump-outs and gardens for decades and sought to clarify work coordination and participation going forward. We greatly appreciate our many generous sponsors and volunteers who have beautified the community and appreciate their continued efforts to work with PEBA/SSA 79. We also appreciate PEBA/SSA 79’s efforts, which will provide financial and manpower relief.

Colleen Sweeney, Director of PEBA and SSA 79, invited volunteers to contact her at PEBA to set up a group meeting to coordinate. See the PEBA website for contact information.

Some MCA gardens fall outside of the PEBA/ SSA 79 service area, so we still need to address volunteer management and maintenance of those gardens, and related funding. We will seek suggestions from Colleen regarding potential sources to fund outside of the PEBA/SSA service area, recognizing that PEBA/SSA 79 cannot apply their funds outside of their respective areas.

We continue efforts with Chicago Sculpture International to identify a sculpture to install at Mayfair Park and received a list of submissions for consideration. Voice your preferences by emailing us with your top three favorites, in first, second and third order.

We received letters of support from the 39th Ward and Eugene Field for re-location of the Thai Town sculpture. Jon Litwin and Mayfair Park Advisory Committee continue to pursue a grant to fund reconfiguration of Mayfair Park basketball courts and to improve baseball field drainage.

Keep your eyes open for a new mural designed by Erin Minckley, of Relativity Textiles, for installation at Relativity’s 4219 W Lawrence location, a Rany Management building. PEBA and Rany are co-sponsors. Installation is expected to be completed in June. Look also for National Poetry Month banner installations in vacant store front windows featuring works by NEIU, North Park University, Lawrence Hall, Chicago Poetry Center/ Volta Elementary students, and plan on attending the June 17 concert at 2:00 at Mayfair Branch Library. Vibraphonist Preyas Roy will be featured.

See related articles covering these matters and plan to attend our June 8 Zoom meeting.

2023 Meeting Schedule

Mayfair Civic Association meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of every month. No meetings are held in January, July, or August. These are the remaining dates for 2023. These are suggested meeting dates and topics, subject to any comments you may provide, but will be followed in the absence of alternative suggestions. Our Board generally meets quarterly as determined by Board members.

June 8
TBD
November 9
Annual Party Planning
September 14
Traffic & Parking
December 7
Holiday Party
October 12
Elections

Membership Meetings

Here are some details from the April and May meetings of the Mayfair Civic Association.

Thanks to the neighbors, as well as to the offices of Alderman Nugent for Ward 39, Representative Mike Kelly for District 15, and Congressman Quigley for Illinois 5th District, for attending.

Reminder: The MCA is looking for a new treasurer!

If you or someone you know has accounting skills and would like to get more involved and contribute directly to your neighborhood, Mayfair Civic Association is looking for a new treasurer. Those interested can contact MCA President Ron Duplack at rduplack@rieckcrotty.com. Thank you for your support!

Community gardens maintenance hand-off to PEBA SSA #79

The Mayfair Civic Association has been responsible for managing and maintaining a number of community and bump-out gardens throughout the neighborhood for the past 20 years. As mentioned in the previous issue of the newsletter, SSA #79 will begin to provide funding, management, and maintenance of these gardens within the SSA service zone; SSA #79 is serviced by the Pulaski/Elston Business Association (PEBA), and its boundaries are primarily along Lawrence and Pulaski. The hand-off of the routine and physically demanding maintenance responsibility is a much-appreciated and necessary change for the all-volunteer team that had been dedicated to doing it with care for the past 20 years. Despite no longer being responsible for many of the gardens, there were discussions during the April and May meetings about this volunteer group still having interest in the gardens, and how they could work with the SSA to continue having input and provide guidance.

Colleen Sweeney, Program Manager for SSA #79, was in attendance at the May meeting and said the SSA is now fully-funded and is able to begin working on projects, including landscaping and bump-out gardens on Lawrence. The SSA has contracted with a local landscaping company that started on maintenance in the beginning of April. All planting will begin after Mother’s Day. There will be weekly watering and maintenance of the gardens, and a cleanup service every Tuesday morning for sidewalks and other areas that will collect any garbage from planters.

Garden volunteers asked about the details of the hand-off. Concerns were expressed regarding the continuity of the management and maintenance, but Sweeney assured attendees that funding is planned well in advance, and that it’s in the budget already through 2024; if something changed, Sweeney said that it’d be due to the City and not because of PEBA or the SSA. The volunteers shared challenges that they’ve faced in the past with people leaving litter in the gardens, soil quality, as well as with getting the City to turn the sprinklers on in time for Mother’s Day plantings and configuring them to provide enough water in the summer. People wanted clarification on whether all of the gardens within the service area were to be maintained by the SSA, having noticed one garden in particular that appeared not to have been cleaned out with the others. Attendees also wanted to make sure that the plaques on each garden, indicating local business sponsors, are not removed.

Some gardens maintained by volunteers for the neighborhood fall outside of the service area for SSA #79, and there was discussion about whether management and maintenance of those gardens could also be funded somehow. It isn’t possible for SSA funds to be used outside of the service area, but there was a question about whether PEBA had funding that could be used for this purpose. Some of the gardens that people mentioned considering include those on the west side of Lawrence and Keating, the west side of Lawrence and Kilpatrick, the west side of Lawrence and Keeler, the south side of Leland and Elston, and another near the Montrose Blue Line station.

Sweeney agreed to follow up with PEBA on these questions. She would also stay in contact with the MCA and follow up on scheduling time to meet with the volunteers regarding details of the garden maintenance.

Sculpture at Mayfair Park

MCA President Ron Duplack has been working with Chicago Sculpture International to identify a sculpture to install at Mayfair Park, and the following is a new list of submissions for consideration. Email your first, second, and third favorite sculptures from the following list to Ron Duplack at rduplack@rieckcrotty.com.

Mural planned at Relativity Textiles

Erin Minckley, owner of Relativity Textiles at 4219 W Lawrence, has been in discussions with PEBA and Nick Yassen from Rany Management about doing a mural on the west side of the building. The plan is to put the mural up in June!

Refugee support in Ward 39

An attendee asked about what support is being offered in the Ward for refugees as Title 42 ends. A representative from the Alderman’s office said that North Park Village has been serving as a respite location since August 30th of last year, offering services like medical aid, but overnight stays are not available. There is information on the Alderman’s Facebook page about how to help (English, Spanish). There is also a New York Times article from May 10 about Chicago’s handling of the situation.

Updates from the Alderman

The following are some highlights from Alderman Nugent’s newsletters and other communications.

Tree trimming now on a grid system

On April 20th, the Bureau of Forestry began its Area Tree Trimming Program. Crews will be working in a 16-block radius at a time and will trim trees within each section. The proper maintenance of these trees will ensure Forestry should not have to return for 5 years or better. In both the 2022 and 2023 City Budgets, the Alderman advocated for more funding to hire additional tree trimmers, and it is her hope that moving to this grid-based system will provide the appropriate maintenance to our tree canopy. If you have a tree emergency or a low-hanging limb, please call the Alderman’s office and they will have Forestry address it as soon as possible. 

Participatory Budgeting Cycle 4

The 4th Cycle of Participatory Budgeting (PB) is in the proposal development phase. Any projects previously on the ballot that were not selected during the previous cycle will be included for consideration in this cycle as well. Voting will start on June 15, and go through the end of the month. There is a new Mayfair Park proposal to renovate the basketball court, and another proposal from last cycle to install a sculpture at Park 593 that is being evaluated again. If you want to make sure that your favorite projects are funded, get your neighbors to vote!

Visit and Subscribe!

Visit https://aldermannugent.com/ to subscribe to Alderman Nugent’s newsletter and learn about what she’s doing for the 39th Ward. My office is open Mondays from 9am to 7pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9am to 5pm and Fridays from 9am to 3pm. While the office is open for walk-ins, appointments are encouraged. We ask that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Please reach out should you have any questions, comments, or concerns at 773-736-5594 or via email at Ward39@CityOfChicago.Org.

In the Neighborhood

Mayfair Park

Community Yard Sale

Facebook event page: https://fb.me/e/2Aimol9dL

Basketball court resurfacing PB proposal

Please support the basketball court resurfacing project proposal for this cycle of Ward 39 Participatory Budgeting.

Clean & Green on April 22 was a success

The Earth Day clean & green event on April 22 at Mayfair Park was a success, thanks to the hard-working volunteers. Special thanks go out to Kemora Landscapes, who saved the operation by lending it a number of large wheelbarrows. See more photos on Facebook.

Mayfair PAC meetings are held on the first Monday of every month at 6:00pm at the field house.

Music at the library

Vibraphonist Preyas Roy will be performing at the Mayfair branch library (4400 W Lawrence) on June 17 from 2:00-3:00 PM. For more info, see the library’s event page.

CAPS Meeting for Beat 1722

CAPS meetings for Beat 1722 are back in-person, and there is no Zoom or hybrid option. Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The next meeting is on June 21 at 6:30pm in the Community Room of the 17th District Police Department at 4650 N Pulaski. A full schedule of meetings for the year can be found here.

The primary purpose of the beat community meeting is to allow beat residents, other community stakeholders and police to discuss chronic problems on the beat and to engage in problem solving using the CAPS five-step problem-solving process. Beat community meetings provide an opportunity for police and community residents to exchange information about conditions in the neighborhood, to identify crime and disorder problems, and to develop strategies to combat those problems. The meeting also provides an opportunity for police and community to get to know one another.

For upcoming meeting info, or if you have questions or comments, please contact the CAPS office at 312-742-4588, or email caps.017district@chicagopolice.org. Learn about the Office of Community Policing at https://home.chicagopolice.org/community-policing-group/.

Around the Neighborhood

New Gomper’s Park adult fitness equipment

Gomper’s Park has new adult fitness equipment available, for ages 13 and up. See more photos on Facebook.

Neighborhood businesses

St Edward School & Parish

4343 W Sunnyside

St. Edward’s school wrapped up their sport season strong with our 8th grade boys winning the NWCC volleyball championship playoff game, and our 6th grade volleyball team brought in another championship this Spring! We are happy to announce that our 8th graders will be attending in the Fall schools such as DePaul College Prep, Lane Tech, Loyola Academy, and Northside College Prep to name a few.  Additionally, our junior high classes have a service project called I am Third, this project serves as a reminder to put God first and then others. They made blankets for Project Linus, who will distribute the blankets to children’s hospitals, and they served with the Well of Mercy to sort baby clothes and clean their facility common areas. Our mission at St. Ed’s is to engage your child’s mind, hands, and heart. Our community is one of kind in the sense that we have many alumni that have their children as students in St. Edward and some of our alumni are teachers here. We encourage anyone in the neighborhood to visit our campus to see what we are all about.  

We have 114 years of providing award-winning Catholic education to children in grades PK3 – 8th grade. Our 2023- 24 Registration is now open. We offer a wide range of rigorous academic classes, service opportunities, and extracurricular activities such as Snapology, chess, and music.  Call the office at 773-736-9133 to learn more about our outstanding academic programs and extended care. Visit our website to schedule a tour. See how we can be a good fit for your family!  
http://www.stedwardschool.com/ 

Looking for a summer camp for your child? Our co-ed T- ball runs from July 15 – 29th for Pre-Kindergarten and 1st grade. Thursday 6-7 and Saturday 9 – 10am. $25 sign up today. Registration ends June 2.

Mayfair Park sculpture selection

Following is a list of sculptures for possible installation in Mayfair Park, from Chicago Sculpture International. We will discuss during the Thursday, 5/11 Zoom meeting. To attend, please send an email mayfair-civic-contact@googlegroups.com for the meeting info. To be notified of future meetings consider joining our mailing list at mayfair-civic@googlegroups.com by clicking here and clicking “Ask to join group”.

Mayfair Residents, Business Owners Can Get Money Back For Buying Security Cameras

Pulaski/Elston Business Association (PEBA) is launching a program that will reimburse most of the cost of security cameras for Mayfair residents and business owners. See the following article from Block Club.

Article on Block Club: https://blockclubchicago.org/2023/04/24/mayfair-residents-business-owners-can-get-money-back-for-buying-security-cameras/

Also, beware the consequences for privacy:

Newsletter – Volume 26, Issue 2

Contributions

If you would like to contribute an article or other content to this newsletter, please reach out to us at mayfair-civic-newsletter@googlegroups.com. We have a distribution of 100s of Mayfair neighbors and growing. For more information on contributing to the newsletter, visit the Newsletter page.

April 13 Zoom Meeting

Our next meeting will be held via Zoom at 6:30pm on April 13. Please plan to attend to discuss any topics of interest regarding the neighborhood of Mayfair. Zoom meeting attendance details will be sent out to our email list before the meeting. To join our email list, visit https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mayfair-civic and click “Ask to join group”.

Letter from the President

Bring on Spring!

At our last meeting, we noted that Pulaski Elston Business Association (“PEBA”) and SSA#79 will provide funding and management of bump-out and garden maintenance within the SSA service zone, which extends primarily along Lawrence and Pulaski. This aligns with Lawrence Avenue streetscape improvements that were approved in the last round of the 39th Ward’s Participatory Budgeting program. It leaves us responsible for just a few community gardens outside that zone. Thank you PEBA, SSA#79 businesses, and Alderman Nugent! Thanks also to our many volunteers, especially Wally Eliasen and Tom Keating, who have worked tirelessly for decades on our bump-outs and community gardens!

We also discussed efforts to assist relocation of the Thai Town Sculpture currently located on Pulaski Avenue just north of Montrose. Now that Thai Town has ceased operations, the owner would like to move the Sculpture to an appropriate location within the community. We have been working with him, Chicago Sculpture International and the Park District, with support from Alderman Nugent, PEBA, the North River Commission, and others, to find a proper home. Mayfair Park was proposed, but the Sculpture was considered overwhelming to the site. Current discussions focus on the portion of Eugene Field at the south-east corner of Foster and Pulaski, which has fencing, gates, walkways, lighting, and benches, making it a protected and inviting space to relax and view the Sculpture. We will continue discussion at our next meeting.

Finally, remember that April is National Poetry month, with celebrations throughout the City. We have worked with the North River Commission, Chicago Poetry Center, and local educational institutions, including NEIU, North Park University, Volta Elementary and Lawrence Hall, to coordinate storefront poetry installations and a series of Poetry Slams. Rany Management has generously provided storefront locations and installations will begin soon. Keep your eyes open and let us know what you think.
 
We hope to see you at our next Zoom meeting. See access information posted elsewhere herein.

2023 Meeting Schedule

Mayfair Civic Association meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of every month. No meetings are held in January, July, or August. These are the remaining dates for 2023. These are suggested meeting dates and topics, subject to any comments you may provide, but will be followed in the absence of alternative suggestions. Our Board generally meets quarterly as determined by Board members.

April 13
Zoning & Development
June 8
TBD
November 9
Annual Party Planning
May 11
Mayfair Park
September 14
Traffic & Parking
December 7
Holiday Party
October 12
Elections

Membership Meetings

Here are some details from the February and March meetings of the Mayfair Civic Association.

Thanks to the neighbors, as well as to the offices of Alderman Nugent for Ward 39, Representative Mike Kelly for District 15, and Congressman Quigley for Illinois 5th District, for attending.

Reminder: The MCA is looking for a new treasurer!

If you or someone you know has accounting skills and would like to get more involved and contribute directly to your neighborhood, Mayfair Civic Association is looking for a new treasurer. Those interested can contact MCA President Ron Duplack at rduplack@rieckcrotty.com. Thank you for your support!

Public Art

Ron Duplack, MCA President, has been talking to a number of people about various initiatives to get public art installed throughout the neighborhood. Last year, plans by Mayfair Civic Association and Mayfair PAC to co-sponsor a sculpture installation with Chicago Sculpture International fell through. Duplack said that CSI is willing to present alternative sculptures again this year.

Duplack has also been in talks with Arun Sampanthavivat, who owns a beautiful Thai sculpture installation at the former location of the Taste of Thai Town restaurant at 4461 N Pulaski.

The sculpture is of a Thai figure and was made in Thailand. With the restaurant now being closed, Sampathavivat has agreed to make the sculpture available to the neighborhood if we could find an appropriate location. The sculpture has a figure inside a housing structure, and the whole thing has a fairly large footprint (approximately 7 1/2′ wide and over 12′ tall in the housing structure) that limits the number of places it could be located. However, the figure and the housing are separate, so it may be possible to reduce the footprint by having the figure without the housing. Meeting attendees considered multiple possible locations at both meetings, including:

  • The area near the garden-lined entrance into the neighborhood from the Montrose blue line El station, or other similar vacant strips of land along the interstate or El line which are owned by different parties (IDOT, CDOT, etc.). Ownership of these locations would need to be determined.
  • The garden at the corner of Elston and Lawrence, which was later determined to be too small.
  • The southeast corner of Foster and Pulaski, which used to have a CTA bus lot, but is now part of Eugene Field Park.
  • Mayfair Park or Gompers Park
Eugene Field Park location

Since our last meeting, we have been working with Chicago Sculpture International and the Park District, with support from Alderman Nugent, PEBA, the North River Commission, and others, to find a proper home. Mayfair Park was proposed, but the Sculpture was considered overwhelming to the site. Current discussions focus on the portion of Eugene Field at the south-east corner of Foster and Pulaski, which has fencing, gates, walkways, lighting, and benches, making it a protected and inviting space to relax and view the Sculpture.

Another public art project that Duplack has been working on is getting written poetry on banners that could be installed for display around the neighborhood for National Poetry Month in April. He was working with North River Commission and area real estate companies to coordinate with area schools for poetry to use and find locations to install them for display. The goal is to get the poems installed in mid-April.

Mayfair Park

Basketball court and baseball field updates

Jon Litwin, President of the Mayfair Park Advisory Council talked about the updates to the basketball court that were last covered by this Newsletter in April of last year (Volume 25, Issue 2). The court needs to get repaved, and the plan is for the two hoops that currently exist to be replaced by four hoops in a clover shape, supporting four games being played simultaneously. Litwin said that they also plan for the court to be lined for other games as well, such as pickleball, badminton, or volleyball. The plan has the support of Alderman Nugent, and the PAC will be submitting a funding proposal to the 4th cycle of the Alderman’s Participatory Budgeting program.

Litwin also mentioned that they filed for a large grant from Cubs Charities to install drainage tiles in both outfields at the park.

Gardeners wanted!

Mayfair Park is looking for volunteers that are able to commit to maintaining the small garden on the southeast corner of the park, near Kilbourn and Sunnyside. If you might be interested, please contact the PAC.

Other topics

Montrose Blue Line escalators

Some attendees mentioned that they’ve had to help people with mobility issues carry their luggage down the stairs at the Montrose Blue Line station. The station has two escalators, but they both go up. Instead, people thought it’d make more sense for one of them to go down instead of up, to address the mobility issue.

Barking Barrel location troubles

Due to delays in making progress with the property under consideration by Barking Barrel, discussed in the last issue’s President’s Letter, the company has decided to look for a different location.

Updates from the Alderman

The following are some highlights from the Alderman’s newsletters and other communications.

Participatory Budgeting Cycle 4

The 4th Cycle of Participatory Budgeting (PB) has begun! Please submit a proposal, and consider joining the committee.

Visit and Subscribe!

Visit https://aldermannugent.com/ to subscribe to Alderman Nugent’s newsletter and learn about what she’s doing for the 39th Ward. My office is open Mondays from 9am to 7pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9am to 5pm and Fridays from 9am to 3pm. While the office is open for walk-ins, appointments are encouraged. We ask that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Please reach out should you have any questions, comments, or concerns at 773-736-5594 or via email at Ward39@CityOfChicago.Org.

In the Neighborhood

CAPS Meeting for Beat 1722

CAPS meetings for Beat 1722 are back in-person, and there is no Zoom or hybrid option. Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The next meeting is on April 19 at 6:30pm in the Community Room of the 17th District Police Department at 4650 N Pulaski. A full schedule of meetings for the year can be found here.

The primary purpose of the beat community meeting is to allow beat residents, other community stakeholders and police to discuss chronic problems on the beat and to engage in problem solving using the CAPS five-step problem-solving process. Beat community meetings provide an opportunity for police and community residents to exchange information about conditions in the neighborhood, to identify crime and disorder problems, and to develop strategies to combat those problems. The meeting also provides an opportunity for police and community to get to know one another.

For upcoming meeting info, or if you have questions or comments, please contact the CAPS office at 312-742-4588, or email caps.017district@chicagopolice.org. Learn about the Office of Community Policing at https://home.chicagopolice.org/community-policing-group/.

Local Events and Information

Mayfair Park Events

Mayfair PAC meetings are held on the first Monday of every month at 6:00pm at the field house. The meeting in April is moved to April 10th due to Elections day.

Newsletter – Volume 26, Issue 1

Contributions

If you would like to contribute an article or other content to this newsletter, please reach out to us at mayfair-civic-newsletter@googlegroups.com. We have a distribution of 100s of Mayfair neighbors and growing. For more information on contributing to the newsletter, visit the Newsletter page.

February 9 Zoom Meeting

Our next meeting will be held via Zoom at 6:30pm on February 9. Please plan to attend to discuss any topics of interest regarding the neighborhood of Mayfair. Zoom meeting attendance details will be sent out to our email list before the meeting. To join our email list, visit https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mayfair-civic and click “Ask to join group”.

Letter from the President

We hope you are all well and coping with the winter weather.

Our last event was a community gathering held in December at Marie’s Pizza in lieu of a meeting. It served as our traditional holiday celebration and a welcomed chance to visit in person to conclude 2022 on a high note. Several photos are included in this Newsletter, highlighting festivities and the fabulous holiday decorations always on hand at Marie’s. Many thanks to Nadine!

We recently co-sponsored the 39th Ward Candidate Forum held at the Irish American Heritage Center. Turnout was substantial. We hope that you were able to attend and gauge candidates’ positions and platforms. Elections are being held on February 28 and April 4. We encourage you to exercise your voting privileges and civic duties to support your candidate.

During our winter break from meetings, we were busy working with the Pulaski Elston Business Association to coordinate efforts to maintain attractive community amenities. PEBA represents community businesses and acts as the service provider for SSA#79 which was created in January 2022 to provide services within the business district that supplement those provided by the City. PEBA has graciously agreed to provide funding and management of bump-out and garden maintenance within the SSA service zone. This will leave us responsible for just a few community gardens outside that zone, greatly diminishing our financial and volunteer commitments. PEBA is also supporting our efforts to bring more public art to the community, including murals and sculptures. We will provide an update at our next meeting.

Another discussion item for our next meeting is a development proposal that was referred to our attention by Alderman Nugent. It involves The Barking Barrel, a potential new brewery/dog care concept proposed for 4300 W Montrose. It will need a zoning change and we have been discussing the project with its owners. If preliminary plans are available, they will attend the meeting; if not, they will present at a later date.
 
We hope to see you at our next Zoom meeting. See the enclosed schedule of this year’s meeting dates.

2023 Meeting Schedule

Mayfair Civic Association meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of every month. No meetings are held in January, July, or August. These are the remaining dates for 2023. These are suggested meeting dates and topics, subject to any comments you may provide, but will be followed in the absence of alternative suggestions. Our Board generally meets quarterly as determined by Board members.

February 9
Planning
May 11
Mayfair Park
October 12
Elections
March 9
Kedvale Playlot/Gardens
June 8
TBD
November 9
Annual Party Planning
April 13
Zoning & Development
September 14
Traffic & Parking
December 7
Holiday Party

Membership Meetings

Here are some details from the November, 2022 meeting and holiday party of the Mayfair Civic Association.

Reminder: The MCA is looking for a new treasurer!

If you or someone you know has accounting skills and would like to get more involved and contribute directly to your neighborhood, Mayfair Civic Association is looking for a new treasurer. Those interested can contact MCA President Ron Duplack at rduplack@rieckcrotty.com. Thank you for your support!

US Congressman Mike Quigley, Illinois 5th District

US Congressman Mike Quigley of the 5th District of Illinois attended the November membership meeting. He was re-elected to his position during the 2022 midterms in November, and thanked the community for their continued support. The Congressman started with a reminder that community service in the district is always the most important thing that his office does. To contact the Congressman’s office, please refer to his website at https://quigley.house.gov.

District boundary changes, lost part of Mayfair

Congressman Quigley mentioned that he lost part of the neighborhood due to the district boundaries changing; the area is roughly north of Elston, west of Pulaski, south of Lawrence. The Congressman said that 40% of his district is new to his office, following the changes. For a comparison of the district before and after the boundary changes, see the following maps from the census:

The Mayfair neighborhood boundaries are also available for comparison on this website at About Us.

Gun violence protection

Congressman Quigley said that President Biden’s administration is a return somewhat to past norms and levels of civility except that, ironically, they now had to walk through metal detectors to get onto the House floor. On the topic of gun violence, the Congressman mentioned passing the first gun violence measure in decades. As a vocal advocate of gun violence protection, he was recently named Vice Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. For more information, see the announcement.

Earmarks for FY23

The Congressman was able to get a number of community projects funded with earmarks approved in 2022. For Fiscal Year 2023, he has proposed a number of new projects, including:

  • Chicago Park District Lincoln Park, Conservatory Renovations
  • Chicago Park District California Park, Multi-use Trail Connection
  • Carole Robertson Center for Learning in Albany Park, Capital Improvements
  • Chicago Public Schools, Art Supplies and Equipment
  • Shedd Aquarium, Pathways to Environmental Education
  • Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Get Behind the Vest Program, 1000 Bullet Proof Vests for Chicago Police Department

For a full list of community project submissions, requested funding amounts, and detailed project descriptions, visit the Congressman’s Community Project Funding page.

Inflation Reduction Act

In August, Congressman Quigley voted for the Inflation Reduction Act. He highlighted that the Act, among other things:

  • Ends the ban on Medicare negotiating prescription drug prices: allows Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs, prevents excessive price hikes, and caps out-of-pocket costs to $2,000.
  • Lowers energy costs and delivers largest-ever climate action: invests in domestic energy production and manufacturing, while reducing carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030 with historic investments in energy security and tackling the climate crisis.

For more details on the Inflation Reduction Act, refer to https://quigley.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/quigley-votes-fight-climate-change-reduce-inflation.

Questions for the Congressman

A meeting attendee was concerned about Medicare Advantage. Their parents were on regular Medicare, but were getting “swamped” by ads for Advantage. The advertising was of concern because it created confusion about Medicare Advantage being private rather than public healthcare, and because of recent findings that the program denies needed care to 1000s of authorization requests annually (see the New York Times article). The Congressman said that he’s been concerned about the program for a long time, agreed that the ads confuse people, and also pointed out that doctors are pressured to prescribe drugs. There are things that can be done, Quigley said, but it depends a lot on who becomes Speaker and the balance of power in the House.

Alderman Nugent

Alderman Samantha Nugent was in attendance at the November meeting, and said that the Chicago Department of Transportation had a list of the 21 bump-out gardens in need of repair for the Lawrence Avenue Revitalization project that was funded in 2022 by Participatory Budgeting Cycle 3 and that more info would be forthcoming on these repairs. An attendee expressed concern that work hadn’t started yet on these bump-out repairs, and it was agreed that a schedule of CDOT’s repair plans it would be useful.

Alderman Nugent also mentioned that the new flags on Lawrence Avenue were put up by the SSA #79 Lawrence/Pulaski/Elston.

Questions

An attendee asked about the future of the site formerly used by Suzie’s, which closed last year. A sign was posted on the property, but with no information on plans. The Alderman didn’t know, but said that she would find out.

There was another question about the details of what would be put in at 4433 N Elston. This location was formerly a 2-story retail commercial building, but has a building permit to make the 1st floor an “artisan work space”. You can find public data about building permits at https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bldgs/dataset/building_permits.html.

Mayfair Park sculpture updates

Mayfair Civic Association President Ron Duplack informed the attendees that, due to health issues, the designer of the sculpture that was chosen to be installed at Mayfair Park (see Volume 26, Issue 4 for details) was unable to be on-site for the installation. Duplack asked for input on whether or not to move forward with the sculpture installation without the designer, or try again later. It was agreed that the sculptor should be there for the installation, and also given how late we were in the year already, it was decided to hold off on an installation until maybe Spring, even though it means that this particular sculpture may not be available at that time.

Holiday Party

Here are some photos from the MCA holiday party in December at Marie’s Pizza. The decorations were amazing!

Updates from the Alderman

Dear Neighbor, 

I hope you had a relaxing holiday season spent with family and friends. 

The holiday decorations installed by Special Service Area 79 on the main streets throughout Mayfair made Lawrence, Pulaski, Cicero, and Montrose feel especially festive. I am looking forward to seeing the work the SSA will do this spring with the Civic Association to landscape and plant in the bump-outs along Lawrence Avenue. Thank you to the Pulaski Elston Business Association and the Commissioners of SSA 79.

The Chicago Department of Transportation has been out to survey Lawrence and is expected to begin concrete repairs to the bump-outs this year. Last fall, ironwork began on some of the fences. This work is part of the winning $50,000 Participatory Budgeting Project from the last cycle. 

At City Council in January, I was proud to present six appointees to the newly formed Urban Forestry Advisory Board (UFAB) on behalf of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy. UFAB brings city departments and private partners together to care for, enhance, and protect the urban tree canopy. The tree-lined streets of Mayfair are one of the things that make the community so special. The board will work to ensure existing trees are protected, and new trees are planted, and if critical infrastructure work has to be done in the parkway, it is done in the least invasive and disruptive way. 

As always, my office is here to help. We are located at 4200 W. Lawrence Ave. and are open to the public Mondays from 9 am to 7 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 am to 5 pm, and Friday from 9 am to 3 pm. Please contact us at 773.736.5594 or ward39@cityofchicago.org if you need any city services or have any questions. 

Very Truly Yours,

Alderman Samantha Nugent

In the Neighborhood

39th Ward Aldermanic Forum for Feb 28 Municipal Election

The 39th Ward Aldermanic Forum for the upcoming Municipal Election on February 28 was held at the Irish American Heritage Center on January 19. Incumbent candidate Alderman Samantha Nugent and challenger Denali Dasgupta discussed topics of interest to the community.

For more info, here are a few links:

CAPS Meeting for Beat 1722

CAPS meetings for Beat 1722 are back in-person, and there is no Zoom or hybrid option. Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The next meeting is on February 15 at 6:30pm in the Community Room of the 17th District Police Department at 4650 N Pulaski. A full schedule of meetings for the year can be found here.

The primary purpose of the beat community meeting is to allow beat residents, other community stakeholders and police to discuss chronic problems on the beat and to engage in problem solving using the CAPS five-step problem-solving process. Beat community meetings provide an opportunity for police and community residents to exchange information about conditions in the neighborhood, to identify crime and disorder problems, and to develop strategies to combat those problems. The meeting also provides an opportunity for police and community to get to know one another.

For upcoming meeting info, or if you have questions or comments, please contact the CAPS office at 312-742-4588, or email caps.017district@chicagopolice.org. Learn about the Office of Community Policing at https://home.chicagopolice.org/community-policing-group/.

Local Events and Information

Mayfair Park Valentine’s Events

North Park Village “Building for the Future Campaign”

For the first time in 40 years, you, your family, friends, and neighbors are invited to offer their opinions on where N V goes for the next 40 ears – Take the “Your Voice Still Counts Survey” and also, check out information about North Park Village History as well.

For more information and to take the survey, visit https://northrivercommission.org/npvbuildingforthefuture.