Gentrification– Wicker Park, 1994


©2013. Mike Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

To some, gentrification meant purging the past and allowing a brighter future. To others, it meant higher rents and long time residents finding new places to live. Wicker Park first drew in artists looking for work/live spaces for cheap. With that, they brought stability and hope to an area once known for hypodermic needles on the sidewalks and prostitutes on the street corners. Unfortunately, these artists found themselves ousted by the Yuppies who came to the Around The Coyote festival every year. The large poster to the left of the frame says it all.

As a side note, that wall is now an Italian restaurant and the Firehouse where that meeting was held is now a Potbelly’s sandwich shop. “Give a shit”.

Damen Ave. Blue Line Station 1994


©2013. Mike Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

In 1994, Wicker Park was already the ‘hot’ new area in the city. It was the heart of Chicago’s music scene, and a flourishing art community. Change was evident everywhere . In the two years since I started to come down here, more and more places were popping up. Anything from vintage clothing stores, to bars, to coffee shops. It was an exciting time for this neighborhood, once a pretty rough area in the city.

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