By John Hubbuch
My walk to the YMCA makes me a regular observor of Madison Street aka Desolation Row. I can report that the fireplace store remains vacant and that District 97 District Headquarters still looks like a front for CBW research. But on a brighter note construction has begun on Grove Apartments, a 51 unit mixed income housing collaboration between the Oak Park Housing Authority and Interfaith Housing Development.
I had forgotten about the project in part because of the passage of time, and a pessimism that there would never be funding in this supposedly difficult economy. The building of this project is consistent with the Village's historic committment to diversity and pluralism. It is a good thing in a number of ways.
I am sympathetic to the concerns of the immediate neighbors, but it is often the case that these projects are good for and therefore supported by the Village as a whole , but are not so good for the neighbors. See the lights at the OPRF football field. The hue and cry against the project is amplified by the media. Defending home and hearth elicits a strong emotional response.
Fortunately, in a democracy, elected officials decide, issues resolved and a decision is made. It now seems almost like ancient history that the construction of this project was a very big deal. There was a loud and raucous debate. Now the only sound is that of construction equipment. And life goes on.