A new view of Whiteco

The Whiteco apartment building at Harlem and Ontario is nearly done as you can see from this photo submitted by a Journal reader.

Wait, though. That’s not the Whiteco building. What’s the caption say under the picture? Oh, that’s the headquarters of Pravda, the Communist daily newspaper, built in Moscow in the 1930s.

Well, that explains it.


We ran the wrong picture with last week’s article, “Moore to resign from village board.” The man pictured was Eugene Moore, Cook County recorder of deeds, not departing Village Trustee Ernest Moore.

Voice your thoughts on Colt competition

Want to sound off on what is built in downtown Oak Park in the coming years? Tomorrow is your chance.

Two developers, competing to reinvent a key piece of Lake Street property, will present their up-to-date visions at 6:30 p.m. at village hall. Mid-America Development Partners and AvalonBay Communities Inc. turned in their proposals a few months back. Last month, they changed them based on community feedback.

Tomorrow is the opportunity to respond once more. Mid-America’s proposal includes 182 apartments, a 120-room hotel, retail space and a parking garage. AvalonBay wants to build apartments, medical offices, retail space and a garage, too.

Wednesday Journal was told last month that Mid-America would need $29 million in incentives from the village to make its project work. The other team would need $27 million. A sizeable portion of that money would go to such public improvements as building a new north-south street, landscaping and adding more public parking, the developers said.

Check out the proposals at www.oak-park.us/rfq or read the Wednesday Journal’s latest story about them at www.wednesdayjournalonline.com by searching “Colt developers.”

The village board plans to pick the preferred developer Monday at its next regular board meeting. The project would then go through Oak Park’s planned development process. The board could also decide to pick neither.

The village-owned properties include the Colt building, just east of Harlem, the adjacent 1121-23 Lake St. building, a North Boulevard parking lot and 1145 Westgate. The village bought the Colt and 1145 from Taxman Corp. in 2006 for $7.5 million, total.

Moving up the list

Oak Park and River Forest High School was ranked 379th in the nation on Newsweek’s 2008 list of America’s top 1,300 high schools,” a significant increase over the school’s 703rd place last year, the school’s spokesperson Kay Foran informed us recently.

The annual ranking rates high schools based on a single criterion: the number of students taking college-level exams, such as the Cambridge, International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement. It doesn’t matter how they do on those exams, just how many take them.

OPRF offers 21 AP courses, according to Foran. Last year, 747 students took 1,647 exams. The number of students taking AP exams has increased the last two years since the school’s English division added an AP preparation component and designation to all its honors level American literature courses.

This year’s figures should be even higher.

Of the 38 Illinois high schools on Newsweek’s list, OPRF ranked higher than all but Chicago’s Northside College Prep, Lincoln Park High School and Walter Payton College Prep and three suburban schools-Riverside-Brookfield, Stevenson and Hinsdale Central.

Newsweek’s rankings and methodology are available at www.newsweek.com/id/39380/?q=2008/rank/101/.

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