In an era of vitriol and anger with civic activity, the work of the Madison Street Coalition, a group of volunteers who have taken the task of helping guide the future of this section of Oak Park upon themselves, deserves a note of positive recognition. The measurable, observable event that proves this point is the successful completion of the renovation of the property at the corner of Oak Park Avenue and Madison Street, which now houses the relocated Walgreens.
The tenacity of this coalition in persuading the Deerfield-based corporate giant to respect the architectural DNA of Oak Park by working within the existing façade of the structure instead of erecting their basic cookie-cutter edifice placed at such a major Oak Park thoroughfare needs to be lauded. One needs only to take the most cursory glance at the CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Madison and Ridgeland to appreciate their efforts. That building has the architectural character of a mud pie and could as easily be in Topeka, Kan., as Oak Park.