Music Gives New Life to Brownfield

A lakefront steel plant on Chicago's South Side that has been abandoned since 1992 is the venue of the Dave Matthew's Caravan July music festival.
June 30, 2011, 9am PDT | Kristopher Fortin
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The face lift of the 589-acre lot has given residents hope of a resurgence in the former blue-collar community, Steve Johnson reports.

"Where there were once 160 buildings, the only structures left on the property - which covers the lakefront from 79th Street on the north to 87th Street on the south - are massive masonry retaining walls once used to hold raw materials and a former clock house now used by a development company to show off its plans to turn the area into a bustling urban jewel.

"By last week, crews hired by Jam had hauled away 59 tons of material: weeds, wild brush and leftover industrial debris."

"Although it has brought some temporary work to area residents, (Ald. Sandi Jackson, 7th,) and others don't think the concert alone will change things, but what it will do is mark the area on Chicago's map in vivid highlighter, maybe make people notice a location they hadn't before, maybe get them to think about moving into one of the nice new homes that are supposed to start going up next year."

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Published on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 in Chicago Tribune
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