Astor House is by far the most written up address in Rogers Park in the past year. Was more challenging to take a picture of the lobby this time with actual security there. Previously it was up to fellow tenants themselves to screen who could come and go. The old sign "You Can Aid Security By Denying Admittance To Anyone You Do Not Know" is now gone. In its place are two building permits. The ceiling tiles in the lobby previously stained and disheveled have been replaced.
Chicago Now published an article chronicling one particular tenant's plight back in July. Featured in the story are pictures of the renovation. Newly installed and unfinished doors were labeled "ill-fitting". Tenants have been picketing the alderman's office throughout the summer. Progress Illinois videotaped a protest here.
Please continue reading for more pictures and words
What has been lost in the uproar of the loss of "affordable housing" is that a grand old building from the twenties is finally getting fixed up. In the bad old days buildings like these were used and used until they had nothing left to give and then torn down.
According to Zillow the units for rent start at 695 a month. Which is 145 bucks higher than they used to be. Here on Hotpads.com apartments are for rent ranging from 695 to 825 (studios 695-725 and one bedrooms 765-825).
This structure was never built with affordability in mind. There was never any master plan in Chicago or Rogers Park from the beginning to create certain areas for certain incomes. It was supply and demand that built Chicago.
The teeny tiny table that the large, imposing guard sits at is curious. Security did not want a photo to be taken of the lobby. But this a prominent building in the community. And the lobby is visible from the outside.
The picture is a testament to the security guard's diligence. He is glancing back as the freelance photographer grabbed a quick shot.