LOGAN SQUARE — For years locals have seen the changes coming — new restaurants, bars a remodeled Logan Theatre — but 2013 seemed to confirm that Logan Square was quickly becoming a new center for nightlife.
But while Logan Square continued to flourish — with Avondale getting a piece of the action as well — Humboldt Park suffered school closings with not nearly as much new development as its neighbor to the north.
These are five things that mattered to those in the area, from good to bad to ... wherever craft cocktails fit in.
1. New bars and restaurants galore: It seemed every time you turned around this year, something new was opening in Logan Square. From Parson's to Billy Sunday to Analogue, nearly every corner of Logan Square got something new, particularly in the imaginative eating and drinking category.
But nothing seemed to confirm more that Logan Square had arrived than when word came that a whole strip of Milwaukee Avenue would be getting a liquor distillery, a beer hall and a bakery run by an award-winning chef.
2. The 606/Bloomingdale Trail: After a decade of talking and dreaming and planning, it finally happened. The city broke ground on the ambitious 2.7-mile linear park and trail system that would make use of an old elevated rail line.
3. Humboldt Park school closings: One of the neighborhoods hardest hit by school closures was Humboldt Park, which saw three schools (Lafayette, Von Humboldt and Duprey) closed and another (Ryerson) consolidated. Parents fought hard and spoke until they were until they were nearly breathless, but in the end there was no stopping the closures.
4. Ames Middle School to become military academy: Ames parents, teachers and neighborhood activists thought their own fight was over when CPS board president David Vitale said in December 2012 that Ames would not become home to the Marine Math and Science Academy. But in a story that had plenty of twists, turns and an ever determined alderman, who knew what could happen?
In the end, the board of education approved the change, but Ames supporters still hope a March ballot referendum will go their way, even if a victory would only be symbolic
5. A touch of Disney in Hermosa: Hermosa is a largely quiet, residential area, so perhaps it's not surprising that it would be most famous for being home to someone's residence — Walt Disney's, to be specific. Earlier this month a couple Californians announced plans to restore the rundown, century-old house at 2156 N. Tripp Ave. to the way it looked when the Disneys lived there and turn it into a museum.