At 6:03pm Tuesday evening, near the corner of Leland and Magnolia, an 18 year old black male was gunned down in a barrage of gunfire that shattered the neighborhood.

Residents calling 911 reported 20-40 gunshots were fired, killing Deshawn Johnson.  Bullets went through the windows of nearby resident’s home


The murdered victim was no stranger to violence and well known in the community for his gang affiliation.


Click here for Crime in Boystown story coverage:


Recent gang activity has moved north of Wilson, due to the incredible efforts from the Sheridan Park 911 Public Safety Committee.  Many of the gang infested units in CHA and Voice of the People subsidized housing south of Wilson have been cleared out, forcing gangs to relocate.  Uptown and the 46th ward holds the #1 position for government subsidized housing in Chicago.  We strongly support the HUD policy of no more than 20% of a neighborhood’s housing should be government subsidized. And will continue our efforts north of Wilson in Sheridan Park.


GWNA Block Club Meeting on December 4th


Save-the-Date for the Graceland Wilson Neighbors, GWNA, block club meeting on Monday, December 4, at 7pm

We will meet at Emerald City, at 1224 W Wilson.


Agenda will include:

  • Update on Sheridan Park 911 Public Safety initiatives
  • Submissions for GWNA board members, president, secretary and treasurer + committee chairs
  • Social events supporting local businesses
  • Lake Shore Dr. project—what’s in the works


More details to come—mark your planner for December 4th at 7pm.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.


Starbucks was the latest battle field in the continuing gang warfare that plagues Uptown.  Around 8:10 PM Thursday evening, Gunfire erupted in the Starbucks on the busy corner of Lawrence & Broadway.

One male died inside the Starbucks café. Two others were shot, one a 12 year old boy, and another male.  Police believe all the males knew one another.



Click here to read details from Chicago Tribune article


Earlier this week, in the wee hours after Halloween, at 1:30 AM, another round of gang gunfire work up neighbors in the 4428 N Greenview gated condominium complex around corner from Chase Park.

Two males in a minivan were plummeted with bullets. One seriously injured. The other critically injured. No word on their survival.


The gangs have been moving their operations north of Wilson,after heavy pressure from the Sheridan Park Public Safety Committee working with the CHA, Voice of the People, Police and alderman to clean out the gang infested housing.

Efforts will continue to address the long time elements that have been the breeding ground for Uptown gangs, drug warfare and shootings.


Community Bright Spot

Uptown’s own Underscore Theatre Company has a new production in a space they created themselves in one of the closed shops at 4609 N. Clark St..  Underscore’s world premiere of  Carrie 2: The Rage is getting rave reviews all over town. You can check one out by clicking this link:

According to their Executive Director, Laura Stratford, “Underscore Theatre Company is six years old and specializes in world premiere musicals. We’ve had a rehearsal space on Clark and Leland for three years, but are just now looking into the feasibility of having a home at 4609 N Clark, where we are currently running the world premiere of “Carrie 2: The Rage (An Unauthorized Musical Parody).” The show has been getting rave reviews, and is a really smart, sassy 90s throwback.
We’d love to get more involved in the community, and to that end, would like to offer neighbors a discount code if anyone is interested in checking out the show, the theater space, or us in general. Your members can get $5 off tickets with the promo code NEIGHBORS.”
The show is not to be missed AND it is a positive bright spot in our Uptown community. Worthy of our their neighbors’ support.



Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is all that ever has.

Clarendon Park Renovations—Community Open House


Clarendon Meeting Sept 20 2017 (1)

Clarendon Park will begin renovations next year to give our community center some much needed love and attention. The TIF money combined with the Chicago Park District contribution establishes a good start with $5 million for the renovations. We are halfway to our goal of $10 million to update the building.

The Clarendon Park Advisory Council and the Chicago Park District would like to invite you to attend the Clarendon Park Open house on September 20th to share your ideas and vision for the future of our community center.

Please join us for the Open House:

o   Wednesday, September 20th, 6-8 PM

o   Clarendon Park, 4501 N Clarendon

The Open House will include a tour of the entire building, including the Model Railroad Club housed at Clarendon Park. Take a peek at this wonderful train room, Please share, post and forward to your neighbors.

Who knew, Uptown has a Runners’ Club

Looking for Uptown community group for staying in shape?  Are you a runner and enjoy socializing with your neighbors?  Uptown Runners’ just might be a great group for you!  From one of our Sheridan Park neighbors….

For five years, I have sponsored Uptown Runners, a free neighborhood running group. We started in 2012 with 17 members, and now have 850 official members, with active membership of about 50 people.


We run 3 miles every Monday night at 6:30 from Fat Cat, and have other runs during the week as well. Folks come from Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Andersonville, Edgewater, Rogers Park and beyond to join us!


All the info you need can be found on our Meetup Site.  They can also contact me with questions: Dinah Barthelmess,


Slowly but surely…Uptown is finding its voice, building a new vision for a strong vibrant community and showcasing its wonderful resources.


And always remember…

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

GWNA Special Edition, August 14, 2017


Man Shot to Death on Montrose early Sunday Morning


A young male was shot to death early Sunday morning in front of the Holsten Wilson Yard property at 1032 W. Montrose.  Witnesses reported seeing  a thin black male emerge from a small car with Michigan plates and fire multiple shots into the victim around 6:50 am.



According to the Crime in Boystown article ,there was an earlier report of a domestic dispute that spilled out onto the street.

Click here to read the entire article.


The Sheridan Park neighborhood has been experiencing a surge of gun violence with this most recent murder tallying domestic violence crimes with the gang related shootings.  Uptown, especially the Sheridan Park neighborhood, struggles with the highest concentration of government subsidized housing in Chicago.  Give peace a chance—starts with better, safer balance of housing. HUD guidelines for no more than 20% government housing in a community—for a fresh new start for public safety.


And always remember…


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, that is all that ever has.

GWNA Newsletter, August 11, 2017


Sheridan Park Yard Sale & Arts Festival coming this Saturday


The Sheridan Park Art Festival and Yard Sale is coming this Saturday, August 12! Come on out, shop for bargain treasures.  Head over to the Sunnyside Mall and enjoy the music, local artists selling their handmade creations. And indulge in the good food.


– 15+ artists
– 7 Musicians
– 5 local food vendors
– a Sidewalk Art Contest for kids to win a backpack filled with school supplies for their grade
– A raffle to win complimentary gym membership, food baskets, theatre tickets, fitness classes and much more – and with 1/2 the proceeds going to Courtenay Language Arts Center for their school lunch program
– Face painting



Event on Facebook:

20170801 SPNA Arts Fest Flyer FINAL


Sheridan Park Yard Sale will take place Saturday from 9 to 3PM.  Find all kinds of bargains. Start on Magnolia & Wilson. Maps for sellers will be posted and available.


Join Underscore Theatre’s Animation Kingdom Trivia: 08/14/17

Theatre companies do not survive by ticket sales alone and that’s why they host crazy little evenings like Underscore Theatre’s Animation Kingdom Trivia night Monday, August 14th. The event is from 6:30-9:30 and will be held at Revolution Brewery.


Join the fun and prove your knowledge of animation trivia! Click HERE for all the details and to buy tickets NOW!


Come on neighbors, let’s show local theater the support it truly deserves!


And always remember….

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, caring citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it’s all that ever has.

Uptown is Chicago’s Top Neighborhood for Subsidized Housing


For decades, Sheridan Park  residents’ public safety has been threatened with gang shootings, murders, and blatant drug dealing on our streets. It’s time for a new approach to give peace a chance.


We’ve made great strides to hold the CHA and Voice of the People accountable for evicting the most active gangs who live in these properties. But this process often take years before the gang tenants are removed.  For example, the eviction process of Sims gang family living at CHA 4425 N Malden has be ongoing for four (4)years.  In the interim, one brother murdered, one brother in prison, two brothers openly conducting their drug sales at the Sunnyside Mall.


We want a better, effective process to bring peace to our community.  The time has come to begin the process to reduce Uptown’s subsidized housing units to HUD recommended guidelines of maximum of 20% subsidized housing.


According to Crain’s Chicago Business March article on Chicago neighborhoods’ subsidized housing numbers, Uptown is at the top of the Chicago subsidized housing list with a whopping 2,750 HUD housing units.


To give perspective to this number—Uptown has 400% more subsidized housing units than it’s Lakeview neighbor with 740 housing units.  Click on the link to read the article and the TWEET link to see the subsidized housing chart.


The majority of Uptown’s 2,750 subsidized housing units are concentrated between Clarendon Ave and Malden, Montrose and Lawrence.  The Sheridan Park housing concentration areas: majority CHA and Voice of the People properties— are on Magnolia, Racine, Clifton, and Malden, within a block of Sunnyside.  Another subsidized housing concentration is centered around the Malden and Leland area.  No surprise that the majority of Uptown’s violent gang crimes are also concentrated in these areas and along Wilson Ave, a favorite gang shooting range.


High Crime Alert Properties include:


CHA 4425 N Malden—Unit # F, Sims tenants—eviction date finally set for August 8

CHA 4454 N Magnolia—Unit #E, Tracy Dixon unit

CHA 4454 N Racine—Unit # 1, Tiani Temple, has moved out

VofP 4431 N Racine—gang activity/recent shoot-out on front porch. Williams brother, who lived in building, Murdered October 2016

CHA 4650 N Malden—strongly connected to Black P Stones


Drug Sales Alert

Vof P 4420-22 N Clifton—active drug sales being conducted by alley entrance


We want CHA CEO, Eugene Jones, featured as a no-show at the May CAPS meeting to do his job.

04.12.16 – Chicago, IL – CEO Eugene Jones, Jr.

Sit down with the alderman, HUD, and City Housing Department and create a plan to reduce CHA housing to follow HUD guidelines.

Voice of the People issues should also be addressed.

Housing court is also on our public safety agenda.


Give peace a chance.


Sheridan Park’s Garden Triangles—Stop, Say Thanks & Appreciate their beauty


Sheridan Park is also home to dazzling public green spaces that enrich our spirit—Six Sheridan Park Garden Triangles are the front garden entrances to the Sheridan Park neighborhood.  The triangles are located:

  • Montrose & Malden
  • Montrose & Beacon
  • Lawrence & Dover
  • Lawrence & Beacon
  • Lawrence & Malden
  • Lawrence & Magnolia


Here’s the back story on the Sheridan Park Garden Triangles—Originally the City’s CDOT planted and maintained these garden beds. Then the City cut funding and the garden beds were neglected. Overgrown and sad looking.  Sheridan Park various block clubs took over the triangle gardens and today they are flourishing.  The triangle garden folks spend a ton of time, money and love caring for these gardens. Featuring a few triangles…


Carrie and Andrea adopted the Malden & Montrose triangle and transformed this dirt patch into a spectacular garden over the past few years.

They lugged tons of dead plants, crappy soil out of the bed.  Bought hardy native perennial plants with their own money. Since this triangle and the Beacon triangle have no sprinkling  system, do all the watering is manual. Today the garden triangle offers a proliferation of blooming flowers for everyone to enjoy.

Debbie and Gary are the Sheridan Park Garden Triangle pioneers going way back for their TLC in maintaining the Montrose & Beacon triangle.  They purchase every new plant, they water using the fire hydrant—which is an amazing feat to see. And they constantly attempt to educate ignorant dog owners who allow their dogs to pee on the plants.  Even creating a sign—Dog pee is killing me.

 Joanne single handedly replanted the entire Dover & Lawrence garden triangle with butterfly and bee loving perennials. She not only purchased all the plants, but faithfully weeds. And what a magnificent garden she has created!

So next time you go by the Sheridan Park Garden Triangles. STOP and LOOK—admire their beauty and say thank you to the wonderful neighbors who give so generously of their time and money.



Sheridan Park Annual Yard Sale, August 12


The annual Sheridan Park Yard Sale is coming soon. Saturday August 12.

Time to clean out all your stuff, empty the closets and garages and make a little money.

  • REGISTER, send an email to with your address.
  • MAP will be provided to Alderman and posted on various sites



And always remember…

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful caring citizens can change the world.

Indeed its all that ever has.

Sheridan Park Grand Opening 1st Little Free Library


The very first Little Free Library in Sheridan Park had a very grand opening indeed on Sunday, July 9th!



Sheridan Park’s very first Little Free Library was the inspiration of Dinah Barthelmess and Sonja Solberg, after learning about the Edgewater Reads organization’s incredible mission to provide Little Free Libraries all around Edgewater.  They decided to sign up for the build-a-little-free-library class. Even though they paid a fee being outside Edgewater.


What a Grand Opening! Neighbors came, kids and adults, arms loaded with books. Bring a book, take a book, read a book.  We made new friends, talked about our favorite authors, watched the kids happily reading. Refreshments completed a wonderful afternoon.


Please read Dinah and Sonja’s personal sentiments about their wonderful event….


“Many thanks to all the friends and neighbors who came out to the Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of our new Little Free Library on the 4400 block of Racine! In addition to swapping great books, we met lots of new neighbors. We hope the library will continue to bring folks together and provide enjoyment for everyone in our community. You can even check in on Facebook when you stop by; just search for Racine Reads.


If you have books you’d like to donate, they can be brought to Alderman Osterman’s 48th Ward Office at 5533 North Broadway, where they collect books to source all of the Little Free Libraries in the area. Or if there is room in our Little Free Library, please leave them. Special thanks for Edgewater Reads for all they do to support our communities by bringing more than 75 Little Free Libraries to Edgewater and now Uptown! Check out Edgewater Reads on Facebook! Take a book, leave a book, read a book!


Any Questions? Or Suggestions? Please contact Dinah Barthelmess at and Sonja Solberg at