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Bucktown/Wicker Park To Incorporate And Take Name "Lincoln Park The Second"

By Sam Bakken in News on Apr 18, 2005 7:04PM

Photo of Damen, North, Milwakee intersection by Rachelle BowdenEverybody's favorite rock stars Bucktown and Wicker Park are selling out. It used to be about the art man, but now they're releasing sugary pop songs written by Swedes and advertisements disguised as pop-art. We knew the day would come, rumors have been circulating, and it's enough to make us cry little struggling-artist tears. Won't somebody please think of the hipsters!

Crain's reports (subscription may be required) today that the following chain-stores are infiltrating the neighborhood:

--J. Crew is scouting for a spot in the neighborhood
--The Gap is scouting for a spot in the neighborhood
--An Urban Outfitters store is set to open on Milwaukee Ave. this summer
--Los Angeles-based T-shirt Chain American Apparel opened on Milwaukee Ave. in November
--A Dutch jean's G-Star Denim store will open later this year
--New York's "funky" apparel store Scoop to open later this year

We don't want to get all apocalyptic on your ass, but these stores will probably change the culture of the neighborhood. But say what you will, the ebb and flow of Chicago culture is nothing new to the area.

According to "The Encyclopedia of Chicago", after the fire of 1871 well-to-do Scandinavians and Germans moved to the area and, with images of flame eating wood all too present in their mind's eye, built brick and stone mansions . In the 1930s, these wealthy residents abandoned their mansions and throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s the mansions were broken up into separate residences for poor and working-class families. Then in the 80s, young professionals of the Caucasian persuasion began buying up these mansions and returning them to their original single family home status.

What neighborhood do you think the lower-class and artistically-inclined should conquer next (that conquest inevitably leading to the raping and pillaging of the area by the well-to-do)? If history teaches us anything, it should be an area currently inhabited, and eventually abandoned, by the wealthy.

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