Monday, March 26, 2012, at 7 pm @ the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.
I want to invite you to attend a community meeting organized by the Six Corners, Portage Park Neighborhood and Old Irving Park associations in order to save the Portage Theater. From the associations: Come to this event to find out exactly what you as an individual can do. Help us save this neighborhood icon! We will make sure you leave with everything you need to save the Portage Theater.
What’s at stake?
Chicago Tabernacle would like to convert the theater into their worship space, remove the marquee, alter the auditorium, and eliminate the storefronts and half the apartments for offices and classrooms. You can find the recent Chicago Tribune story on the proposal here.
Church Reconsiders Participation in Zoning Review Process
I have encouraged the Chicago Tabernacle to follow my zoning and special use permit process since last September. After I brought it up with them again last week, our office received a phone call this week from the Chicago Tabernacle indicating that they now intend to follow this more community-oriented development plan.
As the first step in that process, the church must submit documents indicating the extent of their plans to my office. Following that, I will meet with the church, and their plans will be reviewed by our community zoning advisory council. I will also ask the church to present their plans to the community at large.
The church has not yet submitted the required documents. The only indication we have that they will engage in this process is their word. Once they submit the documents, we will schedule the required meeting. I’ll let you know when that meeting is scheduled through this newsletter and our website.
Overwhelming Support for the Portage
There is significant support for preserving the historic Portage Theater from throughout the city and around the region. As of 9 am today, my office has received 389 emails concerning Chicago Tabernacle’s special use permit request. Two have supported the church’s request. The remainder support preserving the Portage in its present form. Additionally, 1,623 people are following a Facebook group set up in support of the Portage.