Sep 16

Next UVNA Meeting: Thursday, September 22nd

When and Where:
Thursday Night, September 22nd from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. To be held in the basement meeting room at St. Helen Catholic School (2347 W Augusta Blvd). The entrance is off of Augusta Blvd. near the statue.

The Topics:
We will be reviewing upcoming projects in the neighborhood (some of which will be voted on at the next meeting on October 20th, 2016).

We will also discuss the results of an online poll about what the UVNA should focus on in the next year. Among them safety, repairs, preservation and education. This will add to our discussion of the best things Ukrainian Village has to offer and how the UVNA can help promote the neighborhood. For instance, don’t forget about the upcoming Open House Chicago neighborhood tours.

More topics may be added in the next week, we will send out another reminder email before the 22nd.

Please come out and join in the discussion, even bring a neighbor or two if you’d like. We hope everyone can stop by. We want to give a special thank you to Marianne Johnson and St. Helen Catholic School for letting us use their space for this meeting.

Ukrainian Village in the News:

Landmark Protected 1890s Ukrainian Village Cottage Asks $524,500
Historic Ukrainian Village Mansion Comes with Seven Bedrooms and Two Apartments
Yelp’s Best 10 Restaurants Near Ukrainian Village
Chicago Reader’s Best Bars Near Ukrainian Village
Why a 19th century neighborhood in Chicago was just named the hottest in the US for 2016

Additional 2016 meetings of the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association will be on Thursday, October 20th and Thursday, November 17th . All 2016 meetings will be at 6:30pm, located in the basement meeting space of St. Helen’s Catholic School (2347 W Augusta Blvd).

The next CAPS meeting is on Tuesday, October 4th at 7:00pm. Located in the basement meeting space of St. Helen’s Catholic School (2347 W Augusta Blvd).

Aug 14

A history of St. John’s church, the community vote and what to expect


Below is a summary of what was discussed at the recent UVNA meeting in regards to the redevelopment of the old St. John’s church and school building at the corner of Hoyne and Walton.

St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church
It was built between 1905 and 1906 by German immigrants and Worthmann & Steinbach, a Chicago-based architectural firm. The congregation and school trace their history back to 1867 (Chicago itself was founded in 1833 and incorporated in 1837). In the case of St. John’s they dissolved in 1974 and sold the property to the Seventh-day Adventists. They started a Spanish-speaking congregation in the church and used the school as a social service center. Then, as with the congregation before them, their congregation moved from the area and they decided to sell the property.

By 2002, when it was known as the Central Hispanic Church, engineers report significant structural movement. Places the floor had separated from the walls. In 2005, the interior was stripped bare, with all of the pews and other furnishings removed. In 2009, a city water main broke and the basement was flooded before it was discovered and stopped. Since then vandals have also ripped out the building’s plumbing and wiring, causing extensive damage in the process.

In 2012 the property was listed for $2.6 million: “the Church will be offered via sealed-bid auction with a minimum bid set at $1 million”. Alex Troyanovsky bought the former Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in February of 2013 for around $1.1 million. That same month the building were designated a historical landmark by the city, thanks to the efforts of Alderman Waguespack.

In the 2 years since there have been proposals for redevelopment that were eventually not supported by the Landmarks Commission and in some cases not supported by neighbors. In July 2014, Landmarks approved the newest plans for redevelopment, leading to an outdoor meeting of the UVNA to discuss the plans with the new project architect Victor Drapszo of Red Architects.

The current plan is expected to have a variety of 2 and 3 bedroom units, and each of the buildings will have three floors with a possible 10 units per building.

The Church building: In the front of the building (Hoyne side), the façade and stained glass will be restored to their original state. The damaged stairs will be fixed, and new railings will be installed. On the side of the building (Walton side), the façade will be preserved, and the window shapes will remain the same. The stained glass on that side will be removed and either sold or reused elsewhere in the project.

The School building: The school building will also have the façade and windows restored, along with the front door (which will be decorative only). The glass blocks on the lower floor will be opened up into more traditional windows, and the molding around the windows will be restored. New entrances will be added on both sides. There will be an addition in the back, where the roof will be raised 10 feet. The addition will not be visible from the street per the terms of the Landmarks Commission.

Parking: Both buildings will have parking. There will be room for 10 cars in the church (accessed through one main garage door), 8 in the school (4 two-car garages off the alley), and 2 in outdoor spaces on the property (between the two buildings). The developers are proposing that cars use the back alleyway to enter and exit the parking areas.
Some residents at our July meeting were concerned about the alley proposal for garage traffic. They believe the alley is too small to handle that kind of traffic (20 extra cars). In addition, the Landmarks Commission would prefer the design with the alley. They did not want to approve the curb cut and added traffic onto Hoyne, Previous UVNA membership meetings and surveys showed neighbors were unhappy with a curb cut and preferred an alley exit for cars.

In July the UVNA had requesting additional protection for the alley, including mirrors, signage, and additional lighting be placed in the alley for the plan to move forward. The UVNA had also requested regular grounds maintenance for the duration of the project (trim the bushes and mow the grass around the property, and to secure all openings into the property).

Property: By August the grounds had been cleaned up, and the architect wrote us that “we can provide additional safety elements like additional lighting and mirrors on intersection of Walton Street and alley, for the safety of pedestrians and one way traffic on Walton St. For the school garage, we will move the parking stalls as far as possible into the building so it will give more space for turns.”
Also neighbors wanted more accountability on work taking place at odd hours. Igor with MBI construction is the main contact, just reach out to Steve Niketopoulos at president@unva.org if you need help with any issues.

Regarding construction, all that has been done is interior demolition. As of the August meeting they did not have the permit to begin work on the outside, so there is no timeline to share. What we do know is they hope to have the School building ready for sales next Fall (2015), and already have a name for the new project, calling this “The Belfry”. The Church building should be ready for sales a few months after the School building.

Community Vote: At the August UVNA Membership meeting we discussed all the above points. The vote for the Church redevelopment was 20-3 in favor. The vote for UVNA membership was 11-1 in favor, while neighbors who were not current members voted 9-2 in favor. We made sure to let all neighbors who attended to have a say in this process as this has been something in development for years.

Many neighbors believed it was more important to see this property refurbished and lived in than remain vacant and not maintained. We plan on adding any new information about construction timelines to our mailing list and Facebook page as soon as we receive them. We have contacted the 2nd Ward to let Alderman Fioretti know we support these current plans.

Thank you to everyone for being an engaged community, through the efforts of many neighbors this building will remain a fixture in Ukrainian Village.

* Full plans for the development are available here: http://www.uvna.org/2014/07/urgent-meeting-this-thursday-night-about-development-changes-to-the-old-st-johns-church-building-and-school-hoynewalton/

Mar 11

UVNA Newsletter: March 2011

Next Meeting of the UVNA: Thursday, March 17th, 2010, 6:30pm

Hoyne Avenue Wesleyan Church

900 N. Hoyne

All Residents Welcome!


March Newsletter Highlights:

  • US Census Results Available Online
  • Senior Exemption & Tax Freeze Workshop
  • Graffiti Alert
  • St. Nicholas Cathedral School 75th Anniversary Celebration
  • Ukrainian National Museum Easter Egg Workshop
  • Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art Annual Fundraiser & Silent Auction


Click to download the full newsletter

Aug 10

UVNA Newsletter: August 2010


  • July meeting recap
  • The Annual St. Helen’s Festival will take place August 27-29
  • St. Nicholas School is hosting a Farmers Market and Recycling Drop-off day
  • 1st and 32nd Ward Updates
  • Ukrainian National Museum and Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art events

Download the August Newsletter

>>newsletter archive

Jul 10

UVNA Newsletter: July 2010


  • June meeting recap
  • Blue Recycling Bin updates
  • 13th District Police Beat 1312 is looking for Court Advocates
  • 1st and 32nd Ward Updates
  • Ukrainian National Museum and Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art events
  • Follow St. Nicholas students’ sustainable garden activities on their blog:  stnicholas60622.blogspot.com

Download the July Newsletter

>>newsletter archive


  • May meeting recap
  • Larry Shure, from the Landmarks Commission presented overview of permit application for historic district properties
  • Anti-Cruelty Society is seeking Court Advocates
  • 1st, 26th, and 32nd Ward Updates
  • 2010 Neighborhood Paper Drive comes to Ukrainian Village on June 5th

Download the June Newsletter

>>newsletter archive