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Monday, November 09, 2009

Aurora Housing Authority's Chronic Problem of Jericho Circle Complex to Be Demolished Summer 2010



Congratulations to the Aurora Housing Authority (AHA), City of Aurora taxpayers and residents of Aurora's 4th Ward...the chronic problem also known as Jericho Circle will be eliminated in the summer of 2010.

After years of neglect, poor living conditions and many problems, when Rick Lawrence became 4th Ward Alderman, he promised to aggressively push for improvements or change. From dealing with crime to giving kids a computer lab to forcing the AHA to meet the same housing standards in the city all other landlords are required to follow, he's forced the AHA to confront the problems and the difficult solutions.

Former AHA Executive Director Rick Brace was also among those saying the board needed to take bold action, including considering demolishing the complex given the skyrocketing costs to maintain.

Some, such as AHA board member Jerry Jones, said there was no problem, but Lawrence and city officials pursued the matter until the board eventually acknowledged the situation.

Residents will be given vouchers to move to better housing conditions and the elimination of Jericho Circle is expected summer 2010.

Demolishing the old, status-quo problems of the past is a positive step forward for the future of Aurora.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's great! Now, if we can do this to most of downtown Aurora, we are talking!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can take the vouchers and move to Geneva, where the Beacon guys like to live.

Anonymous said...

Vouchers, how about driving these losers out of town instead?

Anonymous said...

Where do they plan on moving them?

Anonymous said...

Hopefully to Naperville to pay them back for shipping their refuse over here.

Anonymous said...

So if they rebuild another Jericho Circle housing complex, we're right back where we were. So what then did we accomplished? They better make it like Stonebridge.

Anonymous said...

GOOD WORK RICK !!

Anonymous said...

To 8:28;

Why would you want to tear down our historic downtown?

Get involved and help bring it back.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I would like to see torn down is the new Waubonsee Community College beast on the river.

Anonymous said...

They will move them to the east side that were all the losers the west side does not want go

Anonymous said...

8:09 - the west side is falling fast. Even Lawrence's area is going down fast. Prairie to Kensington is really getting rough. My guess is they will advance to Edgelawn. They cross Edgelawn Aurora is done for.

Anonymous said...

Let's see. On top of the hundreds of CHA tenants coming into the AHA's Section 8 program, we will unleash the Jericho Circle residents into our neighborhoods as well. That will make a number of "hoods."

Anonymous said...

Lets see...They have been notfied...Should be plenty of time to get your life in order, get a job, stop having children and be a productive member of society.....

Anonymous said...


Lets see...They have been notfied...Should be plenty of time to get your life in order, get a job, stop having children and be a productive member of society.....


Not as long as you have bleeding hearts like Lawrence coddling these people, wasting our money on them and their children. They will just wait to the next hand-out.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like it is going to be rebuilt as rental townhouses w/ some owner occupied. You can not sell residential anywhere around here right now. Who is going to buy down there with a mix of rental.

Also is this the same Cindi Herrera that was once the AHA Executive Director. This does not smell good.

Anonymous said...

I love that video.

By the way, the Beacon stole this story from the blog.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the old Copley Hospital, soon-to-be former Waubonsee College, City Hall, current police station, library and 90% of downtown to be demolished. Then, we can really move this city forward.

I wonder if the same historic preservationists like Jan Mangers, Shauna Wiet and Shirley Flahterty who try to save other crap in this city will try to save the zero quality Jericho Circle on the basis of unique mold strains or roaches.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to slightly disagree with the above comment. I'm all for demolishing Copley Hospital, but also Bardwell School, too. They are both too old to maintain. They should build a new school on Copley's site and then put a park on Bardwell's site.

I agree with everything else and would also like to see the preservationist agenda demolished in this city.

Anonymous said...

Bardwell escuela is the only decent looking elementary school in Aurora. It should be preserved as a historical structure.

Anonymous said...

"bleeding hearts like Lawrence"???

How funny is that? I bet you are laughing, Rick.

Anonymous said...

Question:

Why do you who hate this town and it's government so much, still live here?

Anonymous said...

Because we can't sell our house.
Nobody wants to live in Aurora.
It's a cesspool and everybody knows it.

Anonymous said...

Why did you buy here?

Anonymous said...

Not soooooo fasssssstttt AHA and City of Aurora! Let's not be hasty in seeking demolition of these relics. I hear that the Preservation Commission has already placed an item regarding their fate on their next agenda. I hear that the buildings at Jericho Circle and Maple Terrace have "excellent bones" and their removal would truly detract from "the personality of their blocks." What an injustice to engineer their removal and I hear that the other blog is already posting a plea for clemency and stay of execution! Hurry, buttercups, it's not too late to screw this one up!

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:44 a.m. from yesterday:

What makes Prairie to Kensington so rough now? Have the Mau Mau's moved in? The Goth's? Irish Travelers? Gypsy's? Section 8 Assasin's? Or is it those roving bands of assorted kids from Freeman? Those gum wrappers and discarded school flyers have been known to clog sewers and kill people. That I do know. Better check the ventilation in your drain pipes right now before you and your neighbors perish.

Anonymous said...

Hello anonymous losers , People like you guys that make it hard for people in Jericho circle not everyone gets to grow up in ritsy white suburbs alot of these children dont have choices I live there for 16 years my father was disabled. Im now in nursing. Yes I agree there are people who refuse to work and help themselves but it makes me sick that prejudice people like you still exist to stereo type everyone because they live in a low income housing you have no idea what its like to grow up this way. These people are human being just like yourself Im sure if the money was available more than half these kids would choose to go to college and help themselves

Anonymous said...

The roaches in this complex are truly nuclear and worth preserving along with their habitat. It would be a shame to destroy the buildings and their habitat thus forcing them to suffer displacia and other stress inducing maladies. Roaches and preservationists unite. A whinning as well as winning combination fighting for the betterment of the insectual and cultural health of our City.

Anonymous said...

Well, for a "lone" voice, Rick Lawrence was extremely effective in changing the situation at Jericho Circle. It's because of Rick that people started paying attention and acknowledged the crisis there. Rick is the one who got the AHA to have to comply with the same standards everyone else must adhere to.

That's leadership. That's moving things in the right direction. I'll give Weisner credit, too. He recognized Rick was right on this issue and they both pushed solutions forward in their own way.

This is good for Aurora and the residents to be rid of these complexes. The model of putting people into a complex is dysfunctional and wrong.

Anonymous said...

Tear the shit down. Put them all on the eastbound train back to Chicago.

Anonymous said...

People like you guys that make it hard for people in Jericho circle not everyone gets to grow up in ritsy white suburbs alot of these children dont have choices I live there for 16 years my father was disabled. Im now in nursing. Yes I agree there are people who refuse to work and help themselves but it makes me sick that prejudice people like you still exist to stereo type everyone because they live in a low income housing you have no idea what its like to grow up this way. These people are human being just like yourself Im sure if the money was available more than half these kids would choose to go to college and help themselves


Who gives a flying fuck? Really. If you offed every single resident in WestWood who would really give a damn? Here is the truth, I am by most measures very successful, however if I died tomorrow it would not change the world. My life is insignificant. Well guess what, these people are even more insignificant and their lives do not matter, my life does not matter, and your life does not matter. Get over it. Life is rough. The only people who care about this stuff are egomaniacs who actually think they make a difference. Mankind as whole is insignificant and does not matter. Many of you people have the intellectual scope of understanding of a retard.

And the fact that you think going to college is some sort of magic key fro success demonstrates beyond a doubt you are a fool. That is but one path. There are many, and the people living there do not avail themselves of the resources already available. All they will do is lower the already low standard of colleges. Been to WCC lately, the standards in school are so low they have to placement test everyone because a high schoolers can graduate and still be functionally illiterate, unable to do basic math, and unable to write.

Sorry, but the most logical course of action is simply to allocate resources to subjects most likely to make a positive contribution and to minimize the impact of the others.

Anonymous said...

Dear 2:10 p.m.-

I must take offense to your discriminatory and exclusionary position of singling out roaches as the only worthy representative of the insect community that would suffer irreparable harm should these buildings be demolished.

While I would agree that building removal would be highly traumatic, and affect the happiness, well-being and general welfare of german cockroaches both living within and having visited this grouping of buildings over the last thirty seven years, I would submit that other wildlife residing in the general area would suffer every bit as much trauma but at a far more intensive level, should these buildings be so heartlessly and thoughtlessly removed.

Here in Aurora, so much of our humanistic and mammalic heritage, both architectural and historical, has been ripped from our existence, right before our very eyes, that the thought of losing another group of significant buildings must be causing untold angst and suffering in the minds of the innumerable possums, raccoons, rabbits, coyotes, foxes and other warm-blooded and furry creatures who have happily lived and frolicked in this area of urban and bucolic cross-over on the far southwestern fringe of our City for years.

They probably moved here generations ago, when the mix of cornfields, country club, meadows and townhomes offered the best that life could offer on the fringes of an Illinois City.

Have they no rights? Have they no factor in the dialogue of deciding whether to remove or retain this complex? Can they be expected to know that after demolition a new town home complex with fresh opportunities for discarded food scraps and loose trash cans awaits their eager noses? Can they envision the new street grid with untold new passageways and shortcuts to the best after dinner snacking available in the southern part of Kane County? Alas, I think not.

For now, they can only be expected to sit perplexed as the machinery and cranes remove another part of this City's past and erase it forever from their memories and everyone else's.

But next time, please don't put the feelings of innocent inhabitants in a box, you pig. Think expansively. We are nearing the end of the first decade of the new millennium.

It's a big world out there with lots of individuals and positions to consider. Tearing down these buildings and creating opportunity for an improved living environment brings with it heartache and bewilderment for many.

Anonymous said...

I think you have struck a holistic chord, not only with myself, but with much of the readership out here. I am willing to sign a petition blocking the demolition of this complex based upon the wonderful factors you have brought to light. Destroying this well-conceived living environment just seems so wrong.

Anonymous said...

What makes Prairie to Kensington so rough now?

Hispanics living several families to a home, education standards slipping, many, many, many Latino drug dealers in the neighborhood (there were 3 on Buell, but Lawrence got rid of one household, thefts are way, way up, and twice in the last month women have been sexually harassed by carloads of motorists. AU should be renamed NU, the new breed of students there are ruining hte neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

You must belong to the Aurora Country Club.

Anonymous said...

The west side is slipping, no doubt. All you have to do is pay attention to the condition of the homes west of View Street, both north and south of Galena. The city cannot, or will not acknowledge the physical deterioration and act on it.

As far as the Preservation haters on here, I'd like know exactly what strategy and plans you would implement to stabilize central Aurora, and start to turn things around. Saying things like "Demolish the entire downtown" don't count. I'd like to read some serious ideas, that are based in reality.

Anonymous said...

stabilize central Aurora

Recoup fees for police services when appropriate. Increase the city tax portion on rental property significantly. Impose on street parkign bans that are enforced, thus inconveniencing those who live with many people to a family. Under U.S. ;law local law enforcement officials can enforce immigration law and they should. Eliminate most of the subsidies currently available to home owners, driving out dependents.

Enforce the loud music bans on cars, strongly enforce snow parking regulations to clear the streets. Ticket > 16 bicycle riders riding without ligths after dusk.

Enforce curfew laws. Use what ever press and opportunity to praise academics over athletic achievement.

Just a few to get it started.

Anonymous said...

11:01--

That area looks fine to me and I see it every day. We don't hate preservation as much as we dislike your whining attitude that nothing in this City is ever go enough. As far the downtown and other things around it like Copley, Aurora Christian, the old train office, etc. you would have far more credibility if you could find end users and match your passion with some economic reality and common sense. At least just once. Maybe then, people would listen to you and take you more seriously. Until then, guess you can be satisfied with your other blog and roll your eyes as you elevate yourselves in observation of other Aurorans. Happy platitudes.

Anonymous said...

12:42 those are all good ideas. I'd like to see ANY of them put into play - maybe someone with some pull at city hall is reading this.

1:34 - If that area looks "fine" than you aren't looking very closely or your standards are about two inches above ground level. Just this morning I drove by a home on West Galena that had new mismatched windows installed in three different spots, none of which filled the original opening - the extra area was filled with unpainted plywood. If you find that acceptable, than we have no common grounds for discussion regarding this topic.

And your pointed reference to the Tanner District blog and your not-so-subtle hints about knowing who I am is getting old. Big deal. We know who you are too. At least we vet our comments, and don't publish hateful, bigoted bile.

And for your information, we do try and have conversations about redevelopment, re-branding, raising awareness and about any other avenue we can take as "old Aurora" residents to create interest in buildings like the former Aurora Christian School. Unfortunately, when agendas are discussed behind closed doors, there is not much you can do. The city won't even deal with water pouring into the building, let alone seriously explore avenues for redevelopment. If the economy sucks, mothball the damn thing and wait it out.

Anonymous said...

And if the west side is doing so well, why are people just off Garfield and Commonwealth getting COP officer notification that there are drug dealers in the neighborhood?

Anonymous said...

And I drove by a house on West Galena with nicely restored brick and vines growing up on all the walls. It's right across the street from Greenman School and there are plenty of other examples of well maintained places on this busy street. Too bad you can never see the good in the neighborhood and how unfortunate thar you relentlessly post your whining snivels about windows that don't fit and plebian attempts at remuddling. We don't hate on preservation, we just find consistently critical, negative, sour posting unproductive.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks the West side has not declined has either not lived here very long, lacks the power of observation or is a liar.

The entire are north of Galena, west of 31 and east of Elmwood and south of Illinois has declined substantially.

The area west of 31 and South of Prairie and east of Elmwood has declined substantially.

All of Woodlawn north of Prairie has severely declined.

The area South of Prairie and west of Elmwood and East of Terry has dramatically declined.

The area north of Indian Trail, south of Sullivan, West of Edgelawn and East of FoxCroft Drive has dramatically declined.

The Area north of Galena, east of Highland, South of Indian Trail, except Riddle Highlands has substantially declined.

The area West of Highland, south of Sullivan, north of Indian Trail, east of Randall has really deteriorated.

And there are more, these are just obvious areas of decline that no reasonable person, who has be in Aurora for decades could dispute.

big d said...

Jerry Jones is the head of AHA. Is this the same guy that owns the Dallas Cowboys??

Anonymous said...

One suggestion on relieving overcrowding: the school districts know how many children are registered at each address, allow them to assess each property that has more than the legal limit of people per square foot by the amount of each child's school cost ($8500/yr)and then the school budgets will be balanced and the overcrowding lessened.

Anonymous said...

The entire City is declining substantially. I miss those things that made this City so great back in the day. There are no more outhouses in the back yards of homes east of Farnsworth. The drainage ditches along the streets no longer fill with the scented fragrance of live excrement in the springtime. The aluminum plant on Rathbone does not spew toxic smoke that we all can breath. The scrap yard on Aurora Avenue and Indian Trail no longer burns its pile of residue all night so that it corrodes doors off the hinges across the street. I really miss all of the junk yards that we used to have located on South Lake Street, Third Street, and that big nice one on North Broadway where there is actually a park now. Let's not forget that other chemical dumps on Montgomery Road and Jackson and the scrap yard on Dearborn. They all adherd to the best environmental standards going. And how about all of the trash dumps that used to exist throughout the City's east and near west sides? You remember, like those lots on Parker and State Street where everybody could through their old appliances and brush or the empty lot on North Kendall where everything got dumped or the way the railroad right-of-ways throughout the City used to be dotted with all kinds of crap both big and small. How about those beautiful apartment houses on North Lincoln Avenue with those really nice two story staircases in front? Yeah, you remember, the ones right up the street from the rows of whorehouses run by the underworld influence in our City and right down the street from that after hours joint where you brought in your own booze and bought a bottle of 7-Up for five bucks. And let's fondly remember those chicken coop rooming houses on North Broadway where the sleeping areas were divided by chicken wire and the mattresses were really vintage. Yes, let's lament that Aurora has changed and continue to be entirely selective in so quaintly remembering when.....

Anonymous said...

The city has still declined. Good neighborhoods have fallen hards as someone listed.

So you can breath clean air as you dodge bullets on your front porch.

Anonymous said...

While we stroll down memory lane, let's not forget to reminisce about those houses that used to have dirt floors near Moecherville and on Plain Avenue. And please bring to everyone's forefront that fine drinking establishment at Farnsworth and New York that had the open urinal along the wall for emptying bladders. That was a high end foundation for commercial development. And don't forget the swamp around Mastadon Lake. Yes, I know it was a wetlands but it sure stunk in the summer and provided great habitat for slew rats that were a foot long. I remember fondly how they used to get into basements and line the tops of the walls when the frost was on the cattails. It was truly magnificent when the peat beds would burn in the fall and the smoldering odor would languish over the southeast side for several days while the fires were extinguished and re-set. And how about the wonderful habitat that used to exist at New York and Broadway. Lest we forget the wonderful gaming available for prostitutes and the fine quality of the bars lining those palisades. No violence here. No pool cues righted into the air and no beer bottles stabbed into blotchy flesh. Only milk and cookies as these fine Aurorans whiled the night away in luxurious splendor and bliss. We had great freedom to burn trash in our back yards and let the larger stuff burn in the municipal dump.

Yes, a far more enlightened time. When you speak about Aurora past, please take off the rose colored glasses. It was never a beautiful, idyllic hamlet of happily never endingness.

It had warts and rashes back then just like it has now only they were a little different.

Anonymous said...

RIP Joe B.

Anonymous said...

10:57 almost every problem you list is an east side or south die issue, the point is the contamination that was the east side and south side has now crept into the west side.

Anonymous said...

Aurora's so progressed,they totally redid the parking lot at Maple Terrace before tearing the building down. Now thats progress.

Anonymous said...

I think the person who wrote that the area between Prairie and Kensington is bad now.. is crazy. There is nothing wrong with that area. It's quite peaceful and people keep their homes up in that area. IF there is a drug dealer in that area or illegal activities going on, it is your responsibility to report these things to the police. If you find that there is more than one family to a home.. report it to the city standards department.. let them take care of it. If you think Aurora is so dangerous or so run down, MOVE... Aurora hasn't changed all that much in the past 10+ years in the neighborhoods you've listed, so I am sure you can sell your home for what you paid for it.

Anonymous said...

The Dallas Cowboy's owner isn't gay.

Anonymous said...

10:20 I live in that area and it has gone downhill. And why do you think so many squad cars now patrol the area? There is a drug, gang component now that they are trying to resolve, but it is there now. I find it telling that a couple of officers that live in the area are now moving, they know what is coming long term. It may not be bad, bad, but it has had a very negative change over the years and it is not trending up.

Anonymous said...

The "problems" in the AU area may be due to all the college kids in that area.

Anonymous said...

1:34 - the "new breed" of college kids at AU are a problem for sure. However the overall decline is simply demographics and upward mobility. Several of these areas at one time were populated by doctors and lawyers. Few now ride in them as they have left for more upscale housing with the changing trend in housing. The city exacerbated the problem by keeping tight reigns on modernization efforts many attempted. I know one that wanted to bump out the front of his house to accommodate a two garage with a circular drive, so essentially he could drive his car in one door and out the other and convert the current attached garage into living space. I saw the architecture plans and they were nice. the side wanted all the houses on the street to have the same set backs. So he simply moved and there went a 250k a year income over to Sugar Grove. So now that house is occupied by more than one family of Mexicans.

Now if he wanted to add on in the back, or attach wood frame to stone or build some tacky addition the city would have been fine with that so long as the setback is maintained.

I had similar issues when I wanted to expand my house. We ended up keeping it as is, and I am glad I did because if I ever added that square footage with the taxes now I would probably been forced to move anyways.

The trouble with this city is that the city council is filled with borderline retards with no sense of the real future. They continue to dwell on old fashioned ideas of community that are archaic in a modern, globalized, mobile community.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it ironic that the Preservation Director lives in Chicago? Check Jan Mangers Facebook page, it's cute.

Then supposedly she tells people she lives in Aurora.

Jericho Circle, Copley Hospital, and Downtown Aurora should have been demolished 20 yrs. ago.

Thank You for demolishing Stolp Street to make way for WCC.

That was an improvement.

Anonymous said...

Well, That great but what about the others who live in trash? And it would be great if I could get in touch with Aurora Public Housing or I should say Section Housing? Actually how can you get in touch with them? They are never there nor do they answer the phone. For years now and it's thew same thing all the time We are not excepting applications until next year. I have been hearing this same song and dance for years now and I am tired of it. My husband has cancer and we cannot afford to live where we are living. I had to take money from our bills and food money to get him the kemo drugs that he needed, but I still cannot even get any kind of reduced housing. Nice Ha?