Nichols Tower is Re-emerging as the ‘crown jewel’ of North Lawndale

alt text By Ariel Walton, Arts and Cutlure Reporter, The Real Chi


North Lawndale was a booming economic hub of Chicago in the early 1900s when the community was filled with major businesses including Sears Roebuck and Western Electric. Overtime, as demographics changed, Sears and other businesses left the neighborhood and poverty levels began to increase. The neighborhood experienced more turmoil during the riots of ‘67, following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., taking more of its vitality and residents away.

Real Chi Youth reporter Ariel Walton sat and spoke with Blanche Suggs-Killingsworth of Neighborhood Housing Services, and Arquis Stewart, a building engineer, who both work in the Nichols Tower -- the original Sears tower -- once the center of economic activity in North Lawndale.

Blanche arrived in North Lawndale when she first migrated from the South to live in Chicago in 1967. She witnessed the neighborhood in its prime and even worked in the Sears building before they left the community. Arquis first encountered the tower after its fall, when it was just an abandoned building and a bus stop. He watched the tower’s renovation and sees it now poised to become a community hub in the modern North Lawndale.

CORRECTION: This piece originally had an image that was not Laura Lode. We regret the error and have rectified it.