Maywood IL: Can it be Revitalized?

Maywood IL: Can it be Revitalized?
PHOTOGRAPHY: DENNIS RODKIN

Once a thriving middle class neighborhood in the 60s and 70s, Maywood is now plagued by issues of crime and the consequences of  years of financial corruption and mismanagement. Technically, I did not grow up in Maywood, but I was born at Loyola hospital. We lived in a beautiful white house with a spacious yard until I was four years old. Though we moved to the neighboring town of Bellwood, I still had important ties to Maywood, including family and my Catholic Elementary School that I attended.  My parents eventually moved to Florida after  I went off to college, and several years later I moved out of state. I missed the slow decline and the issues that plagued the small village.  I recently inboxed a friend on Facebook asking that he write a book about the town. Why? Because I think there is a larger story there, and if those 22 blocks could talk, they would have a lot to say.

There is a revitalization that will hopefully take place sooner than later. One key person attempting to revitalize the town is a man by the name of Jim Brewer. Jim Brewer is a lifelong resident of Maywood, who led the Proviso East Pirates basketball team to their first State High School Basketball Championship in 1969, establishing a tradition of pride and athletic excellence that endures today. As a candidate for Proviso Township Democratic Committeeman he hopes to start the process of revitalizing the village that once was a beacon of hope for the African American middle class.   Hopefully, through comprehensive overhaul and strategic planning, Maywood will be revitalized. The beauty of the bungalows displayed in a recent Chicago Magazine article are a testament to the beauty and potential in Maywood.

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