Little distress, lots of life on Drake Avenue

The way Alderman Mell’s been talking, you’d be forgiven for thinking Albany Park was a wasteland of board-ups and junkies these days. Using this foreclosure map as our guide, Joe and I took a trip northwest yesterday to check things out.

The largest concentration of distressed properties seemed to be in the rectangle formed by Monticello, Kimball, Lawrence, and Montrose avenues, but from street level we saw far more well-kept homes than boarded-up buildings. In the 4600 block of North Drake Avenue we found Drake Gardens, a lush community garden that obviously receives some tender loving care. There may be pockets of Albany Park that are suffering, but Drake between Lawrence and Montrose appeared to be a street many Chicagoans would envy.

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