Photos: Courtesy of Christine Geovanis and Katie Osgood
The field house was demolished after almost three years of being used as a library, operated after school programs and special events for the Whittier Elementary School parents, children and the Pilsen community.
By H. Nelson Goodson
August 18, 2013
Chicago, Illinois - After an over night vigil by Pilsen community members, children and supporters to save a field house community center from being demolish, attempts to block demolition on Saturday failed. At least ten people were arrested by Chicago police and once the front of the building was cleared of protesters, a demolition crew razed the field house known as "La Casita" around 5:20 p.m. as people and children in tears watched.
One man held a sign "La Casita, Our House, Our Kids, Our Hearts."
The Hispanic parents learned of the demolition on Friday night, while they were attending a Mexican cultural event at the center.
WGNTV reported that the building was considered unsafe for occupancy because it was deteriorating. Two previous Chicago Public School District officials Ron Huberman and Jean Claude Brizard had vowed to bring the field house to code. But parents say, the school district never did, because they had plans to demolish it and replace it with a soccer field, plaground and basket court for a neighboring private school.
The Pilsen parents are also blaming Alderman Daniel Solis for letting them down and never sticking to the truth about what plans were actually being planned for the property. Solis send out a press release indicating the field house was deteriorating, unsafe and needed to be razed. The parents disagreed.