CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – During this Black History month, some South Shore residents and others say they have a piece of black history right along 71st Street.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the one-story commercial building at 2152-2154 E. 71st St. does not stand out from any of the others along the Metra tracks.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Bernie Tafoya reports
But Robin Boyd-Clark says the storefront where her aromatherapy business, Scentuary, now stands, should stand out. It is the site of President Barack Obama’s first campaign, and district office when he was an Illinois state senator.
Boyd-Clark and others now call the building a community landmark.
“We would like to have the building landmarked so that nothing happens to it, and that it’s here for future generations to be able to remember his work,” she said.
On a Facebook group, Boyd-Clark says landmarking the structure, which is called the Hamilton Building, will boost pedestrian traffic and bring businesses, attract tour groups, and inspire neighborhood residents.
Boyd-Clark also said it would be a source of pride for African-Americans, since it is located on a stretch of 71st Street that carries the honorary name Emmett Till Road. The linkage boy whose brutal murder in Mississippi is considered a catalyst for the civil rights movement, and the first African-American president, “merges the American past and present, indicative of some measurable change as a nation,” Boyd-Clark wrote.
Boyd-Clark says the city last year turned down her request to have the building made a city landmark.