Archive for the Tales of the 262 Category

Old Kohl’s Food Store Before Demolition

Posted in Racine, Tales of the 262 on June 2, 2015 by treasuresofthe262

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The old Kohl’s Food Store on Durand Avenue before it’s demolition.

Payday Loans Sends Employees to Hit the Streets

Posted in Tales of the 262 on November 21, 2013 by treasuresofthe262

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A woman stands on the sidewalk along Washington Avenue in Racine holding a big yellow sign with an arrow pointing directly at a Payday Loan store.

Apparently, Payday Loans is so desperate to get people hooked before the holiday season that they have resorted to old school street advertising. Great way to lure in the poor, get them hooked and send them straight to bankruptcy court as they celebrate the coming New Year!

The Future of the Kewaunee St. Warehouse

Posted in Tales of the 262 on October 30, 2013 by treasuresofthe262

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Just when city residents thought they could get a break, it appears that Mayor Dickert has once again returned to his effort to demolish what is left of Racine. But will he succeed? Now a judge must decide whether the industrial building at the corner of Kewaunee & N. Memorial shall remain. For now, the process has been tied up in the courts. Time will tell what the future holds for this massive multi-acre property.

23rd + Mead

Posted in Tales of the 262 on May 2, 2013 by treasuresofthe262

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10th + Park

Posted in Tales of the 262 on March 21, 2013 by treasuresofthe262

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Abandoned Racine

Posted in Tales of the 262 on January 4, 2013 by treasuresofthe262

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The affordability of homes in the central city of Racine drew many people into Racine’s core neighborhoods. Even people who made little money were able to afford to buy homes for under $30,000. Prices often ranged from $5,000 to $30,000, and often the quality of the homes for the price was exceptional. Even while the city was experiencing long-term economic decline, the low cost of living gave even the poorest of residents hope that, one day, they could, too, be homeowners.

During the economic crisis of 2008, the value of homes continued to fall, allowing many more people who were previously unable to afford homes to buy. Homes became available on the market for under $5,000 and the median price dropped from $15,000-$25,000 to $10,000-$15,000. People were eager to buy and escape the challenges of renting, as slumlords from Chicago and Northern Illinois began buying up every rental complex in town, only to leave them to sit and deteriorate.

As time went on and more people fell victim to the economic crisis, people lost their only sources of income and were unable to pay their mortgages. The amount of foreclosures went through the roof and soon there was at least one available property on every block. Boarded up and stripped of their dignity, they were being sold off for next-to-nothing. The first person to show  up with cash ultimately would become the new owner, and life as we knew it in innercity Racine would change forever.

Slumlords from larger cities bought up entire sections of the city and began renting them out for twice the price. Homes and apartment complexes were no longer maintained up to the same standard. But the value of homes continued to fall, even in the nicer areas of the city.

Today, $9,000 can buy you a nice historic property in relatively decent condition. But with a boarded up home (or two or three) on every block, you never know just how low the prices may fall in another year or two.

17th + Racine

Posted in Tales of the 262 on November 13, 2012 by treasuresofthe262

What was once the center of Racine Street’s industrial corridor is now home to abandoned industrial complexes, derelict buildings and urban blight.

But despite the devastating conditions, the city as well as its residents continue to repair, renovate and rebuild collapsing and burned out structures, year after year.

No matter how many times a building burns, this cycle tends to continue, until the structure no longer resembles the one that originally stood there.

But somewhere underneath the ugly aluminum siding, boarded windows and paint remains a 150-year-old piece of the city’s history. The building at 17th & Racine is no different.

The corner of 17th & Racine St continues to deteriorate as even the pavement begins to decay and expose remnants of the brick that once covered every block of the city.