Francis W. Parker School (Parker) is pursuing residential buildings on the 300 block of Belden to expand its existing 6-acre campus. This hostile and predatory activity is forcing private citizens from their homes and asking the City to promote a private enterprise's interests over the public good. Parker has not been able to articulate why it needs to expand.
To date over 1,100 people have signed a petition asking Alderman Smith to keep Belden residential and to preserve its historic fabric. Building leaders on Belden have submitted a request for landmarking from the city. In face of growing opposition, Parker has written two community letters, both of which misrepresent Parker's actions. In May of 2020, residents of Belden by the Park filed a lawsuit against Parker.
The timeline below outlines what has happened and provides correspondence between Parker and its neighbors. We welcome your support in preserving the historical and residential character of East Lincoln Park and, more specifically, Belden Avenue.
Parker neighbors do not oppose Parker's growth, but we cannot allow the displacement of residents and the disruption of our community solely for the benefit of a private enterprise. Belden's residential buildings are not an option. Alternate solutions exist that allow Parker to expand its footprint and truly contribute to the well-being of East Lincoln Park. Parker must provide a clear proposal of its needs and work collaboratively with the Lincoln Park community to address them.