Art project planned for newspaper shed at Milwaukee-Central




by BRIAN NADIG

Efforts are being made to fix up a newspaper shed at the southeast corner of Milwaukee and Central avenues and turn it into a community art project.

The shed, which is believed to be more than 60 years old, is still used for selling newspapers on Sunday mornings. About 10 years ago the city looked into demolishing the shed because it appeared to be abandoned but decided to leave the wood structure alone when current newspapers were found inside.

On Friday morning residents John Garrido and Tony Galati, of the Fix It Now handyman company, were installing wood boards on the outside of the shed and making other improvements.

Garrido said that volunteers are repairing the shed on behalf of the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association, Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Side Unite and Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, all of which are sponsoring efforts to have a series of murals painted on it.

“The idea is for it to be a (revolving) art project. We’ll take submissions from artists and hold one side for local schools,” Garrido said. “Every six months we’ll cover it with white paint (to allow for new artwork).”

Anthony Johnson said that he sells on the average eight newspapers each Sunday at the Milwaukee-Central intersection and that on weekdays he sells newspapers at the Cumberland CTA Station. 5800 N. Cumberland Ave. He said that he has been selling newspapers for a private contractor for about a dozen years and that at one time he was assigned to the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Garrido said that when he recently talked to Johnson about the shed, Johnson had no place to live but that temporary living arrangements have since been made and that new clothes were purchased for him. Garrido said that he will be reaching out to agencies which assist military veterans and others to see if he is eligible for benefits.

Johnson said that in the early 1980s he served in the U.S. Air Force at a base in Texas.

Marino Chrysler Jeep and Dodge, 5133 W. Irving Park Road, paid for the materials to repair the shed and donated use of a truck to transport the materials, Garrido said. Dealership owner Anthony Marino also paid for Johnson’s new clothes.