CHICAGO -- Usually it's suburban politicians trying to keep Chicagoans out of their enclaves.
But Chicago Alderman Bernard Stone took the opposite path Wednesday, threatening to build a wall down the street marking the city's northernmost border if neighboring Evanston goes through with plans for a $30 million, 23-acre shopping center in the area.
'This project would be disastrous for my community and I'm going to do everything I can do to stop it,' pledged Stone.
The shopping center would be anchored by a department store and also have grocery and liquor stores in addition to a few smaller operations. Plans call for 1,200 parking spaces.
'Can you imagine? They want to build ... just across the street from a residential neighborhood and sell liquor ... and the city government there wants to allow that,' Stone said.
Evanston banned package liquor sales until the early 1970s.
Stone said if the shopping center is approved by Evanston, he will urge Chicago to build a concrete median down the center of Howard Street to make it impossible to turn into the city from the shopping center parking lot. He said he also will propose making all streets intersecting with Howard in the area into cul de sacs and arrange for one-way streets around the mall to hamper traffic.
'I'll build a divider right down Howard Street,' Stone vowed. 'I'll build a wall between Chicago and Evanston if I have to so nobody can disrupt my neighborhood.'