Stephen “Andy” Schneider moved to Logan Square immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001. He quickly became an involved volunteer in the community, organizing Logan Square Preservation's annual House and Garden Walk, working on zoning and development review while also helping with tree planting and neighborhood clean-ups.
Andy was elected president of Logan Square Preservation (LSP) in 2012. He grew the membership and the focus of the organization beyond historic preservation to advocating for the neighborhood and the diverse group of people who live here.
Professionally, Andy spent ten years as a reporter, at both the Sun-Times Group and later leading the editorial department of a group of independent suburban weeklies. Since then he's been the editor of Screen Magazine, a niche publication covering Chicago's film and commercial production industries, and has authored several books on Chicago area history. His experience buying his home, a traditional Chicago two-flat, in 2011, and interest in community development led him to join a real estate brokerage, where he brings a strong neighborhood and preservation focus to rapidly gentrifying areas.
Community Housing and Safety Highlights:
- Helped negotiate with developers large and small on over 1,000 new housing units, including the trailblazing Lucy Gonzalez Parsons Apartments on Emmett Street --- an all-affordable housing development.
- He has been a fierce advocate for safer streets, developing proposals for a bike and pedestrian priority network along the city’s historic boulevard system. Among the first projects he championed was the installation of speed tables to slow traffic on Palmer Square. He was deeply involved with the safety-focused redesign of Logan Square's historic but dangerous traffic circle, sitting on the Project Steering Committee, and advocated successfully for a deployment of “Safe Streets” infrastructure on Logan Square’s boulevards in 2021.
Public Spaces and Recreation Highlights:
- Andy's focus on public spaces and recreation helped secure state funds and city approval for a new “Food Truck Triangle” on a formerly blighted city-owned parcel near Milwaukee Avenue.
- Andy also successfully secured approval for city funding to refurbish an underutilized gym and classroom annex at Grace Church to offer expanded programming and community space together with nearby Unity Park.
- When the local Boys & Girls Club decided to close, Andy successfully fought to save the building and ensure a new public park was created as part of the re-development, at no cost to the neighborhood or taxpayers.
- He led a fight against a billboard company that was blighting the old Grace’s Furniture building on the square at the center of the neighborhood, facing down a $750,000 nuisance lawsuit.
- His focus on the culture and history of Chicago neighborhoods led him to develop historic exhibits, save the St. John Berchmans’ bell, restore the historic Norwegian Minnekirken, and more.
Andy can rival just about anyone when it comes to Star Wars and Marvel nerdery, he loves a good conversation over craft beer, and can be seen walking his rescue pup Loki around the neighborhood. He and his wife Katie have been married for 14 years, and are raising their three children in a classic Chicago two-flat.