From the President

Vol. IV No. 3 - FALL/WINTER 1992

By: Kathy Gemperle

It seems hard to believe another year has come and gone. As we look back on 1992 there are many events - global and personal - that are now a part of history.

As for the Edgewater Historical Society, there are numerous people to thank for doing those “little extra things,” like reaching out to new people in Edgewater or dedicatedly hunting for Edgewater artifacts. As President of this organization, it is a joy to work with people who don’t need to be prodded, who see our goals clearly and view any opportunities to serve those goals as just part of the fun.

A few months ago, Vice President Thom Greene and I appeared on the Cable 25 LaSalle Talman Hour, hosted by Tom Gobby. The program consisted of a showing of our centennial video, “Edgewater: Through the Eyes of Experience” and some slides about the development of Edgewater. We brought along 60 slides, but only had time to show 20 or so. Of course, we will try for a return appearance sometime this year. Thanks to Mr. Gobby for the opportunity and an enjoyable afternoon. (If you didn’t see the show because you don’t get cable, we are working on acquiring a video copy that will be available on loan.)

Also on the cable front – our FYI program on channel 27 was shown during the month of October. It brought in a few late inquiries about the Home Tour.

And, speaking of “The Tour,” it was a great success! Over 110 people attended and our hosts/hostesses were “world class.” Special thanks to Larry and Lois Johnson, Ron Torres, Frank and Jean Williams, Pauline McKee, Hermine Beukema, the Swedish-American Museum Center and Major Roy Mills of the Salvation Army. If you haven’t yet been on an Edgewater tour, you are missing an important part of what makes Edgewater a special place in our great city.

We have yet to find a location for our collections and resources. A study of our finances indicates that, although EHS has a nice bank account, we don’t raise enough money in one year to cover a normal rate of rent, utilities, office expenses and the like. Any place we select must be affordable for us and accessible to the public. Got any ideas?

Our Board of Directors has decided a special fundraising event is in order for 1993. Plans are under way for a dinner party with special entertainment to celebrate our 5-year anniversary. Be sure to mark your calendar for the evening of Saturday, March 20! The fete will be held at the North Lakeside Cultural Center, 6219 N. Sheridan Road, thanks to Paul Glassman who donated his raffle prize of a free evening at NLCC to EHS. The party will have a “Roaring ’20s” theme and costumes are encouraged. A silent auction will be part of the festivities - so let me know if you have an item to donate, preferably, but not necessarily, of historic interest.

Recently EHS was happy to bring historic photos and info to the Bryn Mawr design charette. One photo of Bryn Mawr, taken from the elevated tracks in 1932 and loaned to us by Ray Jonas, was particularly interesting. It portrayed a narrow street, grassy parkways and trees that helped everyone visualize Edgewater’s more suburban setting 60 years past.

The American Institute of Architects worked with the Edgewater Development Corporation to produce the charette. It was an urban planning event that should happen more often in our community. We’d love to hear your thoughts about Bryn Mawr past and present. Drop us a line.

Have you seen the latest addition to Edgewater at Hollywood and Ridge? A sign proudly proclaims: “Edgewater, A Chicago Community, Established 1886, Population 60,703.” Now the 40,000 people who drive through Edgewater at that spot each year will better recognize just where they are!

The sign is part of a larger project to landscape three abandoned lots on the Hollywood extension to Ridge. A garden was planned and planted by the Edgewater Beautiful Committee of the Edgewater Community Council (ECC). Those of you who joined us for the “Then and Now Tour” last June viewed the lots in process of completion. Be sure you take another look this winter and next spring. One of the sign’s pillars, by the way, holds a time capsule, courtesy of Thom Greene who directed the project.

In December of 1992, EHS was very saddened to hear of the death of a good friend, Kathy Osterman. A former Edgewater alderman, past president of the ECC and early member of EHS, Kathy died on December 8 after a four-year bout with cancer. A memorial to this dedicated community crusader will be published in the next issue of the Edgewater Scrapbook.

EHS must also sadly say goodbye to another good friend, happily for a different reason. A fond farewell, a heartfelt thank-you and best wishes to board member Paul Glassman, who is moving to New York in light of a new and exciting job opportunity. Paul has served EHS as Program Chair this past year.