From the President

Vol. VI No. 1 - SUMMER 1994

By: Kathy Gemperle

This seems to be the year for special anniversaries. Congratulations to the Swedish Bakery on its 15th, the Edgewater Branch Library on its 20th, the Lakewood Balmoral Residents Council on its 25th, EHS Board member Mary Cramer, BVM on her 60th (in the sisterhood) and Marx Ace Hardware on its 70th! We do not, however, know the actual dates and would very much like to be informed of them for our records.

If it’s Fall, ‘tis the season for the annual Lakewood Balmoral Residents Council Yard Sale and the Edgewater Historical Society’s Annual Home Tour. The society did well financially on both events.

During the LBRC-sponsored event on September 10, proceeds from items sold in the Gemperle family’s yard went to benefit EHS Building Fund - about $500. Thanks to all the folks who contributed things for the sale, and to Amie Hanson, Mark Harding, Carl and Lorraine Helbig, Betty Mayian, Evangeline Mistaras and Sandee Remis for helping to set up, clean up and, in between, price and sell items. A special thank-you to JoAnn Varga Holmes, who accounted for fully one third of the items donated.

EHS’s Sixth Annual Home Tour was held on Sunday, September 18, 1994 in the West Andersonville neighborhood. It showcased three churches and homes representing six decades of housing history in Chicago, from the 1890s to the 1930s.

Our thanks to Ebenezer Lutheran Church (Pastor Paul Koch and Chuck Stout), Summerdale Community Church (Pastor Ann James and workers Bernice Bowen, Marie Potter and Carol Sandberg and St. Gregory parish.

Many thanks to the participating homeowners. Special thanks to Diane Daleiden, who hosted the “preview dinner” the night before and the silent auction the day of the event.

This year’s tour featured four new facets - old fashioned carriage rides, the display of two antique mustangs from 1965 and 1966, complimentary refreshments served at Scooter’s Cafe on Balmoral and door prizes. Thanks to Carl Helbig for EHS’s new banner and for arranging the carriage rides, to Arthur Helbig for the antique cars and to Drew Pascoots of Scooter’s for the coffee and biscuits.

Thank-yous are also extended to my co-chairs, Thom Greene and JoAnn Varga Holmes, to everyone who donated items for the silent auction (which brought in about $350), to all who worked on the tour booklet - Jeff Holmes in particular, to our advertisers and, of course, to all who acted as docents.

About 115 people took advantage of the crisp, sunny day to don their walking shorts for the tour. Gross proceeds from the event were approximately $3300.

Hearty congratulations are in order for our members and friends at the Edgewater Beach Apartments, 5555 N. Sheridan Road! On the evening of October 24, residents, local politicians and preservation officials gathered at the building to mark its inclusion on the National Park Service’s prestigious National Register of Historic Places.

LeRoy Blommaert represented EHS at the ceremony, which culminated a five year push for the listing. That effort was spearheaded by Ray Craig, 74, a resident of the building for about a decade and of Edgewater for about 50 years, along with former co-op president Dorothy Blott. It was a labor of love, stemming more from pride in their home than from any perceived threat to the property.

The register contains a few hundred Chicago structures, including the Auditorium Theatre, the State Street stores of Marshall Field’s and Carson Pirie Scott, Soldier Field and another famous Edgewater apartment building, the Manor House on Bryn Mawr. Register listing does provide some protection for properties, but not as much as designation as a landmark. A property on the register can still be altered or demolished, for instance, but no state or federal funds, licenses, permits or assistance can be used to do so.

Congratulations also to Edgewater’s 1994 winners of the City of Chicago’s Good Neighbor Awards: EHS member Charles Morris (5300 block of Lakewood), Ismali Temple (Broadway and Rosemont), both of whose rehabs were done by EHSer Thom Greene and Rick Proppe of Presentation Design Associates, Habitat for Humanity rehab (5530 N. Winthrop) and Wilmette Realty multi-family rehab (5630 N. Sheridan).

The Edgewater Historical Society extends Happy Holiday Greetings! to you and yours. Support your local artists and craftspeople with some early seasonal shopping at North Lakeside Cultural Center’s Holiday Festival of Gifts, Saturday. November 19, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 20, noon to 5:00 p.m. The NLCC, at 6219 N. Sheridan Road, is a 1910 mansion that is used for arts activities and cultural programming.

Share the spirit of the season with family and friends at the Edgewater Singers’ Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 17, at Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway, presented free by the Chicago Park District. The Edgewater Singers are celebrating their 15th anniversary year - a NOTE-able accomplishment in our record book!