From the President

Vol. X No. 3 - FALL 1999

By: Kathy Gemperle

We’re looking for more photos for the Edgewater Millennium Project. Several people have sent in photos and some have written about how they came to Edgewater.

Remember, this is a low budget project. We have not raised any funds to hire photographers because we believe that many people use cameras today and can do a good job with today’s new equipment. If you are concerned that the trees in full leaf may prevent you from taking the best photo, then wait until fall. The photos have started to come in slowly, according to Martha Kraeger who is keeping track of these donations. We’d like to thank those who have responded with photos and brief written histories: Genevieve German, Edna L. Gaul, John and Mary Resh and Allen Stryczek and Suzanne Lyons Stryczek. Even if the history is short, tell us how you came to Edgewater. We’re interested and waiting for your pictures, either in color or black and white. Send your contribution to Martha Kraeger. We have not set a deadline yet because we do not have an idea of when we will get into the new museum and plan the exhibition.

The Museum project has suffered some delays due to a dispute between our contractor, Arcoiris, and some of the sub-contractors. While discussions have continued over the month of July, we are disappointed in the delay in reaching our goals. Hopefully in August work will resume.

In the meantime, a young entrepreneur, Cory, who lives next door to the Fire House, offered his availability to work on the backyard. Cory and his friend spent an hour and a half with me pulling weeds and cutting back some of the growth so you can see some of the flowers and mint growing there. After I left, Cory must have kept on working because, when I returned, the grass in the center had been mowed. Cory is looking for more work. He’s a hard worker and takes instruction well. He attends Trumbull School. You can reach him after 10 a.m.

A Museum planning committee met for a brainstorming session in June… not that we don’t have a plan. But, as we speak, the building is getting smaller - or the ideas are getting bigger. The group came up with a list of possible exhibits… the easy part! Then there were the questions about storage, both archival and other, questions about computers, cabinets, UV protection and moveable display walls. It may be impossible to get an assessment of the collection that is held in so many basements and attics. Some things like our photo collection are already in archival sleeves and notebooks. But other paper archives and books are in boxes. If you can lend some expertise to these discussions give Bob Remer a call and leave your name, address and phone so we can notify you of the next meeting.

Have you seen the garden of West Edgewater… it’s incredible! You must take a drive by it along the Chicago and Northwestern embankment just north of the underpass at Rosehill drive. Was it nominated for a City Garden Award? I hope so. The Edgewater community is just blooming all over. Corner adoptions are increasing (ECC’s Adopt a Corner program): West Andersonville has a large community garden along the same embankment south of Balmoral. The planters created by the City of Chicago along Ashland have transformed that street. The center gardens around Gethsemane Garden Center are works of art that the owners of Gethsemane can be proud of. Next year the “Welcome to Edgewater” garden will get a face lift. It was a project of the Edgewater Beautiful Committee of the ECC when it was put in. The total sunnyness of the site plus the dandelion seeds in the new top soil overwhelmed the gardening volunteers. Many of the original plants could not take the sun and the prairie grasses have gotten out of control. So it’s time for some new plants and ECC will be organizing that effort.

The Edgewater Historical Society was present at a booth for the Edgewater Days Street Festival on July 24 and 25. Thanks to volunteers Bob Remer and Mark Harding for working at the booth we shared with the North Lakeside Cultural Center President Reggie Griffin. Despite the heat, we had the coolest spot in the shade of the Grandeur Apts. We had the opportunity to speak with many area residents and hopefully get some new members. EHS members who stopped by included Rosemary and Ray Craig, Larry Zimmer, Ted Perzanowski, Allen Stryczek, Suzanne Stryczek and Gloria Evenson (notepad and camera). Our participation in the Festival was further expanded by the offering of two historic tours. Ara and Betty Mayian (thanks) spent the better part of two weeks organizing this special project which we found out about too late for our publications in April and May. The tours were co-sponsored by the Breakers, which offered a bus and driver, and Rosehill Cemetery which sent our friend Al Walavich as a guide for the Rosehill tour. The second tour, called the Holy and UnHoly Tour, was created by Ara and Betty. It featured stops at area churches and houses of worship as well as stops at local crime scenes. It got “held up” (no pun intended) by a lot of double parking on Kenmore and Winthrop on Sunday afternoon. Transit through Edgewater is more difficult on weekends in some areas, as we learned through this experience. Read more in Edgewater Days (see Page 4). Congratulations to Sheli Lulkin and the Gerber Hart Library for producing a wonderful community event.

The Edgewater Home Tour this year will feature homes from four decades in West Andersonville and a sneak preview of our new Museum, where it will begin. The date is September 26, 1999, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. We have been handing out discount pre-registration forms everywhere we go. They are included in the September calendar mailing by ECC. This is a great way to meet people in our community who share a sense of history and a love of home architecture. As a member of EHS, you should do your best to support this one fundraising event every year. I hope to see you there.