From the President

Vol. XI No. 3 - SUMMER/FALL 2000

By: Kathy Gemperle

Many thanks to the generous members and friends who attended the Hard Hat Party at our new Museum on Sunday, May 21. We hear that some people could not attend because of the cost and others thought it was meant as a work session. Never did workers get treated so royally. Bright yellow souvenir hard hats, time cards for a chance on a door prize and a delicious box lunch were provided. A special donation from the Swedish Bakery of their best brownies and a surplus of strawberries and cookies topped off the luncheon.

The new bathrooms, complete with new plumbing, floor drains and handicapped accessible fixtures were some of the highlights. Attendees were treated to a tour of the completed work including repaired and painted walls on the second floor compliments of the students from St. Gregory High School. Other student activities completed in preparation for the event included: sweeping and washing floors, trash disposal, removal of unusable furniture and debris, and spreading of wood chips delivered by the city on one of those rainy days in May.

We had hoped to raise funds to make up for the additional costs on our current contract with Metropolitan Corp. The city of Chicago plumbing inspector insisted on floor drains in each bathroom despite The fact that the permit did not call for them. Additional cost $2,300.

Last year, Carol Ronen gave the project a boost with some state funds from First Illinois. We will use these funds to set up the interior equipment, including computers, slide projector, podium, security and chairs. Thanks, Carol, for your support. It means a lot to us. The budget for this grant was developed this spring. Now, onward to Phase III. We hope this will be the last phase. How much we can put into this last phase is dependent on your donations. We have approximately $51,000. We expect the bids to come in over that amount. We will have some serious decisions to make about what we can do and what will have to wait.

Since our last issue we have heard about many more proposed demolitions in our community. Despite the down-zoning efforts many single family home owners stand to make a bundle if they sell their homes to be demolished for the construction of multi-unit buildings. As we see these building popping up all over Chicago it is hard to remember what they replaced. But it is easy to see that they are adding density to the area and removing green space since parking must be provided on site. Areas that have been untouched for almost a century are now facing demolitions of the first housing. This is happening on Kenmore and Winthrop. This past winter a developer proposed the demolition of a 112 year old home, built during Cochran’s first development in 1888. The home has been remodeled with siding and is now in the way of a town house project. Another single family home from the same era on the 5300 block of Winthrop is in the way of a development. Adjacent residents have real concern just as residents did years ago when developers arrived in Edgewater to demolish many of our best 6 flats to replace them with four plus ones. then the density change was even more dramatic. On a lot that once held 6 families, now 50 families live. Until last year our schools saw no improvements and to this date, there is no increased fire protection. Greater density brings more traffic, less green space, longer lines at the supermarket. Meanwhile the taxes on the older residents in single family homes are getting prohibitive as the land values increase.

We were really surprised to receive a special donation from the Breakers at Edgewater Beach this past month. It was raised by the residents there who attended a “senior prom” in May. the $1000 check was presented to me in June. What a great surprise! Special thanks to Jim Sheldon and Carolyn Hartman for making these arrangements. The Breakers has been especially supportive this year. Our bus tours of Edgewater during the Edgewater Days festival on Granville were sponsored by the Breakers who loaned us a bus for both afternoons. Thanks to Betty Mayian and her team of helpers for making all of this possible.