From the President

Vol. XI No. 4 - SUMMER/FALL 2000

By: Kathy Gemperle

What a wonderful day we had for the fall Edgewater Home Tour. There were seven home owners in Edgewater Glen who offered to show their homes and some 25 volunteers working a guides. It’s quite a project. A wonderful time was had by all. Thanks to everyone one who did their part. A special thanks to Thom Greene and Rick Proppe for the beautiful drawings they completed for the tour booklet under pressure of the printing deadline. It would be much easier if we had photos taken before the trees leafed out. If you missed the tour the booklets will be available at our general meetings until the next home tour, next September.

This fall we have repeated some of our special Historic District Tours. The first, on October 7 was in the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District. LeRoy Blommaert conducted the tour which began at North Shore Baptist Church. Then, on October 21, I conducted a tour of the Bryn Mawr Historic District which included seeing model units in the Bryn Mawr Hotel. . We had to steer clear of the Edgewater Beach Apartments, which are still encased in scaffolding while the multi million dollar restoration project is completed.

The last phase of the Museum Project is set to begin and its a good thing. I am tired of answering the question…When do you think it will be open? My answer now is “last year”. Our most recent report is that the city inspector approved the work that’s been done so far. We have instituted a new subcommittee that is preparing the transition into the new building. We have quite a bit of furniture and storage units. What we really need is some help on planning the computer system which will be networked. We intend to use our grant from First Illinois to set up that system. Call Bob Remer at 561-6280 and leave a message if you want to get involved on this committee

As you may have noticed, now is the time to get that photo taken for the Edgewater Millennium Project. So far we have about 20 entries, hardly representative but a good start. From our collections we have some family photos of people who were here long ago. Others have been sent in from far away. We’d like to get more. If you need someone to take the photo, call the voice mail 773-506-4849 and leave your name and number. We are thinking of instituting a photo day and going around to as many as possible in one day. If you want to be a volunteer photographer call the voice mail too. Although the deadline was set at December 31, 2000 we have made a change. At our general meeting it was decided to extend the project into the 21st century. We are waiting for your photos. Grab a neighbor and get a photo taken, it need not be a formal photo. You are a part of Edgewater history.

As the first year of the new century draws to a close it is amazing to consider that many of us live in homes that are 75 years to 100 years old. These homes, whether apartments or houses have stood one of those tests of time, they are still standing and still being used. The economics of development has not demolished them and the history they represent. As our city becomes a more popular place to live, some of the old buildings are threatened, not the buildings of the 1960’s but the buildings built by quality craftsmen, many of them Swedish and German who came to Chicago for a better life and in fact created one. The evidence is here in the buildings, our architectural history, our social history. Lets all work to preserve it for future generations. Do this by writing letters to support preservation, by attending meetings to present development projects and by asserting the community ownership of our history. There are plenty of neighborhoods in Chicago with empty lots, acres of empty land, cleared when the buildings were not cared for and repaired. Edgewater has a history of preservation. In the early 1980s, the Edgewater Community Council took a stand to preserve the derelict apartment buildings on Kenmore and Winthrop because they were quality housing. Now these are beautiful homes for people from all over the city and the world. This community is a beautiful place to live because the people here were willing to invest the time and energy to preserve it. Keep up the good work!

We wish you all the best in this holiday season and a happy new century.!