We never saw him without a camera hung around his neck. When he joined the EHS Board of Directors he had a great enthusiasm for the history of the community. In his free time he photographed just about every street in Edgewater. His name was Gregg Mann. He died suddenly this summer and we will miss him.
But he gave the Edgewater Historical Society hundreds of wonderful photos and for this reason we will never forget him. He kept track of Kathy Osterman in her many activities in our community. When he met Sharon O’kee Chee who had opened a store on Clark street he got intensely interested in Native American Culture. He liked photographing people and events. He would shoot a roll very quickly.
Another interest was architecture. He took photos of many important buildings all over the community. He had a great eye for the details and with his close up lens he would help us to rediscover the beauty in our own community.
Among his favorite haunts was the lakefront and the beach. When I needed some photos for the “history of the lakefront” slide program Gregg offered a large selection. Gregg could take a journalistic photo or an artistic photo that focused on design. He was a master.
While visiting some of the neighborhood churches he got interested in photographing the beautiful stained glass windows. When we had a meeting on the top floor of Edgewater Hospital he reported that he had already been there and that it had the best view of Edgewater. He had the photos to prove it.
Once in his enthusiasm for history he went hunting for the grave of John Lewis Cochran, developer of Edgewater. He found it neglected at Graceland Cemetery. It was overgrown so Gregg cleaned it up, trimmed back the overgrown grass and then took a photo of the headstone.
After several years as a Board Member of EHS he found an interest in the Pilsen neighborhood and decided to move there and use some of his knowledge of community activism to help the small business community there. He became the executive director of their Chamber of Commerce. He was loved and appreciated there in a different way, as a leader. Alderman Solis spoke at his funeral. He was mourned by many in that community, he will be sorely missed there.
Here in Edgewater we will remember him in the photos.
Here’s Gregg at the lakefront in Wilmette. Without a car he went everywhere, always with the camera around his neck.