From the President

Vol. XIV No. 2 - SPRING/SUMMER 2003

By: Kathy Gemperle

The Brass Pole has arrived!

Thanks to Dick Doyle, our neighbor in Andersonville working on behalf of Alderman Patrick O’Connor the our new museum has a fire pole. It’s thanks to Chief Bybee and Bill Bybee, Dan Galbraith and Brian Kelly for bringing the pole to the museum. The original had been removed in the 1970’s when the firehouse was deactivated and left to rot. Now we face the challenge of installing it.

Thanks to all who have continued to bring donations to the museum. The community enthusiasm for history encourages us. We are hoping that more of you will attend our upcoming tours which are informative and entertaining. This year’s Spring Home Tour promises to be quite an event with an exploration of some of the hidden treasures of our community. Mark your calendar for May 4, 2003 and get to the Church of the Atonement, 5749 Kenmore after 12:30 p.m. to sign in. A lunch will be served afterwards in the church hall.

Just to keep you informed, the Museum is available for special group tours during the week. We will do this by special arrangement with any group that applies. Currently we have two photo exhibits on display, the Edgewater Streets exhibit and the Let it Snow exhibit. Last January a small group from the Hartwell House visited the museum and watched our video, “Edgewater Through the Eyes of Experience.” As long as volunteers are available we will try to work out a schedule.

We are looking for help with planning exhibits. This involves brainstorming ideas for exhibits, doing some research through our archives and then planning the arrangement. Some ideas that are in the hopper are: Gardens of Edgewater, Edgewater Hospital, At the beach along the shores of Edgewater, Andersonville 1960 to the present. We would appreciate the loan of any photos in these categories. Just contact the museum at 773-506-4849 and leave a message.

Looking forward to the summer we plan to have a special evening lecture on the History of Edgewater at the Museum on June 12, a Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. I will be giving this program with input from some of our board members. Refreshments will be served and we will be installing a plaque honoring Everett Charles Stetson for his contribution to the museum.

Our community continues to face the problem of demolitions of historic homes. The most recent proposal will destroy one of the homes built in Cochran’s first development at 5416 N. Winthrop. In that area south of Bryn Mawr and north of Foster there is only one part of a block that remains from his first development. It is an atrocity to demolish even one more home in this area. The neighborhood organization voted last summer that they wanted an end to these demolitions. However, there are people in that area who have called history a loser saying that “we don’t want to back any losers - we’re in favor of development.” When you see the word development think density and cement block buildings. For those of you who were here in the 1960s the four plus ones were considered development. They brought 5000 people to the neighborhood streets on Kenmore and Winthrop without additional schools or additional fire protection. Only in the 1990s was the school problem finally addressed with school additions. Buildings such as the project at 5430 N. Sheridan will place 40+ units of the already overabundant one bedroom size on a piece of land that once held two homes. Now the only home left on Sheridan Road in Cochran’s original Edgewater is the Wing Hoe Restaurant. All is lost.

We continue to seek donations to the building fund for the completion of the museum plan. The funds are needed to complete the kitchen- we need a sink and refrigerator that will fit in the small space as well as cabinets and an oven. The site plan is also incomplete. We are required to create two parking places at the back of the lot. We may have some volunteer gardeners work on the space in back but the parking area is a requirement. A donation of $100 over six years does not seem too much to ask from every member. Please send your donation soon so we can finish the work we started in 1996. This is your museum, stop by and visit soon.