v25-3 From the President

Vol. XXV No. 3 - FALL 2014

By: Robert Remer

Last issue, I wrote about memberships’ importance to the health and vitality of the Edgewater Historical Society and Museum. Memberships underpin our budget, demonstrate community support and provide great volunteers. We keep dues modest to encourage participation. Your renewals are essential to keep the museum doors open and continue our programs. If you haven’t renewed yet, please check your “to do” pile at home, pull out the renewal form, and either send us the form with your check or go on line to our website (www.edgewaterhistory.org) to renew. Thanks to all who renewed this year.

Of special note are friends who become lifetime members with a most generous contribution of $1000; such donations give us budget flexibility for special projects that come up during the year. Lifetime members are permanently honored in the museum on a plaque appearing on the Lifetime Members Pillar. They are a special blessing.

This year we have been blessed with not one but three new life members, including board member Paul Bonilla, local businesswoman Andrea Raila, and my patient loving spouse Katie Remer. Our hearty thanks to the three of you for your generous support.

This extra support helps us afford really professional finishing touches to our exhibits, in particular our fabulous current exhibit Motoring Through Edgewater expertly curated by board member Tiffany Middleton. You will find something for everyone, from children who can peruse vintage kids’ books about cars, to us seniors struck with nostalgia. There was a day in the 1920s when Edgewater’s Broadway was Chicago’s “North Side Motor Row” including a Hupmobile dealer. Tiffany and her curatorial team assembled and produced a dazzling collection of photos, road maps, old license plates, old car advertisements, model cars and histories of Edgewater residents who contributed to early car history. Sandee Remis decorated another creative pair of window displays. For those of you mechanically inclined, there is a challenging display of old automotive related items; you have to guess what they are. One full wall of the exhibit is a long map of Broadway in the 1920s showing all buildings devoted to the car industry (parking, sales, service, gas, etc.) with pictures of buildings now and then.

For those of you struggling to find parking spaces today, you might be interested to know that Edgewater’s own 1920s Chicago Mayor Dever was considering banning on street parking (Hrmph!). The exhibit will be open until March, 2015. We extend special thanks to Tiffany, her team, and those who contributed items to the exhibit especially Kathy Gemperle, Vitaliy Vladamirov, LeRoy Blommaert, Nancy Crandall, Marty Stewart, Sandee Remis, Larry Rosen, Marsha Holland, Jonas Middleton, Tom Walsh, Tom Murphy, Barb Strauss, Howard Kaplan, Pat McParland, Anna Shatsman, Bryce Payne, Thom Greene, Morry Matson, Terri Sennott, Sam Gurgone, Stephanie Barto, Ara and Betty Mayian, and Dorothy Nygren.

Stop by our booths at the Edgefest and the September Fall Art Fair on Granville. EHS makes a special effort to have a presence, and we thank Vice President Morry Matson for managing our booths.

The bimonthly programs of our Chicago History Book Club have been stimulating and well attended. They’re a great way to not only learn about local Edgewater history but how we connect to the history of Chicago and the region. Our next program is October 11, and we will read several books on the Great Chicago Fire. We will see the first post-fire editions of the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Times. We co-sponsor the programs with the Edgewater Branch Library with support from Adult Librarian Ed Remus and Branch Manager Joanna Hazelden. Thanks Ed and Joanna.

Don’t forget September 21st for our Annual Home Tour in Edgewater Beach, beginning at the Church of Atonement, celebrating 125 years, and including Sheridan Road mansions from Edgewater’s glory days. You will also find Chicago’s oldest sidewalks. If you would like to docent, give us a call at 773-506-4849.

Finally, while motoring through Andersonville, look for those blue signs with “Protect and Reuse” Trumbull School. We lost the school to the budget ax but don’t want to lose the building to the wrecker’s ball. It is a major architectural anchor of the Andersonville Historic District we recommended for landmarking last year. Now we’ve joined a coalition of state and local preservationists, business groups, block clubs and almost a thousand residents who signed petitions to save Trumbull. The School Board will sell the building in the coming year; we want to ensure they only sell for reuse or for repurposing (e.g. housing, offices, etc.) Alderman O’Connor’s (40th Ward) office invited local organizations to review potential proposals to make sure they meet community acceptance standards before the school board asks for bids. The current deadline for preliminary proposals is August 15 (see the Alderman’s website). We strongly urge saving the building. If you do too, let your voice be heard. Please let Alderman O’Connor know (ward40@cityofchicago.org or 773#769#1140), and visit our website SaveTrumbull.com to sign the petition. You can also come to the museum to pick up a blank petition sheet to get signed.