V28-3 From the President

Vol. XXVIII No. 3 - SUMMER 2017

By Robert Remer

We are so delighted to be continuing with the Edgewater Beach Hotel exhibit for the coming eight months. It has certainly been one of our “best yet.” Concurrently we have added a wonderful and popular exhibit on Made in Chicago, loaned to us and curated by Andrew Clayman, and a fascinating young man whose fascination with Chicago made antiques prompted his vast collection, including items made in Edgewater. Did you know that Zenith and Maybelline started in Edgewater? We would like to thank Andrew, Kathy Gemperle, our late Barb Strauss, Marty Stewart, Tiffany Middleton and Sandee Remis for their help setting up the exhibit, handling the promotion and the members reception.

Good news for the environment. Your museum has now gone Solar! In early August solar panels were installed on our roof and hooked up to Com Ed (we might actually be selling some electricity back). This has been a project long in coming. I have to primarily thank Seamus Fitzgerald, whose NFP Fund, Overhead Project, made this all possible by providing the capital and the mechanism to make this happen. His wonderful concept is to set up a revolving community fund that will benefit non profit organizations with lower electrical costs and simultaneously pay back the capital to be reinvested in future NFP projects. The Overhead Project has also been generously supporting other Edgewater projects like the Edgewater Reads Little Free Libraries. Special thanks also go to Tom Murphy and Thom Greene, who worked with Seamus and Brandon Leavitt of Solar Services, Inc. from beginning to end to make sure this was a flawless installation. Other EHS board members were also involved with the various phases of the planning process: Barb Strauss, Kathy Gemperle, John Holden, Paul Bonilla, Marsha Holland, Brian Treglown, Art Arfa and LeRoy Blommaert. I also want to thank our colleagues from the Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project (EESP), whose support and connections helped propel this forward.

We are finding that our future prospects for success and survival compel us to collaborate with other organizations. Our cooperation with EESP is such a case in point. Beside the solar project, our local history tours by bikes this summer was due to our joining forces to continue the Go Edgewater project with just local volunteers since it was no longer supported by grants or interns going into its 3rd year. Allen Stryczek and Anne Comeau have been especially supportive of this relationship. I would like to thank those tour leaders who organized some wonderfully instructive and healthy itineraries: Marge Fritz Birch, Tom Murphy, Allen Stryczek, Steve Meiss, Tricia Van Eyck, Marsha Holland, Tom Welch and yours truly.

Speaking of collaboration, we are not alone as an historic society among Chicago’s other 76 community areas. Unfortunately, not every community has its own group, committed to its own history; but there are close to a dozen that are organized to greater or lesser degrees. This summer, EHS hosted a get together at the museum and a luncheon at Reza’s for several of our history brethren that led to an agreement to survey our common practices and work on ways we can help each other. Special thanks to John Holden who took the lead on this and even developed a survey instrument. We look forward to good things coming from this.

This summer has been especially rewarding with good weather, good programs, and a garden that has been fairly responsive to our garden coordinator Marge Fritz Birch’s efforts to bring greenery to our hard to grow north parkway. She has recruited a good team of volunteers for watering and help with transplanting that includes Art Arfa, Sonny Santana, Marsha Holland, Tom Murphy, Thom Greene, John Holden and numerous docents who pitched in to water the planters under the front eaves. Our everlasting thanks also to Sandee Remis (for whom the garden is named and dedicated) and Elisabeth Szegho who had done so much to make the garden so lush and inviting over the years. It has become a real community resource with our neighbors who rest, read and relax regularly in our back. Thanks to you all. We hope you have all enjoyed your summers, and we look forward to seeing you at the museum and our programs in the Fall.