Edgewater Living Treasures

Edgewater Living Treasures are residents of Edgewater who have made a difference, some in a profound, fundamental way, and others in a small but significant action that has affected the well being of the Edgewater community. Their deeds were not driven by personal gain, but to help the people of the community – whether generating beauty, fostering harmony, helping the less fortunate or encouraging grass roots activity. Honorees have been selected from nominations from the community. They have generously served and inspired others by initiating educational and social programs for the needy, pushing for green spaces and access to the lakefront, promoting local business districts and supporting the arts. Living Treasures have helped create public spaces and organizations and they have imparted values which both celebrate diversity and build community. We honor them as people who took the initiative to make Edgewater the unique community it is today.

The Edgewater experience is unique in several respects. During the 1950s Edgewater established a model which supported religious diversity as a community value, the Edgewater Community Religious Association (ECRA). This association provided the model for the formation of other organizations that enabled various neighborhood groups to join together working toward common goals and forging an Edgewater identity. Edgewater embraced cultural and social diversity to confront urban issues. Grass roots groups created task forces, worked with businesses as well as local political organizations to develop programs to invigorate the decaying neighborhoods. What makes Edgewater special? Perhaps values which both celebrate diversity and build community have found fertile ground in this unique community.

Explore the motivations and accomplishments of Edgewater’s Living Treasures by clicking one or more names in the menu at the left. Here are the 2020 and 2023 Living Treasures.

“Edgewater Living Treasures” is an ongoing program and a nomination form may be submitted by January 15, 2024 for 2024 award consideration.

Mary Schmich wrote an article about the 2013 Edgewater Living Treasures exhibit for the June 22/23 Sunday Chicago Tribune.