The Charnley House is a work of modern architectural art, the result of a collaboration between Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. The building serves as the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians. Seymour Persky, a philanthropist, donated the building and ensured it would be open to the public. You can visit for free on Wednesdays at noon.
The Historical Society was founded in 1856 to study Chicago’s history. The Great Chicago Fire destroyed the original building on Dearborn and Ohio. They lost many important documents, but continued despite their losses. What made the society well know was their acquisition of manuscripts and other artifacts from Charles F Gunther in 1920. In 1930, the society moved again to the corner of Clark and North, which is where they reside today. There the society began to interpret Chicago’s history under the director Paul Angle. In 1986, the society expanded and gained a new wing, an underground storage facility, and remodeling. Douglas Greenberg, the president from 1993 to 2000, committed the society to studying the history of Chicago’s neighborhoods and demographics. The current president, Lonnie G. Bunch, pushed the role of the society to educate and serve as a history museum. Today the society offers a research center and a museum.
Lincoln Park was originally Lakeside Public Cemetery, intended to bury victims of smallpox and cholera. The site has undergone a few name changes since. In 1860, it became Lake Park, and was renamed Lincoln Park to commemorate President Lincoln after his assassination. Swain Nelson, a Swedish landscaper, was paid $10,000 to design the park, adding interlinking artificial lakes and fake swans. In 1869, the park expanded to the North and South and the bodies were moved out. The park was updated again in 1904 and Café Brauer, designed by Dwight H. Perkins, was built. In the 1930’s, the park was inducted into the Chicago Park District. It was redesigned once more and Old Victorian Lily Pond, a Chicago Historical Landmark, was designed by Alfred Caldwell. Additionally, bridges, comfort stations, and beach houses were added. The last extension was completed in the 1950’s, when it expanded by 1,208 acres, making it the largest park in Chicago. Six bathing beaches, three boating harbors, a golf course, driving range, dozens of sculptures and monuments, a conservatory, and gardens were added.
The statue “Lincoln, the Man”, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, stands in the south section of Lincoln Park just east of the Historical Society. There are five other Lincoln statues in Chicago; four of them are originals and the fifth is a replica. The Lincoln, the Man statue interprets the former president “burdened with the responsibilities of the hour”(Frederic Lauriston Bullard). Saint-Gaudens used a cast of the a life mask made by sculptor Leaon and Volk. Volk made a cast of Lincoln in 1860 in his studio off Clark. There were many copies of the sculpture, including one in London, across St. Margate’s church, Mexico, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Hodgenville, Kentucky. The statue has been considered as the greatest work of sculpture in America by the Chicago Record-Herald.
Originally founded in 1868, Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest municipal zoos in the country. It first started with the gift of swans from Central Park Zoo. The Zoo began to increase their inventory after the initial gift of swans. By 1873, the Zoo had been gifted two buffaloes, three foxes, three wolves, two elk, five deer, a puma, four eagles, prairie dogs, eight peacocks, four guinea pigs, and thirteen swans. In 1874, the Zoo had their first lion, which was a guest on loan from a circus, and bought a bear cub for ten dollars. The Zoo already had a large inventory but the animal’s housings were lackluster. Due to their popularity, they obtained more bears. However, because of the poor housing conditions, the bears were able to roam around the park. On a few accounts, they escaped the park, resulting in police involvement. The Zoo finally built bear enclosures and better housing for the other animals.
The Chicago Academy of Sciences was founded in 1857, for nature scientists and average people could study and share specimens. The collection grew rapidly, and by 1870 the Academy had one of the most significant collections in the nation. The Great Chicago fire ruined the facility, however the Academy was rebuilt and continued to grow. In 1894, the Academy moved to the Laflin Memorial Building, where it resides now. By 1900, the Academy was a leading educational resource for students, teachers, and scientist. In the 20th century the urban growth of Chicago became a problem for nature enthusiast. People wanted a authentic nature experience, and the Peggy Notebaert Museum was made. in 1999 the museum allowed the public to experience nature in Chicago, with a pond, wildlife, and plants. It is a place where "nature and science comes to life.”
The Lincoln Avenue Row House District building is a Chicago landmark know for its architecture. A plaque marks the site, saying: "These four Italianate-style row houses were built in 1875 as speculative housing by noteworthy Chicago businessman and mapmaker Andrew McNally, co-founder of Rand, McNally & Co. They were built with front facades of Joliet limestone, a local-quarried building stone that was popular in the 19th century Chicago." Today, they are still homes.
In the 1950's, the North Side neighborhood experienced “urban blight,” creating a drive for improvements. In 1974, thirteen acres of land were set aside for the park. In 1976, the park was officially named Oz Park in honor of L. Frank Baum. Baum lived in Chicago around 1891 only a few miles from the park. In the 1990’s, the Oz Park advisory council commissioned John Kearney to make the Tin Man sculpture. The community organization later commissioned Kearney to make the Lion statue in the park. Despite popular belief, Dorothy’s Play Lot was not named after Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, but it was named after Dorothy Malamerson, a retired teacher. Ms. Malamerson made significant donations to the park out of her passion for children’s physical well being. For the 100th anniversary of the book, the park held the “Celebration of the Wizard of Oz”, with readings costumes, games, and prizes. Since there is no field house, all indoor activities are held inside Lincoln Park High School. In return, Lincoln Park High School uses Oz Park for all outdoor sporting events. Now, Oz Park hosts movies in the summer and a pumpkin patch in the fall.
The Kaufmann Store and Flats building is a Chicago landmark know for its architecture. A plaque marks the site, and it reads "One of the oldest surviving buildings designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, an architectural partnership that helped transform modern architecture. It illustrates the type of design that Sullivan later developed in such frames structures as the auditorium and Carson Pirie Scott & Co. Especially notable is the Kaufman buildings’ degree of intactness, especially its storefront detailing. Built be druggist Ferdinand Kaufman, the building originally housed a bakery on the ground floor." Today it houses a restaurant and an interior design store.
The Biograph Theater is the oldest remaining neighborhood movie house. On July 22, 1934, it received national recognition due to the killing of John Dillinger. Dillinger, a bank robber, fled to Chicago and got plastic surgery to hid from the police. This worked for a while, but he eventually met Anna Sage, an undercover FBI agent working as a prostitute leader. On July 22nd, they went to the Biograph Theater to watch a movie and that's where the police intervened. He was killed in the alley behind the theater. The land was bought in 1912 and the building was built in 1914. Samuel N. Crowen, the architect, included a storefront lobby, recessed entrance, free standing ticket booth, and canopy marquee. The building is finished in red pressed brick and white glazed terra-cotta.
Due to a lack of Churches in Chicago’s Lakeview area, Father Essing purchased five acres of land in 1882 for a new church. St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorist Fathers, was the patron saint chosen. The original church, designed by Adam Boos, sat where the Athenaeum Theater now stands. There was no initial resident pastor, until Father Max Leimgruber became the first pastor in 1885. In his two years as a pastor, he baptized 1,091 people, performed 130 marriages, and confirmed 393 people. In 1889 the church had over 800 families registered, and needed a larger church. By 1897, a new location was selected, and the dedication of the new building was performed by Archbishop Feehan. It featured a large marble altar that was eventually replaced in the 1940’s. The attached school was a very important aspect to the Church. The first day of school was in September 1892, with 70 enrolled students. In 4 years the enrollment increased to more than 500 children. Over the next few years. it expanded to over 1000 students, creating a need for a new building. The construction started in 1902 and ended in 1903, creating a new area for the church. The Athenaeum was added in 1911 as a recreational area for scouts, students, faculty, and parishioners. The church continued to grow until 1939 when the church had a fire, burning the Athenaeum down. It was remodeled and rebuilt. Eleven years later the main church caught on fire, but reopened its doors again for worship two years later. The community has been expanding ever since. In 2012 Fr. Michael O’Connell became the pastor.
The former Marshfield Trust and savings bank is a Chicago landmark know for its architecture. The plaque at the site: "This terra-cotta clad flat-iron building makes most of its triangular building lot: Like many neighborhood banks from the 1920's, the Marshfield trust and Savings Bank employs the Classical Revival style of architecture to convey a sense of permanence and security. Arcaded two-story arched windows extend across both street facades. The building contractor was Avery Brundage, who went on to be president of the international Olympic Committee." The building today has a dance studio on the first floor.
The Taste of Lincoln, the annual Wrightwood neighborhood fundraiser, began in 1984. It is usually a two day summer celebration between Fullerton and Wrightwood drawing 50,000 visitors a year. The event features food and craft vendors, live music, and a carnival area for children. In 2017, the event will take place on July 29th and July 30th. It is located on Lincoln between Fullerton and Wrightwood.
Sulzer Library and Wells Park sit across the street from each other just north of Montrose. Sulzer was named after Conrad Sulzer, an early Lakeview Township settler. The building was designed by firm Hammond Beeby and Babka in 1985, which is the same firm that designed the Harold Washington Library. It is known as one of the best facilities of any library branch in Chicago. Similarly, Wells Park is considered to be one of the best parks in Chicago. Wells Park offers a wide variety of activities, including indoor and outdoor basketball courts, baseball, soccer, tennis courts, horse shoe, chess, a playground, indoor pool, gym, weight room, and a seniors club. It was one of the five parks created by the Lincoln Park commission in 1910. A small field house was first built in 1915 and later replaced in 1970. Abe Saperstein, the founder of the Harlem Globetrotters, started his career as a basketball coach at Wells Park in the 1920’s.
The Old Town School of Folk Music first opened in December 1957 on 33 North Avenue. Enrollment grew during the surge of folk music at the time. Over 150 students attended weekly guitar and banjo classes. In addition to guitar and banjo, dancing and singing classes were also offered. Many famous artists have performed there, such as Pete Seeger. During the 1960’s the school continued to grow and taught Roger McGuinn, Bob Gibson, and many others. In 1968 it moved to 909 west Armitage. In the 1970’s the school introduced private instructions on more instruments, high-profile concerts, and satellite locations. Enrollment peaked in 1975 with over 650 students coming on a weekly basis. In the 1980’s, the school had a large decline in students and concert attendance, marking a severe financial crisis that almost bankrupted the school. The school started to implement changes, including management effectiveness, fundraising, and expansion of programs to include a wide range of music. In 1987 the school renovated the Armitage school to adapt to the new surge in popularity. That same year, they were awarded the Beatrice Foundation Award for Excellence. In the 1990’s the school needed more space and moved to the former Hild Library, located on Lincoln Avenue. The new school building was dedicated on September 18, 1998, with a concert by Joni Mitchell and Peter Yarrow. The new facility made the school the finest in America to study folk and traditional music, dramatically raising the school’s profile. Today the program averages nearly 6,600 students per week. The school continues to provide hundreds classes in music, dance and art, offering free concerts on most Wednesdays. The school continues to grow, and still lives on the philosophy where “teachers and students would be partners in learning”(Frank Hamilton).
The Krause Music store is a National Historic landmark building. In 1921, William Krause chose architect William Presto to design a building that would serve both as a music store and apartment complex. What makes the building a Historic Landmark is the work done by Luis Sullivan. This building was his last commissioned work. He added a beautiful green terra cotta façade, giving the building a unique look. The building was completed in 1922. The store sold pianos, sheet music, and was one of the first stores to sell radios. Unfortunately, during the height of The Great Depression, Krause committed suicide in the apartment on the second floor. His widowed wife rented and then sold the building to a funeral parlor, which was there for 60 years. In 1977, the building was recognized as a historic landmark. In 2006, the building was purchased by Studio V Design, and they restored the façade and interior.
Lincoln Square is an island at the intersection at the intersection Lincoln, Lawrence, and Western. There is a statue of Lincoln on the north end entitled “Chicago’s Lincoln”. The statue was sculpted by Dr. Avard Fairbanks, and unveiled in 1956. Inside the square there are many shops, the entrances are marked by arches, and a fountain is located in the middle.
North Park first started in Minneapolis. The school was originally in a church basement in 1891, and taught classes in business and language to Swedish immigrant students. The school was offered land in Chicago, and the first building, Old Main, was completed in 1894. The building housed everything, including classrooms, a library, faculty offices, dorms, gymnasium, and a dining room. The cupola atop Old Maine was the largest structure in Chicago, and pilots would use it to locate the airfield, now O’Hare, in the 1920’s. North Park has adapted its education mission over time. It has been an academy, junior college, and four-year liberal arts college. In 1997, it became a university with a theological seminary.
The Chicago river starts in the loop and branches north and south from there. The river connects Lake Michigan to the Illinois River, from there it goes to the Mississippi River and ends with the Gulf of Mexico. The river played a crucial role in the development of Chicago; the meatpacking and lumber industrial depended on the river in the 19th century. The industries polluted the water and gave it the nickname “Bubbly Creek”. This raised safety concerns and the construction of locks were used to redirect the flow of water up the Des Plaines River instead of into Lake Michigan. The from 1889 to 1910 the locks and a 28-mile canal were constructed. The Chicago river today is used for fishers, rowers, and other hobbyist. For every St. Patrick’s Day, the river is dyed green. During the trail, you will cross over the river on Foster Avenue.
The history of these locations researched at the Chicago Historical Society. The books used were Chicago Politics, Ward By Ward, by David K. Fremon; Chicago Scultures, by James L. Riedy; The Encyclopedia of Chicago, by James R. Grossman; and The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago's Parks, by Julia S. Bachrach. The websites for The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, St. Alphonsus, The Taste of Lincoln, and North Park University were used.