Monthly Archives: February 2015

The View from 101 York – March 2015

LW Reedy has been serving the Elmhurst community and surrounding areas since 1951. As the largest locally-owned real estate agency in Elmhurst, we have a passion for local news and events. Here’s our view of the community for this month, from our perch at 101 York in the heart of downtown Elmhurst.

March 7, 2015

Gospel Extravaganza 2015

Attend a free concert at 7:00 pm in the Joshuabeautiful Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel featuring gospel, inspirational and a variety of other music. Joshua’s Troop is a group of over 50 high-achieving singers led by Pastor Clay Evans and Charles Jenkins. Their high-energy  mixture of urban and hip-hop music with contemporary gospel combines for a unique musical experience. The Elmhurst College Gospel Choir and Chicago Mass will also perform. Contact Trudy Sulit by email at trudys@elmhurst.edu or by phone at (630) 617-3492 for more information.

March 7, 2015

Jazz Thaw

Starting at 4:00 pm, take a stroll through Oak Park and enjoy a potpourriJazz Thaw of Jazz music presented by 90.0 fm WDCB and playing in select restaurants. Go where the spirit leads as live music drifts out of the jazz tour locations. Order dinner at your favorite Oak Park eatery or purchase sample appetizers at each restaurant. Then catch one of three renowned jazz performers as they top off the evening with concerts. Check out this website to see the schedule. And best of all, the music is free.

March 7, 2015

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Walk over to to Spring Road by noon and catch one of thSt Pat Paradee largest and longest-running St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the Chicagoland area. Dress up in your most creative green outfit and celebrate this Irish tradition with leprechauns, clowns, jugglers, bands, dancers, bagpipes and floats. Look for the folks from  LW Reedy as they walk in the parade celebrating the one day of the year that makes everyone wish they were Irish. It’s free fun for the whole family.

March 12 – 14, 2015

2015 8th Annual GFF Save the Date Card Front 3_5x5 V2-B-II Print8th Annual Geneva Film Festival 

Spend a few days in the world of the independent film maker, sponsored by the Cultural Arts of Commission in Geneva. Screen a variety of independent films and screenplays. Take in technical workshops with industry professionals for the film maker and enthusiast. Click here to see a schedule of events. Click here to purchase tickets.

March 13 – 15, 2015

World of Wheels Car Show

Keep the car lovers in your family happy by visitingChicago_WOW_Badge the World of Wheels Auto Show at The Rosemont Convention Center, where you will see hot rods, competition cars, specialty and concept vehicles. Admission is $19 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 12. Hours are Friday from 3 pm to 10:30 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm, and Sunday 10 am to 7 pm.

March 14 – 15, 2015

Naperville Settlement’s Maple Sugar Fair

Maple Sugaring Days_thumbIt wouldn’t be March without the sweet taste of fresh maple syrup. Witness maple sap as it boils into syrup and tour the historic businesses and homes in Naper Settlement. Dance to live music, try drilling for sap yourself and enjoy fresh maple flavored treats. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for kids, four through twelve. Members and Naperville residents are free.

March 28-29, 2015

Shower of Crafts & Art Fair
Choose from over 175  juried exhibitors of hand made craft items at the College of DuPage. For more information, vicraft showsit their website or send an email to info@craftproductionsinc.com. Admission is $5 with children under 16 free. The show will be open from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday.

Elmhurst’s Place in Airport History

Airfields_IL_Chicago_C_htm_203cc4f3In 1923, a Chicagoan named Joe James landed a biplane in a field roughly located at Grand Avenue and Church Street.  Shortly after that, Fred Bouchard and Mr. James named that space  “Eagle Flying Field” and founded the airport that would be incorporated, in 1929, as the Elmhurst Airport,  the first airport for small aircraft west of Chicago.

The Elmhurst Press wrote an Learn to Flyarticle that year with ads and articles about the airport, including an ad for the Humming Bird Flying Club, complete with free flight instruction. The paper included this ad promoting flying lessons  for 47¢ a day, for beginners or licensed pilots.

The airport had two grass runways with no lights available until the last several years the airport was inElmhurst Airport Aerial photograph operation. When making a night landing, pilots had to use two flares that marked the end of the runway. At first, the airport served small planes and offered flight training. At one point, helicopters flew in with mail. For somewhere between five and ten dollars, anyone wanting a new thrill could take a flight above the Elmhurst area.

At this early stage in air travel, there were no requirements for cross-country pilots. There were so many airports and flying fields in the Chicago area, pilots easily found their way from one to the other. Light plane pilots rarely flew far from home, working primarily for local customers. When the war broke out, many of the small airfields like Elmhurst Airport played an important role in winning the war by providing trained pilots for the new airplanes rolling off the production lines.

 In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt supported the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CTPT). Initially, the CPTP training was offered only by colleges who arranged lessons with local flight schools for their plane 2students. Elmhurst and Wheaton Colleges, in Chicago’s west suburbs, were among the earliest to participate in the program using the Elmhurst Airport. When the CPTP was announced, the small grass flying fields like Elmhurst Airport finally allowed the operators of these airports all over the country to earn their first living wage and allowed civilians to help with transporting war materials and personnel, and train military pilots for participation in battle.

In 1945, Tufts-Edgecumbe Company took control of the Elmhurst Airport, Elmhurst%20Airport-2managing the airport until 1956. It operated planes, improved runways and built training facilities. The company also offered civilian classes, flying lessons, sales and service of aircraft. When O’Hare International Airport expanded, the land Elmhurst Airport occupied was deemed more appropriate for industrial development and now houses an industrial complex on the North border of Elmhurst  adjacent to Bensenville.

Information for this article was provided by The Elmhurst Historical Museum who provided both pictures and information.

What’s going on in North Elmhurst?

The city of Elmhurst has decided that the north side of town needs a little tender Elmhurst-Location-Maploving care. Work has been going on for over a year, including community meetings with both residents and businesses, surveys, research in other towns and internal discussion among city officials. Called the North York  Plan, the area in question is a 2-mile stretch between Grand Avenue and North Avenue.

Lead by consulting teams at Houseal Lavigne Associates, Conservation Design Forum and Gewalt Hamilton Associates, the plan looks at how land is used, including what types of businesses are operating, what types of buildings are standing, vehicular and foot traffic, urban design, infrastructure including flood control, and more. This area is in TIF District IV, which was approved in September of 2012. (If you want more information about TIFs in general, please visit the Illinois Tax Increment Association website.)

Both residents and business owners have met in several meetings to provide opinions as to what is needed in the area and their conclusions were fairly similar. The most mentioned areas included parking, Land Use Planconnectedness to the central business district, sidewalks and cross walks, and community perception because of the appearance of some of the buildings. To solve parking issues, consolidating parking areas and moving them behind the buildings was suggested. This might mean TIF financing would be required to purchase land. To connect this area to the downtown area, ideas including some type of trolley or bus to run between the North York Corridor and the Metra station were discussed, without gaining much traction.

Walkability was more easily addressed, including better sidewalks or paths. If parking lots are centrally located in back of the buildings, pedestrians would also be treesmuch safer. Community perception is thought to be poor because Elmhurst residents living adjacent to the area travel to other places to shop. Many people at the meetings thought the city should try to attract national stores similar to the new and popular Mariano’s grocery store. In addition, a lot of time was spent suggesting improvements to the appearance of the area including trees at intersections, medians with flowers and burying utility lines.

In fact, improving the appearance of the area seems to be the most pressing issue at the moment. The plan encourages businesses along North York290 overpass Street to upgrade signage making it more consistent, improve landscaping along the street, improve the look of the I-290 interchange, and encourage economic development by recruiting bigger anchor stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond or other destination retail stores. Grant programs may be offered to improve existing business facades and move towards consolidating and revamping parking areas.

Making it advantageous for businesses who are more industrial in nature to move to Grand Avenue is also under consideration in order to make room for the more retail oriented businesses the city hopes to attract. With bigger stores, Elmhurst could become a regional shopping area bringing more tax revenue to the city and convenience to its residents.

So once again, exciting things appear to be happening in Elmhurst. Stay tuned for more updates!

 

If you are interested in learning more about this plan, there is a very complete report, including the illustrations and charts in this article, at http://www.hlplanning.com/portals/elmhurst/download/other_documents/North%20York%20Street%20Plan%20DRAFT%20MQ.pdf.