Waveland Clock Tower and Kwagulth Totem Pole

Waveland Clock Tower

When the population pushed north in the 1920s local commissioners approved a field house for the lakefront at Waveland. Field houses were popular on the south side, because they could accommodate the growing popularity of outdoor sports.

When local resident Annie Woolford died in 1927 she left $50,000 to construct a carillon tower that she had seen as a child in Massachusetts. The tower was added to the field house. The Chicago-based J. C. Deagan installed the tubular bell chimes that no longer ring, but still work. The small clocks which are about the size of a hand run the huge hands of the clocks.

Kwagulth Totem Pole

The plaque below the totem pole reads: Kwanusila the Thunderbird, is an authentic Kwagu’ł totem pole, carved in Red Cedar by Tony Hunt of Fort Rupert, British Columbia. The crests carved upon the totem pole represent Kwanusila the Thunderbird, a whale with a man on its back, and a sea monster.

Many people do not realize that totem poles were only regionally used by First Nations along the coastal areas of British Columbia. Kwanusila is an exact replica of the original Kraft Lincoln Park totem pole, which was donated to the City of Chicago by James L. Kraft on June 20, 1929, and which stood on the spot until October 9, 1985. It was discovered some years before the pole was moved, that a pole of this type did not exist in the types at the Provincial British Columbia Museum located in Victoria, B.C., Canada.

Arrangements were made for a duplicate of the Chicago original to be made by the same Amerindian tribe that made the original. A request was made and approved by the Chicago Park District for the original totem pole which existed here to be presented back to British Columbia. Kwanusila is dedicated to the school children of Chicago, and was presented to the City of Chicago by Kraft, Inc. on May 21, 1986.


Buena Park’s Tree Canopy

Our neighborhood trees provide many benefits, including improved aesthetics, wildlife habitat, increased property values and energy savings. i-Tree is a software suite from the U.S. Forest Service that helps quantify the structure of trees and forests to determine the benefits that trees provide. i-Tree Canopy was recently used to assess the tree canopy within Buena Park.

i-Tree Canopy analysis showed that about 16.6% of Buena Park is covered in tree canopy. This is below the average of 21% for the entire Chicago region determined through a 2013 study. This is not too surprising, since the whole-Chicago study included dense urban areas like Buena Park but also more natural areas such as forest preserves. 16.6% canopy is therefore respectable given the urban nature of the neighborhood, and higher than many similar areas in the city of Chicago. But it shows that we also have some room to grow!

Benefits of Our Trees

Benefits of urban trees measured by i-Tree Canopy include carbon sequestration, ozone removal and particulate matter removal. The total benefit for each of these within Buena Park is below:

Carbon Dioxide stored in trees – 3,748.16 tons ($135,632.54)

Carbon Dioxide sequestered annually in trees – 148.66 tons ($5,378.80)
Ozone removed annually –  1,460.18 lbs.
Particulate Matter less than 2.5 microns removed annually – 70.95 lbs.

Other benefits, such as aesthetics and wildlife habitat, are not as easily measured. But as we can see, our trees add a lot to our neighborhood.

New Carpeting at Uptown Public Library

Uptown Branch library sincerely thanks the Buena Park Neighbors Parents Group led by Alisha Waters for all their efforts to get new carpeting for our neighborhood branch.  They made it happen!! The Parents Group initiated the proposal and approached Alderman Cappleman who provided the funds to re-carpet the Community Room. The city’s Facilities Management Department (2FM) answered with the additional funds to re-carpet the entire branch – a not-so-small miracle as new carpeting has been on our wish-list for a very long time.

Babies and toddlers with their mothers, fathers, grandparents and nannies can now enjoy Book Babies and Toddler Story Times on a brand new carpet. The Buena Park Parents host their regular meet and greet for families with young children on Sat., Feb. 2 from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. in the Community Room.  Alderman Cappleman will be the special guest, reading stories at 10:30 a.m.

If you haven’t been back yet since our re-opening, we hope you’ll stop in soon!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at PR Italian Bistro

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at PR Italian Bistro – On Valentine’s Day PR Italian Bistro will randomly hide two Golden Tickets under our Veruca Chocolates’ Luxury Chocolate Board. The finders will be rewarded entry to the Veruca Chocolates’ Chocolate Making Class. The real Golden Tickets are signed and coded on the back, and winners will present an ID to Veruca Chocolates.

Join PR Italian Bistro for a lovely evening in a warm, inviting atmosphere where excellent food, fantastic drinks and friendly, knowledgeable service awaits. Chef Stefano’s Blackboard Menu (posted when ready @ http://www.pritalianbistro.com) will feature Venetian-inspired, Valentine-themed dishes along with some fabulous sparkling cocktail creations.

Click here for reservations:

The History of Hutchinson Street

The two-block stretch of Hutchinson Street was a part of the parcel of land James Waller bought in 1850. This parcel was outside of the city of Chicago in an area commonly known as Lakeview. Later, Lakeview was incorporated as a city in 1887. Two years later (1889), Lakeview was annexed by the city of Chicago. In the ensuing years, the Waller family sold some of the Waller property for development. The lakefront properties were sold at a premium to wealthy buyers. And, German and Scandinavian farmers bought much of the inland properties.

Charles Scales, a Civil War veteran, bought a parcel of land that includes present day Hutchinson Street. Scales developed his parcel with a sense of purpose. To encourage development, he installed a road down the middle of his land. He called the road Kenesaw as an homage to the battle at Kenesaw Mountain, a fight in which he was a combatant. Scales built the first house on Kenesaw Street.  Intended as a family residence, Scales hired Chicago architect George Washington Maher to design the home and it was completed in 1894. This remarkable Queen Anne style house stands today and is located 840 W Hutchinson. There are other remarkable homes on the former Scales parcel that were designed by G. W. Maher: the Mosser house at 750 W. Hutchinson (1902); the Lake House at 832 W. Hutchinson (1904); the Seymour house at 839 W. Hutchinson (1909); and the Brackebush house at 817 W. Hutchinson (1913).

In 1936, Kenesaw was renamed Hutchinson Street after Charles L. Hutchinson, a Chicago businessman and civic leader. Hutchinson was president of the Corn Exchange National Bank and was a director on several boards, including the Northern Trust, the Chicago Street Railway Company, and the Chicago Packing and Provision Company. He was president of the Chicago Art Institute and treasurer of the University of Chicago. He was involved with Hull House and the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.

At various times, community volunteers give tours of the exteriors of the George Washington Maher homes. Further, the Buena Park Neighborhood Association offers information on the Hutchinson Street Historical District. The tours are free and open to the public. The dates will be published in a later newsletter.