Neighborhood News

The Lakefront

One of the most compelling reasons for its birth, growth and the continuing attraction to new members of the community is its vibrant lakefront. Recreational opportunities abound along the lakefront and offer unique histories which are within easy walking distance of Buena Park:

• An elephant grave
• A former missile site
• An archery range
• A skateboard park
• A totem pole
• 2 bird sanctuaries
• 2 boat harbors
• A lakefront golf course
• A fishing pier
• 20 tennis courts
• A beautiful beach
• 4 baseball diamonds
• 2 soccer fields

The Peace Garden

The design for the original garden was unsigned but can be attributed to either landscape-architect Alfred Caldwell or his park district predecessor Jens Jensen. That garden which had graced 4200 N. Marine Drive in the early 1930s had walls of limestone ledges and a trickling waterfall that fit snugly into a sloping, verdant landscape.

In 1986 the Greenpeace environmental group designated the spot as a peace garden. But the gesture was more symbolic, because no long-term plans were made for maintenance until two years later.

In 1988 the Chicago Park District and Artists for Sharing jointly began to oversee a four-year pilot project to create an enduring peace garden by excavating the original garden. The Children’s Peace Council, an offshoot of Artists for Sharing, helped with the restoration.

The Peace Garden is flanked by peace poles to the north and south which were planted by The Peace School.


Christine Kandaras to Be Buena Park Historian

Buena Park Neighbors is pleased to announce that long time resident Christine Kandaras has agreed to be the Buena Park Historian. In that role, Christine will work with a team to chronicle our neighborhood history and key events that shaped it. It will build on the work that Buena Park Neighbors has done over the years with the Hutchison Street Historic Tours.

Christine and her husband, Ken Kandaras, have been active in Buena Park and Uptown since they returned to Ken’s boyhood home on Junior Terrace nine years ago. Ken’s family has been in the neighborhood since the 1960’s. She believes the history and the architecture impact how people live and feel. She volunteers with Chicago Greeters and gives regular tours of the entertainment district of Uptown as well as downtown and neighborhood tours to people who sign up.

In the month’s ahead, Christine will write articles for the newsletter and provide bits of history for our Facebook followers. We’ll find out more about how Buena Park got its name and how it became the neighborhood that it is today. Stay tuned and thank you Christine for taking on this new responsibility.

Meet Buena Park Neighbor Cindy Huston

Meet Cindy Huston who is a Chicago Northside resident of 14 years and owner of the Uptown/Buena Park studio and spa, Yoga Body Elements, 4007 N. Broadway #202, Chicago, IL 60613. Cindy has 20+ years of teaching, choreography and sharing body wellness practices for ages 3 years to adult and primarily teaches Bhakti Vinyasa, Restorative Yoga, massage, Reiki, and approved continuing education courses. Cindy has a guided yoga CD available called Restorative Yoga with Cindy Huston.

Her yoga classes are focused on balancing the physical and energetic body while embodying bhakti “heart centered” focus. She has been on staff and a presenting artist with Bhakti Fest Yoga and Kirtan Festival and Midwest Yoga and Kirtan Festival. Cindy’s first trip to India was on a 2014 Bhakti Yatra tour Rishikesh, Vrindavan, Govardhan and Mumbai. During this tour through India, Cindy was inspired to create the Chicago Hula Hoop Festival after gifting students at the Food for Life School in Vrindavan with their first ever hula hoop. The excitement from both the teachers and students was through the roof. Cindy decided that she would like to support Food for Life and donate a portion of the festival’s proceeds to the school.

Born in Iowa Cindy’s previous life was as a dancer, and her choreography has appeared throughout the region. After receiving a BA in Dance from the University of Iowa she accepted the position as Lead Adjunct Dance Instructor at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In May, 2004 Cindy moved to Chicago to further her career in dance performance. Performance credits include: Sarasota Opera House, Walt Disney World, MidTangent Productions, Culture Shock Chicago, Weave Soundpainting Orchestra, Perceptual Motion Inc., Subtext Dance “Playing in Traffic” project, Fire for Higher Professional Fire Artists and dancing back up for solo vocal artists, just to name a few.

Yoga Body Elements opened in the Uptown/Buena Park neighborhood in 2016. Since moving to Chicago in 2004 the Uptown neighborhood has always been a draw for the YBE studio and spa owner, Cindy Huston. One of the main reasons for choosing Uptown was its diverse neighborhood and being a 10 minute walk to Lake Michigan. The Buena Park Peace Garden is another favorite spot to gather for yoga and hula hooping. Over the past 2.5 years Yoga Body Elements has participated in charities, including Sole Hope Shoe Cutting, Sandwiches for the Streets, Free the Girls, and this year the Heartland Healthcare Toy Drive. We love being active members with Buena Park Neighbors, The Chamber for Uptown, Lakeview East Chamber and the Chicago Market. Yoga Body Elements chooses a full body approach to wellness. We invite you to visit Yoga Body Elements for our introductory special of 2 weeks of unlimited yoga classes for $25 and 30 percent off your first yoga private lesson, massage, or Reiki session. We look forward to continue building our relationship with neighborhood, and meeting you! – Facebook: Yoga Body Elements studio – Instagram: @yogabodyelements – 773-484-8443

There’s a lot happening at the Uptown Branch Library in December

There’s a lot happening at the Uptown Branch Library in December.


For all ages:

Games at the Library

Adults, kids and families are invited to drop in and play a game together. We’ll have board games, card games, trivia games and more.  Or, if you have a favorite at home you can bring it in.  Bring your coffee, pop, water, hot chocolate … and we’ll provide some snacks!  Kids under 11 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Thursdays, December 27 and January 3 from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays, December 29 and January 5, from 1:00 until 3:30 p.m.

For kids:

Creation Station/Construction Zone      

Kids can get creative at the library during the winter break.  We’ll have lots of different blocks and building sets to play with and plenty of craft supplies to make something great.  It’s also “Design your World” Winter Learning Challenge time.  How can you use art and design to express yourself, solve problems and inspire other people?  Just drop in during library hours between December 21 and January 5 and let your creativity flow. (We’re open 9:00 – 3:00 on December 24 and December 31.)

Play Date

Get out of the house and meet up with old friends or make new ones at our open play time.  We’ll put out our puzzles, puppets, blocks and more for the little ones to play with.  Bring your coffee, grown-ups, and relax with other families of young children.  All children must be accompanied by an adult, of course. Saturdays, December 29 and January 5 from 9:30 until 11:30 a.m.

Kids’ New Year’s Eve Celebration!

Ring out the old year, ring in the new!  Dress in your fanciest outfit and come celebrate with a countdown to noon.  Create your own beautiful, crazy, surprising, marvelous or amazing hat. Write a letter to your future self, or a New Year’s resolution.  Make a noisemaker. You might even dance! Kids under 11 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.  Monday, December 31 from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.

Book Babies

Story time for children who are not yet walking, and their grown-ups, continues on Mondays (11:00 – 11:30 or 1:30 – 2:00) through Dec. 17.  For questions, or to register, please email Children’s Librarian Laura Jenkins.

Toddler Story Time

Stories, songs and rhymes for little people from about 18 to 36 months of age (with a caregiver) happen every Wednesday in December from 10:30 until 11:00 a.m., followed by a half-hour of free play time.

About Buena Park: The Pattington

The Pattington was designed by David E. Postle and built in 1902 at 660-700 Irving Park Rd. It was the first open-court, luxury suburban apartment to be constructed north of the Loop. Others soon followed suit: the Kellshore Apartment Hotel built in 1915 at 718-756 Irving Park Rd., the Buena Terrace Apartment Hotel built in 1917-1918 at 4242 N Sheridan Rd., the Stirling apartments built in 1916 at 4101-4123 N Sheridan and the Crescent apartments built in 1911 at 839-851 Belle Plaine.

Although these apartments served the needs of the middle class, the wealthy found these apartments appealing, also. The Pattington offered 7, 8 and 9 room dwellings, and a 3-flat at 4318 N Sheridan appealed to people of money with 11 rooms and 3 baths.

Between 1910 and 1930 small one room and two room kitchenette apartments were offered to those seeking more affordable rents, like the apartments buildings at 707 Junior and 728-732 Bittersweet.

Buena Park’s varied residential mix provided benefits for everyone and began a long tradition of diversity. The landfill of the 1910s expanded the parks and created space for Lake Shore Drive; the 1914 opening of Clarendon Beach and its 10,000 locker (the largest in Chicago at the time) was a huge recreational benefit; and the flowering retail district and movie palaces at its northern border meant that shopping and entertainment were was close by and easily accessible.

Our residents live on 326 acres in roughly 400 buildings that are mostly three-story or four-story apartment buildings which were built in the 1920s and 1930s. Buena Park is also dotted with stretches of single-family homes, including Hutchinson Street, Hazel Street and Junior Terrace which form a renowned showcase of residential homes that were built between 1890 and 1915.

Our residences are unique.

Most of Buena Park’s residences were built with brick, although there are a few wood-frame and rock-faced homes. Much of the neighborhood was built with common Chicago red brick, but it differs from many of its neighboring communities due to our heavy use of white, buff, tan, red, orange, gray, gold and mottled brick

The Illinois Historic Sites Survey lists 39 buildings from Buena Park. The Pattington courtyard apartment building is on the National Register and Hutchinson Street is listed on the Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks.
Renowned architect George Washington Maher designed five homes that were built on Hutchinson Street (formerly Kesesaw Terrace) from 1894 to 1912 and have become Buena Park’s signature architecture. Maher’s diverse skill is displayed in these Queen Anne, Prairie and European modernism styles. Add Hazel Street and Junior Terrace and you have an even wider range of architecture: Romanesque, Shingle, Classical and Renaissance Revival.
In 2014 the average sold price of a home in Buena Park is $262,879. The average home price per square-foot in Buena Park is $156, according to the national Association of Realtors.

The average rental rate for a one-bedroom unit in Buena Park is $1,490. For a two-bedroom unit the average rental rate in Buena Park is $1,917.

If you walk down most streets here, you will notice façade bays, swell fronts and sun parlors that create an undulating line. These gentle waves of building lines seem appropriately placed along our lakefront community. Other communities to the north and south have more modern and intrusive buildings that interrupt the wave-like flow that is so familiar in Buena Park. The curved streets of Belle Plaine, Cuyler and Gordon Terrace add to the feeling of waves along the shores of Lake Michigan.

The Pattington