Neighborhood News

Meet Buena Park Neighbor Colleen Fleming

Colleen Fleming moved to Buena Park last year and has since become involved in Buena Park Neighbors activities including the Block Captain program and Buena Park Young Professionals. A lifelong Chicago-area resident (aside from a few years in California and Ireland), Colleen was happy to find a condo in a neighborhood that has a strong sense of community.

Colleen currently works as an instructional design manager at the American College of Surgeons, where she oversees the development of educational content for surgical quality improvement programs. Prior to this, she was an instructional designer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she collaborated with faculty to create business courses for MBA and executive education students.

Colleen has a bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and a master’s degree in Popular Literature from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She enjoys art and completed a bookbinding certificate program at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Last year, Colleen earned a graduate certificate from the University of Illinois in Information Accessibility Design and Policy, which allows her to ensure that online educational courses and websites are developed to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

In addition to her involvement with Buena Park Neighbors Colleen is a member of the Young Leadership Committee for JDRF. JDRF is a global non-profit that funds Type 1 diabetes research in the hopes of finding a cure for the autoimmune disease. Her work on the committee includes graphic design, marketing, event support, and fundraising. Colleen is also serving as an election judge in Buena Park on November 6th and hopes to see you on election day if you haven’t voted yet!


Graceland Cemetery and the U.S. Marine Hospital

Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery was dedicated in 1860 and quickly became a destination for visitors. Landscaped cemeteries of the day were also used for weekend trips, picnics, strolling and riding in carriages. Its 119 acres form the western boundary of Buena Park and blocks east and west traffic which calms traffic flow and insulates the neighborhood. Ours is the only lakefront community in Chicago whose east and west borders are so clear, prominent and easy to recognize. Graceland Cemetery adds to the identity of Buena Park and reinforces its suburb-within-a-city nature that is not found within most Chicago neighborhoods.


U.S. Marine Hospital

The major open space of the neighborhood is a park on the site of the former United States Marine Hospital at 4141 N Clarendon that was built on a 10-acre lakefront lot between 1867 and 1873. The four-story, stone building was designed by government architect A. B. Mullett and sat on the center of the lot. It cost $500,000 to construct. The hospital and its well-manicured lawns and shrubs became a major selling point for developers to persuade families

to move to and live in Buena Park. Walt Disney Magnet School also sits on a portion of the former hospital grounds. In 1889 Francis T. Simmons and Charles U. Gordon developed a construction-restricted Queen Anne style subdivision just north of the hospital grounds along Gordon Terrace that allowed only one single-family residence for every 50 feet.

It took 17 minutes for four train cars packed with dignitaries to travel past cheering throngs from downtown Chicago to Wilson Ave. on May 31, 1900. Fraught with delays since 1892 the L’s speedy service replaced slow streetcars. It ran along Buena Park’s western border and included a stop at Buena Avenue. This marked a new era for Buena Park. The easy access to the rest of the city was now available, and the apartment house boom began. New residents flocked here because of the L, the lakefront and its established residential reputation.


Although critics of apartment buildings proposed the loss of domestic life, family values and privacy, the argument for convenience, efficiency, comfort and modern technology won and “French flats” or apartment buildings and apartment hotels began emerging at the turn of the century. The architects of these three-story and four-story apartments tried to maintain the suburban feel of Buena Park by incorporating courtyards, so each unit would have a view of a lawn, a place for children to play and a sense of light, air and open space.

Upcoming Human Citizen Workplace October Events

HC 4

Lunch Seminar

Seasonal Planning – How to Make this Fall Your Best Ever!!

Wednesday, October 3, from 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM

at Human Citizen Workplace (4101 N. Broadway)

First, we’ll introduce our members and then learn how to bring more adventure and excitement to our everyday lives from Travelworthy founder Steph Worth. Steph is a consultant for Travelworthy, a custom travel planning company, that encourages people to Let the Trip Take You. She loves helping people plan trips that bring joy and fulfillment. What will you learn? Summer ends and you’re left wondering where it went, or winter is coming, and you can’t seem to remember the leaves ever-changing color. Seasonal planning or #seasonoftheyear is an approach that helps you make the most of your seasons, weekends, weekdays and weeknights. During this presentation, we’ll talk about what this approach is and why it’s so successful. Seats limited. RSVP required – Food and drinks provided.


HC 5

Evening Seminar

Retirement Savings Plans for Small Businesses

Wednesday, October 3, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Human Citizen Workplace (4101 N. Broadway)

All Human Citizen Workplace and Buena Park/Uptown Community Members are welcome to register and join for free!

Presented by LESTNA RETIREMENT (our very own member Vitaly Novok)

Looking to set up a retirement plan for your business? Not sure where to start? Join us for a free seminar on retirement savings plans available for your small business.


  • Why you should have a retirement savings plan for your small business.
  • Which plan is best for your business.
  • Maximize taxes and attract top talent!

Register now at

Food and drinks provided.

Human Citizen Workplace Continues to Showcase Development Opportunities for Members and Greater Community

Human Citizen 1

On September 25, Human Citizen Workplace recently hosted a self-defense session for its members. The session was taught by Torriente Toliver from Mind Body Defense, a local Buena Park business partner. Torriente uses kickboxing and self-defense as a vehicle to unlock the human potential of the modern professional. Mind Body Defense serves those who want to improve their fitness through purposeful action. Once one achieves fitness goals and becomes empowered, Mind Body Defense helps protect one’s new found confidence and quality of life.

Torriente explained and demonstrated:

  • Awareness (threat assessment in our surroundings).
  • Scripts to use when dealing with verbal conflict.
  • Physical skills that can be used to defend one’s body as a last resort.

Learn more at

Human Citizen 2

On September 24Human Citizen Workplace hosted DataconomyMedia GmbH, a global media group base in Berlin, Germany. DataconomyMedia travels across a complete continent to find the best speakers, connect with interesting partners and talk to all digital health entrepreneurs they can find! First stop Chicago! DataconomyMedia selected Human Citizen Workplace to facilitate an evening focused on talking with technology and health experts about Data & Health. Learn more at

Human Citizen 3

On August 29Human Citizen Workplace hosted a Financial Career Panel Discussion for college students seeking advice from career finance professionals. Students represented Northwestern, DePaul and Claremont McKenna College. HCW members joined panelists to offer students valuable insights and observations. The event was held in collaboration with Finimize, the global finance brand for millennials, that has over 250,000 users. Learn more at:

Human Citizen Workplace is a convenient, local coworking and collaborative workspace for individuals, teams, small businesses, and non-profits with all the productivity-boosting amenities of a downtown office, without the hike downtown. Human Citizen Workplace offers its members professional development and a vibrant community of innovative, driven professionals and students from a wide range of work disciplines. Human Citizen Workplace is the neighborhood community coworking space where people can work close to where they live to be more productive, get serious work done, and get connected to other successful working humans. Learn more at

Meet Buena Park Neighbor Alex Wolking

I was born and raised in the Quad Cities area and moved to Chicago in 2010 to attend school at DePaul University to study Business-Real Estate and graduated in 2014. Uptown always felt like home, and I loved the diversity of the area and watching the neighborhood blossom. I moved back to Chicago in September of 2016 and am glad to call Buena Park home.
In the spring of 2017 I came across Buena Park Neighbors and knew I wanted to get involved. The community is so vibrant, and the 1/2 mile x 1/2 mile area truly lives and feels like a small town. While growing up, I lived in a Queen Anne style home in a large historic district. At a young age I loved the small community feeling and how the architecture played into the tapestry. I followed my father in real estate. I wanted to help other people “find their ‘place’.” I had that same feeling when I moved to Buena Park.
So far, I have volunteered as a docent for the Hutchinson Street tours in the summer and am a block captain for Hutchinson (between Clarendon & Marine). I’m also an active member of Buena Park Neighbors Young Professionals and represent Buena Park Neighbora on the 46th Ward’s Zoning and Development Committee. I now sit on the Board for the Uptown Chicago Commission. Recently, I led walking tours of the homes for sale on Hutchinson Street for Landmarks Illinois and led an extended walking tour for the Uptown Historical Society.