Neighborhood News

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.

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Lakeview Pantry Extends to Serve  Government Employees      

Our Buena Park Neighbor Partner Lakeview Pantry has just announced that it will extend its food distribution services to all government employees in Chicago affected by the shutdown.  “We are committed to serving Chicagoans in need during this very uncertain time.  Our motto is ‘food for today, hope for tomorrow,’ and that is why we are offering our dedicated government employees who are struggling.”
With that announcement Lakeview Pantry also appealed for more volunteers and donations to serve.  Many Buena Park residents volunteer at the Pantry and even more donate regularly.  If you are interested in pitching in at this critical time, please check out their website here.

Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course

Golf course architect Edward B. Dearie Jr. designed the golf course in 1930. The original name was the Waveland Golf Course. The design called for 18 holes, but due to budget constraints it never got past half-done.

The land for the course was bought from the city, built on fill and the course took more than two years to build at a cost of over $2 million.

It opened June 15, 1932, under the name “Waveland Golf Course. Green fees opening day were 25 cents to play all day, a true “daily fee” course.

Due to its popularity, ping pong tables and horseshoe pits were constructed for golfers waiting to tee off.

In 1932, course policy stated that beginners were not allowed to play because they slowed the course down and ruined the fairways and greens. Many disgruntled taxpaying golfers cried foul, and the policy was rescinded, and since then golfers of all levels have been enjoying play along scenic Lake Michigan.

In June 1991, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley re-named Waveland “Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course.”

Sydney Marovitz was a commissioner on the Park District Board from 1974 to 1986. He is said to have been a kind, compassionate and thoughtful man, though not one who left much of a mark on the parks.

Golfers were outraged at the renaming. When the course was new, the name Waveland was appropriate since the pastoral and challenging links were located right where the land meets the waves.

Chicago-area golfers in an unorganized but widespread expression of civil disobedience have refused to adopt the new name. They still call it Waveland.

Marovitz Golf Course has always been one of the busiest courses in the Chicagoland area. It has been home to the Midwest Amateur Tournament, one of the most popular amateur events in the Chicago area.

In 1993, the Chicago Park District privatized the management of its six golf courses and two driving ranges. KemperGolf Management (KemperSports) has been managing all of the their golf facilities since 1993 and is responsible for the courses finally turning a profit for the taxpayers after they had been a huge financial drain for years. The transformation of all of the courses from their goat-ranch appearance to today’s well-maintained condition has been nothing short of miraculous. The first relics of the old era to go were asphalt tee boxes.

In 2003, Marovitz was certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Sanctuary for golf. Audubon International provides information to help golf courses with: Environmental Planning; Wildlife and Habitat Management; Chemical Use Reduction and Safety; Water Conservation; Water Quality Management; and Outreach and Education.

Klein’s Bakery Named Buena Park Business of the Year

Klein’s Bakery has been named by Buena Park Neighbors as the Buena Park Business of the year.  The two-year-old business at the corner of Buena and Broadway is owned by Jessica and Sergio Klein who emigrated to the United States from Venezuela only four years ago. Click here for the full article.

Klein’s specializes in cakes and bakery goods and as some “great coffee.”  It is also the only bakery in Chicago that specializes on Venezuelan baked goods.  On a recent morning we found Jessica busy wrapping some Venezuelan bread for the holidays.

In Venezuela Sergio Klein was a doctor and Jessica a dentist.  Sergio is nearing certification for his license in the United States.  He and Jessica and Jessica’s sister Dayana have spent their energy making Klein’s Bakery the thriving business that it is.

How did they decide to open up a bakery in Buena Park?

After arriving in Buena Park Jessica made it known that she could make ornate cakes.  This was a skill that she learned while working at her grandmother’s bakery in Venezuela.  Buena Park businessman Nick Georgelos took notice of the cakes and encouraged her. He later invested along with the Klein’s in the new bakery.

Jessica says, “I wanted to bring Venezuelan food and flavors to my bakery in Buena Park and also other quality baked goods.”

The Klein’s have lived in Buena Park since their arrival and she said, “We love the neighborhood both to live and work.  This neighborhood is like a family to us.”

We salute Klein’s Bakery as the Buena Park Business of the Year and hope that everyone in the neighborhood will support its continued growth and high quality service.

How Buena Park Got Its Name

Buena Park owes its name to the affection that an 1850’s landowner had for his family home.  In the 1850’s James Wallis purchased fifty-three acres of land to build an estate for his family.

At the time of his purchase governmental boundaries were vastly different than our current arrangement. The city of Chicago’s northern boundary was near where Armitage Street currently exists. Wallis’ land was located in Lakeview.

Wallis’ property, located in the town of Lakeview, extended roughly from Irving Park to Montrose, and the lake to the eastern border of what is now Graceland Cemetery. Wallis’ 53-acre family plot encompassed the land upon which the St. Mary’s of Lake Catholic Church is currently situated.

Wallis built a large Greek Revival mansion on the site where the church currently stands. Wallis affectionately dubbed his mansion Buena, or Buena House. Later, the surrounding acreage became known as Buena Park.

As a side note: At the time Wallis bought his property, Broadway Avenue – then called Evanston Avenue – was a mere plank road.  As Chicago crept further north, Wallis began to develop his property, and in 1889 Lakeview was annexed to the city of Chicago.