Village Viewpoint by Margot Holland

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Spring is here! This spring we are focusing on turning small acts into big change for our neighborhood. Every day we take phone calls and listen to our neighbors’ concerns, helping them to trouble shoot both big and small challenges they face. We supply referrals for home improvement and work with current property and business owners brainstorming ideas to improve our commercial strips.

The small act of cleaning house can create big changes in our neighborhood through beautification. Beginning Apr. 3 neighbors can drop off any old or unused household items in good condition to help us raise money to support BAPA beautification efforts. This “fund”drive will specifically help us tackle the re-landscaping of the cul-de-sacs in West and North Beverly. You can help us by donating your gently used toys, clothes, books and much more. We get 20 cents per pound – so the more stuff we collect, the more beautification! Drop off all your unwanted items at BAPA offices, 1987 W. 111th St. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Apr., 28, or drive over on Sat., April 29, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., when we will have a drop off collection in our parking lot. Please call the office at 773-233-3100 with any questions.

Neighbors will also have an opportunity take part in the community clean and greens on Earth Day, Sat., Apr. 22. We are looking for volunteers to help us clean up our public spaces.

BAPA is committed to making Earth Month a success by spring cleaning our houses and public areas and getting ready for the summer months of fun.

A special thank you to all our members who make it possible for BAPA to continue our work in the neighborhood. Without membership support, BAPA would not be celebrating our 70th anniversary.
All the best,

Margot

Happy Birthday, Frank Lloyd Wright!

BAPA’s Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour Features 2 Wright Homes on May 21

Two unusual homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and a tiny house designed and built by students from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences are among the outstanding stops on the Beverly Area Planning Association’s Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour Sun., May 21, 12 to 5 p.m.

All tours must begin by 3 p.m., and start at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr., where people must check-in to receive their booklets, which are required for admission into the homes.  The three-level historic Ridge Park fieldhouse features a pool, meeting rooms, performance space, gym and workout room, as well as the Vanderpoel Art Association art gallery.

2 Rare Wrights

This is a particularly important year for fans of Frank Lloyd Wright and his architecture. It is the 150th anniversary of the architect’s birth, as well as the 100th anniversary of the construction of Wright’s Guy C. Smith House in Beverly/Morgan Park. The Smith House and the Jesse & William Adams House, both Chicago Landmark houses, will be open for the Tour. They are rare and distinctive examples of Wright’s work.

The Guy C. Smith house is one of two American System Built homes designed by Wright and built in our community in1917.  Wright’s goal was to offer livable and beautiful prefabricated housing at a moderate price.  Only a few of the homes were built before the US entered World War I and construction materials became less available.  The current owners have spent more than 25 years carefully restoring this house. It as last on the Home Tour a decade ago, and since that time has undergone a complete renovation of its spacious yard that includes the installation of a Wright-inspired pond and all new landscaping.

Built in 1901, the Jesse and William Adams house was designed during an important period of experimentation for Frank Lloyd Wright that resulted in the development of the Prairie School. The home’s owner, William Adams, commissioned Wright to design it. Adams was a contractor/builder who worked with several prominent architects on residential and commercial buildings. Adams and Wright worked on several projects. Emerging Prairie Style elements in the Adams house can be seen in the horizontal design and the way the porch connects the homes interior and exterior. The Adams house was last on BAPA’s Home Tour in 1996.

Also Featured on the Tour

The Tour will also open the doors to an exceptional Prairie Style house that has been renovated from top to bottom for a contemporary family lifestyle; an English style home designed by Homer G. Sailor and built in 1930 for a prominent Chicago financier; a historied Colonial Revival Foursquare built in 1903 on a wooded lot atop the hill; and a tiny house built for display at Chicago’s Home and Garden Show by students at the Chicago Ag school.

Home Tour stops feature cooking and decorating demonstrations, experts offering home and garden advice, tastings and lots more.

Buy Your Tickets Today!

Tickets for the Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, and available online at www.bapa.org or at the BAPA office, 1987 W. 111th St., Mon. through Thurs., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information on the event, volunteering or becoming a sponsor, contact bapa@bapa.org. .

 

Real Estate Update: Brisk Spring Market, Choosy Buyers

By Grace Kuikman

Local real estate professionals report two spring trends in Beverly/Morgan Park: A brisk market where well priced homes sell quickly, and an increasing number of buyers who want a home in “move-in” condition.

“It’s been a very busy spring,” said Mary Ellen Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Real Estate. “Lots of houses have been going under contract.”

Bernadette Molloy, Molloy & Associates Realtors, called the market “thriving.” “When we get a listing, it’s sold right away. Beverly is still a draw. It’s a vibrant, active market for young families.”

Local real estate prices have stabilized and are starting in inch back up. Like other commodities, real estate prices are affected by supply and demand observed Bill Biros, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Biros Real Estate.  “Demand is increasing and we expect to see prices gradually increase,” he said.

With people generally more confident in the economy and interest rates still fairly low, there’s also an expectation that this upward trend could continue.

Randy Papp, President of Pacor Mortgage Corp., said that real estate markets are seasonal, and the mild weather plus the approach of the end of the school year are also factors that compel more prospective home buyers to start looking.

“The market looks strong,” Papp said, who also observed a modest influx of higher priced homes on the market in the community, a positive trend.

Barbara Thouvenell of PRS Real Estate Services notes a recent experience that she hopes becomes a “lucky trend.” Of a dozen appointments to show a house, almost all of the people came from outside the neighborhood – mostly Oak Park, Hyde Park and downtown. “That’s unusual,” Thouvenell said. Sales trends formerly monitored through BAPA’s housing survey indicated that for many years, the highest percentage of home buyers came from an apartment or another home within the community. Other factors that have historically driven buyers to Beverly/Morgan Park are the stability of the home values and the quality of the housing stock.

Today’s buyers are also a little older than in past years, and often their “starter home” was a condo. They’re looking for a home that does not require a lot of work.

“The typical first time buyer today wants everything done,” Biros said. “Sweat equity does not exist anymore.”

Fitzgerald agrees. “Back in the day there was a Bob Vlla [This Old House] mentality – people bought a big house and fixed it up. Not anymore.”

According to Thouvenell, houses in good condition in a moderate price range sell quickly. Although buyers are more demanding, it’s not just about wanting everything done. Thouvenell said that lending standards are also stricter, and even more strict for homes that need a lot of work.

Because home inspections are now routine and the inspectors are meticulous. buyers and lenders want a better prepared property. “If there are moisture issues, it’s not just ‘Why didn’t they fix it?’ it’s, ‘What else have they left undone?’” Molloy said.  “Buyers are fussier. It’s important that sellers are mindful of the big connect between condition and price.”

What can sellers do to get their homes market-ready? “Declutter and clean, clean, clean,” Fitzgerald said. “Walking into a house that’s clean and fresh works better than having cookies baking in the oven.”

Thouvenell advises sellers to “look at Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn to see how they set up their rooms. Paint in those colors.”

“Clean, paint and make minor repairs, and, if you can, make major repairs,” Biros said. Basement seepage, really bad windows, flooring that’s coming up or peeling, curling shingles – they can all bring down a home’s price. But Biros also advises buyers not to pass up a great house that may need a little work. “If a buyer finds a house in good condition but not updated, and they have the ability to update, that could be the best value in the neighborhood,” he said.

“Buyers and sellers need to realize that real estate is local,” Biros said. “What’s trending in the Loop or the suburbs is not necessarily what’s trending here. This is a unique neighborhood. There’s city demand, access to the Loop, diversity in the people and the housing. There will always be a demand for our neighborhood.”

Next month: Why use a local real estate professional

 

 

 

 

Calumet Paint Talks Spring Trends and Wrigley Field Renovations

By Kristin Boza

Calumet Paint & Wallpaper, 12120 S. Western Ave., is dedicated to quality service and expertise, and their finger is on the pulse of home decor trends — which could be some of the many reasons why they were chosen as the paint experts and supplier for the major Wrigley Field renovation.

Owner Mark LaVelle is really excited to be a part of the Wrigley Field renovations. “The changes being made inside and outside the ball park are astonishing,” he said. “[The Ricketts family] has taken a baseball shrine and are returning it to the Taj Mahal of sports and a must-see tourist attraction in Illinois.”

Calumet Paint is starting the third year of its engagement with the Wrigley Field project. The store is responsible for matching all of the colors and have the formulas for each aspect of the project, supplying all of the paint for the buildings, inside and out.

Closer to home, and on a much smaller scale, Calumet Paint donated paint for a “tiny house” built by Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences students, which was featured at the Chicago Home and Garden Show and will be open for touring on BAPA’s Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour on Sun., May 21.

LaVelle, who attended Clissold Elementary School and Morgan Park High School, quickly said yes when asked for the donation. “We strongly believe in being proactive in our community. Tiny Houses have created a lot of attention; the innovation and use of square footage is truly amazing,” he said. “This will definitely be an exciting and positive event, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

Calumet Paint employees are knowledgeable and experienced people who advise their customers on trends, tools, tips and materials. “All of our employees are experienced painters; they offer a lot of advice based on their experience,” LaVelle said. “In 2017, we’re seeing a lot of dramatic colors in paint, with shades of muted taupe, gray, burgundy, sienna and amethyst.”

LaVelle is also seeing a resurgence in wallpaper sales, with most homeowners choosing to use it on accent walls. “Wallpaper is a long-term commitment because of the cost. The designs are beautiful and there’s plenty to choose from,” he said. He warns that patterns are available for about two years, so if wallpaper is chosen, be sure to buy extra in case it needs to be repaired years down the road. Not only will it be hard to find at a later date, but it’s also essential to get extra wallpaper from the same run number as the original, since the color or pattern on other runs may not match exactly.

Paint is always advantageous for homeowners, since it’s inexpensive, can be easily changed and repaired, and it never needs to be removed. “I’m a big paint fan,” LaVelle said. “It protects everything inside and outside of your home. Anything that can deteriorate is protected by paint.” He advises using a good quality paint, since the colors are brighter, it adheres better and covers well, and it’s easy to clean.

Wallpaper and paint are two relatively easy ways to brighten your home. “Your everyday world is full of aggressive energy; you need to create your own serenity with your home,” LaVelle said. “Color has the power to affect how we feel mentally and physically. It’s a powerful design tool that can make rooms feel more calm, cheerful, comfortable or dramatic. Color makes a tiny room larger or a spacious one feel more intimate, without the time or expense of moving walls.”

To get a consultation for your own home paint/wallpaper renovation, visit Calumet Paint & Wallpaper or call 708-371-2240.

Vietnam War Vet Grand Marshal of Parade

U.S. Army veteran Rich Doyle is Grand Marshal of the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade. Doyle during the Vietnam War.

Drafted in August 1966, Doyle was 19 years old when he entered into military service. “I was very proud and I’ve always loved my country,” he said. “I’ll be honest that when I first went into the Army at 19 years old, I wasn’t used to being treated the way I was by the drill sergeants. I talked to my dad, who was at Omaha Beach during D-Day, and he told me to be the best solider I could be and good things will come of it.”

Working hard, Doyle quickly rose through the ranks, ultimately becoming a sergeant during this three years in active duty. “I won a Soldier of the Month contest at Fort Bragg, NC before I went to Vietnam. I got promoted pretty quickly, which is kind of unusual. I probably could have made another rank, but I was close to going home and I was satisfied. I know I made my parents proud,” he said.

Doyle left for Vietnam on Aug. 31, 1967 and returned home on Aug. 13, 1968. He was happy to return home safely, but was not prepared for the crowds at O’Hare protesting the Vietnam War and the returning veterans — protestors who even threw objects at the returning soldiers. “I had no indication that would happen; my family was there waiting for me and my dad just grabbed me and said we had to get out of there right away. So, it was a happy time that turned out to be not good,” he said.

As Grand Marshal, Doyle will lead and kick-off the parade; he will be accompanied by his siblings and friends, some coming from Champaign and California to support him. “I’ve always been involved in the parade; I’m honored to be asked and I’ll do my best to represent this community,” he said. “We should all be reminded of the veterans and our sacrifices.”

Ridge Run is CARA Circuit Race

BAPA’s Ridge Run has been selected as one of the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) 2017 Runners’ Choice Circuit races. The CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit is a series of running events intended to create a competitive structure for local runners.

“The Circuit brings the best of local running together, both races and runners alike,” said Greg Hipp, CARA’s Director of Road Race Services and Events. ”More than just a collection of races, the Circuit is a community of runners who love to challenge themselves through competition and personal improvement.”

Circuit races are chosen annually by CARA’s Race Committee through input of CARA’s membership, race participants, CARA staff and CARA’s Board of Directors. This circuit includes many of Chicagoland’s most well organized and well-appreciated races.

For the complete schedule and for more information on the CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit go to CircuitRaces.com

Founded in 1978, CARA is a non-profit organization dedicated to running advocacy in Chicagoland. It is the largest running organization in the Midwest and the third largest in the nation. Info: www.cararuns.org or 312-666-9836.

BAPA History: Planning for a Stronger Community

By Charles Shanabruch

In 1980, the Beverly Area Planning Association’s stated mission was to sustain the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood as a “quality, stable, integrated community.” Sociologists had projected that the area would follow the pattern of resegregation that had been characteristic of the South Side. The challenge to maintain integration was sensed by most of the community’s 40,000 residents.

Fortunately, Pat Stanton’s call to reinvigorate BAPA in 1971 had made a critical difference. Rather than the “a total lack of planning” that often occurs in communities where individual interests take precedent over the common interests, this community was engaged in “total planning” making sure every facet of life was attended to.

From 1980 to 1985, I was executive director of BAPA. It was a daunting assignment and has been the highlight of my professional career. Through the efforts of BAPA’s dedicated and creative board members and staff, committed elected officials, and more than a thousand generous volunteers, we made good on the promise of “total planning.”

At the time, the community’s greatest challenges came from the issues regarding schools, public safety, community building, and unfair housing practices. On each of these interconnected issues BAPA gathered the support of civic associations, churches and local businesses.

Education

The educational excellence of local schools was essential. However, this was threatened as many families with public school students left the community and those families who stayed feared that the Chicago Board of Education’s mandate to desegregate neighborhood schools would lead to busing and the closure of low enrollment schools.

BAPA met the challenge head on. An education committee composed of eight public school parents and led by Barb Vick (for whom the Vick School is named) sought to make each public elementary school attractive and unique so current parents would want to keep their kids enrolled and ne families would choose them.

Numerous meetings with Board of Ed officials, PTAs and parents led to plan proposing that Vanderpoel, Barnard, Clissold and Kellogg become magnet schools and special 7th and 8th grade programs be created at Morgan Park High School. BAPA convinced the Board of Ed that our community could be a city-wide model. With full community support the plan was adopted and the schools thrived.

Public Safety

In the 1980s, when the Chicago Police Department proposed closing several stations, including the 22nd District, BAPA led the fight to keep the station open. Using its civic association networks and block representatives, BAPA flooded the community with petitions. In only four days almost 18,000 signatures were gathered. BAPA delivered the petitions when it testified at a special committee hearing at City Hall. The testimony included BAPA’s promise of more community action. In fact, BAPA had purchased 12,000 yards of CPD-blue plastic ribbon to be tied on every light post in the community until our station was no longer hostage to the “efficiency” plan. Fortunately, the ribbons were never used. (I still have a 100 yard roll in my home office as a reminder of the community’s successful fight for the station.)

Communication

Communication is a critical element in mobilizing community action, but it was just as important in BAPA’s goal of building a sense of “a village in the city.” In Sept. 1980, BAPA replaced its quarterly newsletter with The Villager. Monthly 15,000 copies were distributed free to every residence and hundreds more were dropped at the train stations for commuters to read on their way to work. Its purpose was to keep the community informed, promote engagement, support local businesses and our schools and ensure that BAPA’s perspective was clearly portrayed on issues.

Another very important initiative was the Neighborhood Involvement Program. BAPA identified residents on nearly every block to “NIP” problems in the bud. They were the community’s eyes and ears who called BAPA identifying problems or opportunities to enhance community quality.

Housing

The biggest challenge facing Beverly/Morgan Park was unfair housing practices. Chicago’s history of racial discrimination and segregation threatened BAPA’s mission to sustain a stable integrated community. The real estate market did not provide free and open access to information. Realtors steered blacks to areas where blacks and whites lived and whites to areas that were predominantly white thus creating segregated communities.

BAPA addressed the dual housing market through education and litigation. Numerous block meetings were held to discuss issues of racial change directly and openly with whites and blacks together. BAPA also tried to persuade realtors to obey fair housing laws that had been put in place in the 1960s.

Realtors seeking to accelerate racial change used for sale signs and unsolicited calls to ask people to list their homes for sale as the tools of panic peddling. BAPA supported a ban on for sale signs and also secured signatures on anti-solicitation letters from home owners then served lists of the residents to dozens of real estate offices; when signers were solicited BAPA got the States Attorney to investigate cases and file lawsuits.

Despite these initiatives, racial steering persisted. BAPA realized that until all communities were open those that were integrated would be threatened by the injustice of steering. For this reason, BAPA partnered with the Leadership Council of Metropolitan Open Communities to “test” real estate offices. Matched couples of white and black were trained and then went to real estate offices to see whether each couple received the same real estate listings. When blacks were given only information about integrated neighborhoods and whites were given listings in nearly all white communities, the law was broken.

In Nov. 1983, BAPA filed four law suits in Federal court charging discriminatory real estate practices. BAPA lost the first case brought to trial but the other suits ended in settlements. Most importantly, BAPA’s initiative gave notice to all realtors that racial steering would not be tolerated.

BAPA’s President, Rich Andersen, constantly reminded staff, “Good things do not happen by chance.” Very intentionally, BAPA paid attention to details and the big picture so the community thrived.

Ask Roberta

By Roberta Kleinman, BAPA Property Preservation Coordinator

Q: Are there circumstances when it is unnecessary to apply for a building permit before undertaking alterations to my Chicago single-family residence?

A: It all depends on the type of alterations you plan to make. No permit is required for relatively uncomplicated projects that do not involve, for example, structural changes to a residential property, or a change to the total amount of conditioned square footage available to the home’s residents (i.e., the amount of heated or air conditioned space,) or a change that would constitute a major expansion of the property’s existing electrical or plumbing systems. Some projects that would not require a permit would therefore include repairs to, or replacement of,

Interior finishes such as wall-to-wall carpeting, hardwood flooring, tile, paint and wallpaper;

Cabinetry and furniture without electrical and plumbing connections;

Non-fire rated in-kind doors/windows (i.e., replaced with similar item of same size at same location);

Playground equipment;

Most types of walkways and patios at ground level;

Fences five feet high or less, not including chain link and masonry fences;

Many types of common non-structural exterior finishes when used on one to three story residential buildings (subject to various exceptions);

Shingle roofing with a slope of 5-in-12 or steeper;

Hot water heaters, boilers, furnaces and air conditioner condensers;

Toilets, sinks, faucets and bathtubs;

Interior stairs in same location as a previous set of stairs within the dwelling unit;

Low voltage wiring, excluding wiring for fire alarm systems;

Enclosed sheds with a maximum area of 70 square feet (subject to setback and other restrictions).

A more extensive list of projects that do not require a building permit, with relevant exceptions, is set forth at https://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/bldgs/general/Homeowner/WhenAPermit

NotReq.pdf. where one may also find the same type of information as it applies to multi-unit residential and mixed-use buildings.

The information above does not apply to properties in a landmark district, or parcels of land upon which a landmark building is located. Those properties have their own separate restrictions and regulations.

If in doubt whether a particular home improvement project will require a building permit, and if so, whether a so-called Standard Plan Review permit application would be required or an Easy Permit application would suffice, it is always a good practice to contact the Building Department by calling 311 and asking to be transferred to the right departmental personnel, or by calling the Building Department directly at 312-744-3449.

Additionally, an extensive Guide to Permits can be found at https://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/bldgs/general/Homeowner/GuidetoPermitsMarch17.pdf

(Disclaimer: Be advised that the author of this article is not a licensed attorney. The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended to, and should not, be relied upon by the reader as personal legal advice or a legal opinion concerning your particular situation. The information also may not necessarily reflect the most current statutory or municipal code developments. Always seek professional assistance from qualified legal and other relevant professionals when considering making alterations to your residential property.)

Send your question for Roberta to rkleinman@bapa.org

BAPA History: ‘Beverly Now’ Leads to BAPA Reorganization

By L. Patrick “Pat” Stanton

The summer of 1971 marked the change of BAPA from a reactive to a proactive role in the Beverly/Morgan Park community. Because of my role in that change in the form of my plan called Beverly Now, I was asked to summarize the event the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Beverly Area Planning Association.

First, recognize the importance of two related events. The Chicago City Council had approved the removal of the historic ban in residential deeds which had prevented the sale of a home to African-Americans. As a result, much of the South Side had changed racially, always on a block-by block basis, in response to pressure from “blockbusting” real estate sales people. Real Estate Research Corporation, highly- respected in urban research, had already forecast complete racial change within five years in both North Beverly and South Morgan Park and the balance of the community in ten years. Nevertheless, there was no discussion in churches or local media about the likelihood of racial change in Beverly/Morgan Park.

The other significant change was in the Catholic Church, through the influence of

Pope John. Activism by laity and young clergy was permitted, and in some cases like Christ the King in North Beverly encouraged. Christ the King had young activist priests and a structure including a Parish Council and a variety of committees.

But where did Beverly Now fit in?

In my personal frustration with this “head in the sand” failure to address impending integration, I penned a ten-page letter to the officers of my North Beverly neighborhood association, Beverly Improvement Association (BIA). In the letter I suggested addressing the subject with a new umbrella organization headed by a professional director, a community-wide organization accepting the inevitability of integration but not re-segregation. Their response was polite, but my proposal they saw as way beyond the scope of the organization, nor did they suggest I take it further.

Remember my reference to activism at Christ the King parish. Its Community

Relations Committee, of which I was a member, had successfully conducted an

Anti-Real Estate Solicitation sign-up within the parish. Trudi Dressel, the Committee chair, lamented to me that to really make a difference we needed a plan aimed at the entire community. Because I had the outline of such a plan in my letter to BIA, I offered to prepare one.

The result: a 20-page magic marker flip chart proposal which I called Beverly Now to stress its urgency. The proposal recommended coordinated programs in four areas: public relations, area-wide education, control of real estate practices and planned business activity. Also, it specifically called for showing homes to black buyers throughout the community and not next to an already integrated block.

Coordinating the activities would be an umbrella organization with a suggested annual budget of $75.000, headed by an executive director with a background in public relations who could inspire and organize an “army of volunteers.”

Then came the clincher: I asked that not only that Christ the King parish endorse Beverly Now, but also pledge $15,000 of parish funds toward its initial setup. The Council gave its approval with the caveat that the entire parish be exposed to the plan first.

Therefore, on the weekend of July 11 and 12, 1971, instead of a pastoral homily, I delivered the Beverly Now proposal from the Christ the King Church’s marble pulpit (since removed.)

As I spoke, the pages from my presentation were flashed on a large screen on the altar prepared by Fr. Jim Quirk, a young assistant. Despite the format and the controversial subject matter, at each mass the congregation burst into applause, a rare response then. A few days later the Christ the King Council approved the pledge.

Over the next couple weeks I was invited to make the Beverly Now presentation to several civic, church and synagogue groups, always well-received with implied eventual financial support. Then about July 25, I received a call from Arthur Baer, asking for a meeting. Arthur was president of Beverly Bank, then an independent bank at 103rd and Vincennes, and the leading citizen of the community. Without him and his wife Alice, neither Beverly Arts Center nor Ridge Historical Society would likely exist.

At our meeting, Arthur immediately concurred with the need for a new umbrella organization focused on impending change and broader community matters. Could BAPA – then an organization that focused on issues such as zoning and beautification — provide that structure in a different format? We agreed that rebuilding an existing organization, particularly one already fairly representative, would be expeditious and have greater acceptability.

With Arthur Baer’s blessing, progress was startling.

On August 4, 1971 over 200 influential residents were invited to a meeting at the Beverly Art Center, where I was invited to give my last presentation of Beverly Now. Then Bob Seward, BAPA’s president, spoke announcing that BAPA would be re-structured to become a broad-based umbrella organization with much wider representation on its Board of Directors. A professional staff would be hired, and the organization would address the issues raised by Beverly Now.

Within a few weeks money was pledged by various institutions, mostly financial, to fund the new BAPA. Also, ten new more representative directors were elected including two women (a first), two clergymen– a minister and a priest — (both a first) and me.

Seventeen chairs were appointed of mostly new committees. As an example of community enthusiasm, the Public Relations Committee, of which I was chair, had 16 well-qualified members at its first meeting in December and it grew. Most important, by February after a nation-wide search G. Phillip Dolan was hard at work as BAPA Executive Director.

In retrospect, I say those three weeks in the summer of 1971 were truly a re-birth for BAPA. We are especially grateful for the five special people – Trudi Dressel, Fr. Ed Myers, Arthur Baer, Bob Seward and Phil Dolan. Each played a special role in our being able to celebrate BAPA’s 70 years.

Let us also celebrate their lives as we enjoy their legacy.

 

 

Village Viewpoint: Celebrating Irish Heritage and BAPA’s 70th Anniversary

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Wow, time is flying by! It is already March, a very special time in our neighborhood when we celebrate the Irish heritage of so many who have lived in this area for generations – but you don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in this neighborhood! The South Side Irish Parade Committee has put together another great parade for every neighbor to enjoy on Sunday March 12 along Western Ave.

For 70 years the Beverly Area Planning Association has been organizing community around economic development, housing, safety and schools and today is no different. Community organizing is all about building grassroots support. It’s about identifying the people around you with whom you can create a common, passionate cause. That is why we spend so much time and energy supporting our civic associations and recently park advisory councils.

In recent weeks neighbors who frequent Kennedy Park and Ridge Park have formed advisory councils. The members of these councils are advocates for the community and work with park staff to ensure quality programming for our community as well as apply for grants to support facilities. These groups are volunteer their time to make all of our experience at these public spaces even better. Kennedy Park recently launched a Go Fund Me page to purchase new chairs for the pool deck and Ridge Park is hosting a painting party to continue to highlight it as not only a gymnasium but also a cultural center – home to the Vanderpoel Art Collection.

We are so lucky to have an engaged community willing to put it he time and effort it takes to make sure our community is beautiful for another 70 years.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day,

Margot