Experience Beverly/Morgan Park from Rock Island Line on BAPA Home Tour

There were less than 20 years between 1834 when public domain land sales opened in Chicago and John Blackstone started claiming property in the densely wooded area surrounding the Blue Island Ridge, and 1852 when the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad first started laying a trail of tracks between Chicago and Joliet.

Those two events created the perfect climate for building the community we know today as Beverly/Morgan Park. The kismet between land development and fast access to Chicago via commuter rail service will be explored on Sun., May 20, 12 to 5 p.m. when the Beverly Area Planning Association’s 2018 Home Tour invites people to experience Beverly/Morgan Park from the Rock Island

On the afternoon of the tour, five private homes — all within walking distance of local Rock Island Metra stops and examples of the lifestyle and history of commuter service in our community — will be open to visitors. Like so many of today’s neighborhood residents, the proximity of the Rock Island Metra was a factor in our homeowners’ decisions to choose Beverly/Morgan Park as their community. Visitors to the Home Tour residences will also discover the unique hospitality, community spirit and historic beauty that contribute to the Beverly/Morgan Park lifestyle.

Featured on this year’s tour are:

A stunning Colonial Revival mansion set at the top of the Blue Island Ridge hill, and renovated from foundation to roof. Built in 1906 for a successful businessman who worked for the Wrigley Company and who played a significant role in local society, the gracious home has been restored to its original splendor with marble tile, hardwood floors, beamed ceilings and exquisite decorative moldings. More than 100 windows in the house were replaced. Ellie’s Café and Wild Blossom Meadery will be providing meal-and-mead samples in the club style backyard.

A deluxe Chicago bungalow carefully preserved for its distinctive detailing and livability, and beautifully updated for an active family. This welcoming home was built as a “high end” bungalow, complete with slate roof tiles, decorative outdoor elements, and a matching detached garage. Filled with natural light that enhances the simply and lovely decorating, representatives from the Chicago Bungalow Association will be on hand to offer tips on tending vintage homes and share history about what has made Chicago bungalows so uniquely desirable for more than a century.

An gracious Tudor Revival set on a quiet corner lot just a half block from the Dan Ryan Woods has been beautifully restored with close attention to retaining the homes most elegant features including a spacious sunken living room with a cathedral ceiling and wall of beautifully crafted leaded glass windows. Bringing the home up to date is the breakfast room/kitchen area created by reconfiguring the floor plan and adding lovely new cabinets, counters and light fixtures. Southtown Health Foods will be serving samples of fresh, healthy juice.

A charming Foursquare home set atop the hill is influenced by the simple beauty of Prairie and Craftsman styling. Rich woodwork, handsomely crafted furnishings, exceptional art and collections, and personal touches tipped with whimsy all add to a welcoming home. Master Gardeners will meet with tour visitors and pass along timely tips to bring to their home landscapes.

 

 

 

A handsome stucco cottage with a garden hideaway is the cherished home of a couple who has spent 20 years making it the perfect place to welcome guests. The house, believed to be the first built in the block, is one of several cottages with almost identical floor plans that were built in the 1910s. Many of these modest homes were owned – including the one featured on the Tour – were owned by people working for the Rock Island Railroad. One of the owners of this house spent his career working downtown and riding the Rock Island five days a week. Now retired, the friends his he made on his daily commute often stop by the house to visit. Open Outcry Brewing Company will be offering samples of their craft-brewed beers in this home’s yard.

The Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour begins at the RMH Design Showroom, 1802-1806 W. 103rd St., where people can pick up the guide books that serve as entry into the featured homes as well as complimentary goody bags.  The RMH showroom is a visual delight of merchandise and samples for mall projects through total remodeling jobs, including fabrics, tile, flooring, counters, wallpaper, rugs, cabinets and more.

Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, paint showcase sponsor for the Home Tour, will have representatives at RMH to share information and expert advice on painting, wallpaper and more.

Homes are selected for the Tour because of their outstanding decorating, amenities and architecture which offer a range of great ideas for updating kitchens, baths, basements and even yards. The homes also show the inextricable impact the opening of the Rock Island Railroad’s service to this area made on the creation and expansion of the community we now know as Beverly/Morgan Park. The convenience of the Metra Rock Island service to Chicago’s Loop is still an important factor in why new residents choose to purchase homes here.

A True Commuter Community

Beverly/Morgan Park would not exist today had it not been for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad (now the Metra Rock Island). When the Rock began daily commuter service downtown in the later 1800s, the sparsely settled areas along the Blue Island Ridge that became Beverly/Morgan Park began attracting people who desired homes in a “suburban” setting but accessible to jobs and shopping, as well as railroad workers and service providers in need of lodging close to station stops.

Home construction on the Ridge boomed following the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. From mansions that housed some of Chicago’s most prominent families, to cottages and bungalows for families of more modest means, quick transportation downtown was a key influencer for home buyers more than a century ago, just as it is for buyers today. Many of the stations, now located at four-block intervals from 91st to 115th Streets, served as village centers for shopping, and the surviving stations built in the late 1800s and early 1900s form the Rock Island Train Station historic district because of their historic and architectural significance. All of the stations are part of daily life for the estimated 8.3 million riders currently commuting between Joliet and LaSalle Street each year.

At Home in Beverly/Morgan Park Today

For more than four decades, BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour has been opening the doors to some of the neighborhood’s most remarkable private residences. Tickets to this year’s tour are $30 in advance at www.bapa.org or $35 on the day of the tour, Sun., May 20. Advance tickets are also available at RMH Design, 1806 W. 103rd St., County Fair Foods, `0800 S. Western, and Steuber Florist, 2654 W. 111th St. Homes are open from 12 to 5 p.m. on the day of the tour; all tours are self-guided and must begin by 3 p.m.

Thank You Home Tour Sponsors

Mike Haggerty Buick-GMC-Volkswagen in Oak Lawn, Beverly Bank & Trust, Pacor Mortgage, Marquette Bank,  Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – Biros Real Estate, Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, Benjamin Moore Paint, CIBC, PRS Real Estate Services, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Steuber Florist & Greenhouses, Southtown Health Foods, Coldwell Banker Residential Oak Lawn,  19th Ward Youth Foundation, County Fair, The Beverly Review, RMH Design, Smith Village, Bridget Gainer, Road Home Program, Beverly Cabinets and Construction, State Sen. Bill Cunningham, State Rep. Fran Hurley, Open Outcry Brewing Company.

Information about the Home Tour contact BAPA, 773-233-3100 or www.bapa.org.

 

Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour Showcases Neighborhood Lifestyle Built Around Rock Island Stations

Five private homes — all within walking distance of local Metra stops and illustrative of the lifestyle and history of commuter service in our community — will be open to visitors for the Beverly Area Planning Association’s 47th edition of the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour, Sun., May 20, 12 to 5 p.m.

Visitors on this year’s tour will step inside a glorious Colonial revival mansion that has been renovated from foundation to roof; a deluxe Chicago bungalow beautifully updated for an active family; a gracious Tudor just steps away from the woods; a charming Prairie-influenced hilltop home; and a cozy stucco cottage with a garden hideaway.

Homes are selected for the tour because of their outstanding decorating, amenities and architecture. Featured this year are homes where contemporary stylings enhance original architectural details and offer a range of great ideas for updating kitchens, baths, basements and even yards.

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

A True Commuter Community

Beverly/Morgan Park would not exist today had it not been for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad (now the Metra Rock Island). When the Rock began daily commuter service downtown nearly 150 years ago, the sparsely settled areas along the Blue Island Ridge that became Beverly/Morgan Park began attracting people who desired homes in a “suburban” setting but accessible to jobs and shopping, as well as railroad workers and service providers in need of lodging close to station stops.

Home construction on the Ridge boomed following the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. From mansions that housed some of Chicago’s most prominent families, to cottages and bungalows for families of more modest means, quick transportation downtown was a key influencer for home buyers more than a century ago, just as it is for buyers today. Many of the stations, now located at four-block intervals from 91st to 115th Streets, served as village centers for shopping, and the surviving stations built in the late 1800s and early 1900s form the Rock Island Train Station historic district because of their historic and architectural significance. All of the stations are part of daily life for the estimated 8.3 million riders currently commuting between Joliet and LaSalle Street each year.

At Home in Beverly/Morgan Park Today

For more than four decades, BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour has been opening the doors to some of the neighborhood’s most remarkable private residences. Tickets to this year’s tour are $30 in advance at www.bapa.org or $35 on the day of the tour, Sun., May 20. Homes are open from 12 to 5 p.m. All tours are self-guided and must begin by 3 p.m. The starting point is RMH Design, 1806 W. 103rd St., an eclectic home décor and clothing boutique, where people must check-in to receive their booklets, which are required for admission into the homes.

Thank You Home Tour Sponsors

Pacor Mortgage, Southtown Health Food, Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, Benjamin Moore Paint, Marquette Bank, PRS Real Estate Services, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Steuber Florist & Greenhouses, Coldwell Banker Residential Oak Lawn,  19th Ward Youth Foundation, County Fair, The Beverly Review, RMH Design, and Road Home Program.

Information about the Home Tour and sponsorship opportunities, as well as tickets are available at BAPA, 773-233-3100 or www.bapa.org.

 

RMH Design Puts a Modern Touch on Vintage Appeal

By Grace Kuikman

It’s likely that you’ve seen designs by Robin Harmon, owner of RMH Design. In recent years, six of the outstanding residences featured on BAPA’s Home Tour have undergone beautiful transformations designed by Harmon, and certainly you’ve spotted someone wearing am item of clothing from her boutique and thought, “I wonder where she got that…”

Why did Harmon decide to couple home décor with clothing in her “eccentric lifestyle brand” business model? “There’s a strong connection between home and clothing,” she explained. “People tend to dress like they decorate their home – modern, casual. The patterns they love on their bodies they love in their homes.”

The shop’s clothing line has evolved into the RMH Boutique, which offers true vintage clothes (nothing is newer that 1970s) as well as unique pieces created through the collaborative efforts of Robin and two designers.

In late February, Harmon celebrated the most recent reimagination of her showroom. It is well worth a visit, even if you think you’re not in the market for an update in home décor or personal style.

For Your Home

In the five years since Robin founded RMH Interiors + Design at the corner of 103rd and Wood Street, she has expanded three times. Because of her creative approach to design and merchandise, every visit to RMH is filled with new surprises and ideas. Today, she has clients all over the city.

Harmon’s home designs offer classic style and quality, personalized for each customer. The showroom is a visual delight of merchandise and samples available at this one-stop shop for any size job, from design and paint selection for small projects through total remodeling jobs.

RMH carries quality lines of fabrics for window treatments and upholstery, paint, tile, flooring, counters, wallpaper, rugs, cabinets and more. RMH carries lighting from 25+ vendors, and furniture from almost as many. “I carry merchandise from the same manufacturers you see at Restoration Hardware and Walter E. Smithe,” Harmon said.

RMH also offers vintage furniture that is restored and/or repurposed, blending in modern updates for a unique contemporary look and function. Services include reupholstering, repair, reproduction of decorative elements, refinishing and painting. ) and new,

“Every one of my projects is different,” she said. “That’s because the design is not about me, it’s about my customer.” She also believes in passing her savings on to customers.

“People are so intimidated by the word ‘designer,’” she said. “They shouldn’t be! Design services do not have to be expensive. I work within a customer’s budget.”

“I never imagined that I would be someone who would hire an interior designer,” said Jared Boyer, whose 1920s revivalist house was on BAPA’s Home Tour last year after Harmon helped with the selection of paint, window treatments, hardware and other details. “It seemed like a luxury that was far outside of my price range. But my wife and I had been thinking about paint colors for several weeks and we were not making any progress. Robin’s price was less than the cost of two gallons of paint. Since hiring Robin, we’ve never had to repaint.”

For Your Wardrobe

The RMH Boutique spring collection is in and offers classic clothing for the modern woman as well as Vintage Row, the expanded vintage clothing/accessories section. Harmon’s RMH Boutique is based on the quality and style of vintage. New clothing comes in sizes 3 to 32. Customers select the pieces they like; some garments are in stock, and some are ordered in the size and color a customer wants.

The boutique also offers new and vintage purses, scarves, hats, and gloves as well as jewelry by from various designers, including local designer Susan Larsen.

RMH Design showroom, 1802-1806 W. 103rd St. Hours: Mon. and Tues., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wed. through Fri., 12 to 7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sun., 12 to 5 p.m. Info: www.rmhinteriors.com. Design appointments, 773-865-6173.

 

Village Viewpoint – June 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today, I am filled with gratitude! Together we experienced another great set of events for our community!! Thank you to all those who participated and volunteered to make the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour and the Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade huge successes.

These events bring over 5,000 people together in our community and would not be possible without the 300 volunteers who step up each year to help. More than ever we count on volunteers to support the BAPA staff and make these events special. Every May I am humbled by the thousands of participants and volunteers who connect with our community through BAPA. It is truly inspiring! THANK YOU!

The Beverly Area Planning Association’s mission is “to sustain and enhance Beverly/Morgan Park as a safe, culturally diverse Village in the City with increasing home values, high quality schools, thriving commercial areas and a low crime rate.” But more than that, our mission is to highlight the neighborhood to potential investors, attract new neighbors and continue the tradition of excellence this neighborhood as long enjoyed. To me, year after year the events presented in May and throughout the summer complete this mission.

In addition to volunteers these events would not be possible without our generous sponsors who love this community as we do. Please take time to support those businesses that support our community and the Beverly Area Planning Association.

Looking forward to June and the summer is very exciting as well! As the weather warms we will see the parks and libraries fill up with kids for summer programs and, hopefully, take time to enjoy our community. Each Thursday in June beginning June 8, meet us at the 103rd Street Metra for free Family Fun Nights. There will be food, entertainment and lots of fun for the family! Also mark your calendars for Bikes and Brews, the 15th annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, Fri., July 14 at 107th and Longwood. Most of all have a safe and happy kick off to summer! I look forward to seeing everyone!

All the best,

Margot

Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour Features Two Wright Homes on May 21

Two unusual homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and a tiny house built by students from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences are among the outstanding stops on the 2017 Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour hosted by the Beverly Area Planning Association on Sun., May 21, 12 to 5 p.m.

2 Rare Wrights

This is the 150th anniversary of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth, as well as the 100th anniversary of the construction of Wright’s Guy C. Smith House in Beverly/Morgan Park. The Guy C. Smith House and the Jesse & William Adams House, both Chicago Landmarks, 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 in 1917.  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 was halted.  The current owners have spent more than 25 years carefully restoring the house. It was last on BAPA’s 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 transition for Frank Lloyd Wright as he was developing his Prairie Style. The home’s owner, William Adams, a contractor and builder who worked with prominent architects on residential and commercial buildings, commissioned Wright to design it. Prairie Style elements in the Adams house can be seen in the horizontal design and the way the porch connects the home’s interior and exterior. The Adams house was last on BAPA’s Home Tour in 1996.

Also Featured on the Tour

The Home Tour starts at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago, where people must check-in to receive their booklets, which are required for admission into the homes. All tours must begin by 3 p.m. The Ridge Park fieldhouse is the first stop on the tour, and people are invited to visit meeting rooms and spaces not usually open the public, as well as the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association art gallery which, during the Home Tour, will be hosting the opening of an exhibit by Steve Gerhartz, a plein air artist from Two Rivers, Wisc.

The Tour will also open the doors to an exceptional Prairie Style house built in 1910 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 Colonial Revival Foursquare built in 1903 on a wooded lot atop ridge; as well as the tiny house built for display at Chicago’s Home and Garden Show by students at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.

Home Tour stops feature a cooking demonstration and tasting by Chef Alvin Green, experts offering home and garden advice, a Paint Showcase sponsored by Calumet Paint and Benjamin Moore, a mead tasting by Wild Blossom Meadery, a vintage golf activity by Klees Golf Shop, an art demonstration by Judie Anderson and more.

Home Tour Sponsors

The Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour is sponsored by Mike Haggerty Buick GMC Volkswagen, Beverly Bank, Marquette Bank, The Private Bank, Road Home Program, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, AT&T, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, County Fair Foods, Pendo Advisors, PLS, PRS Professional Real Estate Services, Pacor Mortgage Corp., Commissioner Bridget Gainer, Smith Village, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Biros Real Estate, Steuber Florist & Greenhouses, Coldwell Banker, Ryan & Joyce Developers, Solution 3 Graphics, The Beverly Review, RMH Interiors + Design.

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.

BAPA History: Events and Community Engagement

By Willie Winters

“When a community comes together, good things happen.”

After reading former BAPA executive director Chuck Shanabruch’s article in the April issue of The Villager, I was reminded of how difficult the challenge of maintaining a strong, vibrant community can be. Chuck laid out the key programs and areas of work that BAPA has so steadfastly maintained over the years.

During my tenure as executive director, BAPA continued to push the organization’s original mission and, I believe, accomplished good outcomes in many areas including maintaining quality schools and improving retail corridors, community safety and housing. This was due to a talented BAPA staff which at the time included Adeline Ray, Marcia Walsh, Alice Collins, Pam Holt and Grace Kuikman all working together with a strong and committed board.

BAPA board members worked tirelessly to keep our community moving in the right direction. I was especially grateful for the insightful and professional direction we received from the board presidents. Tom Hogan, Rosa Hudson, Greg Richmond, Mike Stanton and Melody Camp were terrific leaders who made tough decisions, all in the interest of keeping BAPA strong and on task.

Mike Sise, who headed up the Beverly Morgan Park CDC, deserves special recognition for his development work in our community and for gifting BAPA’s current location to the organization in 2005.

Programs are the outward mechanisms of an organization that push forward the mission, but in order to keep programs solid you have to have resources. BAPA is self-funded, largely through the generous donations of community residents and businesses. Community events are also a significant source of income and support for BAPA’s programs.

During the eight years I was with BAPA our events underwent significant changes. Many folks in our community don’t necessarily like change, but it’s necessary to breathe new life into events with both subtle and sometimes dramatic changes. In 2001, we changed the route of the Ridge Run (which celebrates its 40th run this Memorial Day!). The route was extended south of 111th Street for the first time with the idea of including more parts of the community in the race while giving the runners a change of scenery. (The route has since moved back north of 111th Street due to higher costs of street closures etc.) We also added chip timing, enhanced runner refreshments, dri-tech shirts and the youth mile. The Memorial Day celebration included the traveling Viet Nam Wall one year.

We introduced a fall festival on the grounds of Morgan Park Academy that was mildly successful the first year and even visited by the young Obama family. The next year it was, literally, snowed out.

The Snowflake Ball was one of BAPA’s signature events and great fundraiser for many years but as The Plaza deteriorated and lost business, we saw a drop in attendance.  We moved it to St. Xavier University for a few years, but it never gained back its old charm and we decided to cancel it.

Fortunately we were able to bring an exciting new event to the community in the summer of 2003, the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic. Thanks to assistance from David Kennedy, who was with the Mayor’s Office of Special events at that time, we were introduced to the operators of the oldest criterium series in the country and became the first Chicago location for the race. The BHCC still takes place every July, providing the excitement of bicycle racing along with the opportunity to spend time with friends and neighbors in a festival setting.

All of the BAPA events are designed to bring people to our community while bringing our community together.  We want others to see the beauty of our neighborhood and perhaps come back to purchase a home and become part of our community.

Hundreds of residents were introduced to the Beverly/Morgan park community through BAPA events. Many people have remarked of how they were impressed by all of the volunteers who welcomed them to our community.

More importantly, events build community. The Beverly/Morgan Park area is divided into little communities by geography, parishes, churches, schools and civic associations. Community wide events bring everybody together to celebrate, participate and share our stories. Because at the heart of any good community is a story that must be told, improved on and shared. It’s what makes our community and any community special.

See you in the neighborhood.

 

Steuber Florist and Greenhouses for Mother’s Day Flowers

By Kristin Boza

Steuber Florist and Greenhouses, 2654 W. 111th St., has provided beautiful cut floral arrangements and plants to fill yards and gardens for nearly 75 years. Whether the flowers are shipped in from other parts of the world or grown right in their on-site greenhouses, Steuber can fulfill nearly any wish for its customers.

Scot Steuber, owner of the shop, is particularly excited about a new variety of geranium: the Survivor Salmon Pink Series. “It’s a relatively new plant and definitely new to us here at Steuber’s this year. It’s a pink geranium that is really beautiful,” he said. “We also have a few other new varieties of geranium, including a semi-trailing geranium. They’re all very cool and have some bright, vivid colors. We have been specializing in geraniums for years and we have a great crop growing right now.”

Geraniums are hardy and work well in areas where there’s full sun. “They’re a good, all-around plant and drought-tolerant once they are established in your garden,” Steuber said. “I do think geraniums are a proven performer that has held up through time and they constantly make improvements to the variety.”

Besides the new geranium varieties, Steuber is always focused on the tried and true plants that he and his team grow in the greenhouses. “We have a lot of varieties here that do well for us in our space. Keep in mind that we have a small space, so it’s hard sometimes when customers ask why we can’t grow all these different varieties,” he said. Despite being unable to grow every single variety that he would like to due to space constraints, Steuber is always on the lookout for new and exciting plants and flowers to offer his customers.

Almost everything you find at Steuber’s is grown onsite. “We’ve had some plants going for nearly four months now,” Steuber said. “We get a lot of our plants from plugs that are already rooted. We do grow some things from seeds as well, such as our tomato plants, begonias and petunias.”

Although everyone is eager to start planting to perk up their yard, Steuber recommends planting mid-May through Memorial Day, although dealing with Mother Nature can be unpredictable. “Old timers used to say that the frost-free date was May 15, around Mother’s Day. But the last couple of years we’ve had a cold snap.”

Since Mother’s Day is around the corner, Steuber has been busy preparing his stock of fresh cut flowers for bouquets and arrangements. “We offer a full-range of cut flowers that we bring in from California, Holland, Italy, Colombia and Ecuador [to name a few],” he said. “Roses are always popular for Mother’s Day, but there’s so many other beautiful foliages out there. We also make up some container gardens and some combination pots that you can put right out on your front porch. We have a wide variety that’s similar in price to fresh-cut flowers so you can have something flowering all summer long.”

“We’re really amped up to get the neighborhood out here to see our beautiful products,” Steuber said. “You’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful plants all summer long.”

Shop Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Info: www.steuberflorist.com.

 

Plein Air Artist Exhibits Work at Vanderpoel Gallery

By Kristin Boza

The next exhibit at Vanderpoel Art Association Gallery in Ridge Park is the perfect inspiration to enjoy the great outdoors. Wisconsin artist Steve Gerhartz is a plein air artist — a French expression meaning “in the open air” — and an opening reception for his work will take place during BAPA’s Home Tour on Sun., May 21. People participating in BAPA’s tour are encouraged to enjoy the exhibit and the gallery.

Gerhartz began painting at the age of 14 with his older brother, Dan, using oil paint to create a landscape painting while outdoors during a November snow storm. This experience was pivotal in Gerhartz’s life and subsequent career. He attended Lyme Academy of Fine Art in Old Lyme, Conn., studying figure drawing, painting and sculpture in figure and portrait subjects.

With a solid background in the arts, Gerhartz now focuses all of his work on landscape painting, he said. This focus was solidified after he earned the John Stobart Outdoor Painting Fellowship in the year after his training at the Academy was complete.

Gerhartz’s exhibit at Vanderpoel Art Association is the latest of numerous exhibits over the last 30 years across the country.

“I am collected by major corporations in Wisconsin, and I have work in the Museum of Wisconsin Art,” Gerhartz said. “The thing I enjoy most about painting is being in the company of all of nature and being able to experience the relationships in nature.”

Gerhartz is moved most by the light present at different times of the day and as the seasons change. “The different effects of light are a major source of inspiration to me,” he said. “My favorite painters are many from the 19th century who were true to the subject matter they saw, whose brushwork captured the life of the subject.”

At the exhibit opening, Gerhartz will be in attendance. People on the Home Tour and the community can view Gerhartz’s work and meet him in person.

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. .

 

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.