Stories about nonprofit and community organizations that are working to improve the neighborhood and help others.

City Grange to Open Holiday Pop-up Shop  

Shop Will Offer Holiday Decorating and Shopping Opportunities Inspired by Nature 


City Grange, Chicago’s only independent social-enterprise gardening center focusing on education and organic and sustainable plants, will open its first pop-up destination just in time for the holiday decorating and shopping season. 

Located at Joplin Marley Studios at 9911 S. Walden Pkwy., the City Grange Holiday Pop-up Shop will offer seasonal greens, wreaths, garlands, cut floral, holiday containers and other décor items, as well as holiday decorating demos and classes. Select merchandise can be ordered for delivery. 

City Grange Founder and President LaManda Joyan Illinois Extension Master Gardener and founder of Peterson Garden Project, is excited to bring City Grange to a new part of the city. “I believe the world would be a better place with more gardeners,” she says. “I started City Grange to inspire, motivate and help more people garden successfully. Our first location on the north side has been an overwhelming success, and I look forward to welcoming everyone in Beverly and the surrounding communities for holiday decorating and shopping at City Grange.” 

The City Grange Beverly Holiday Pop-Up store will be open on Fridays, 4 to 8 p.m., 

Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun., Nov. 22 through Sun., Dec. 22.  

City Grange is America’s first independent social enterprise gardening destination focusing on organic and pesticide-free plant material, education and community-building. City Grange sells organic and pesticide-free plants, garden tools and supplies, hosts gardening workshops and offers a job-training program for at-risk individuals called United We Blossom. City Grange takes inspiration from the historic Grange movement of the 1800s to advance modern-day urban gardening for everyone and promote the social and economic needs of communities. 

City Grange plans to open its second location in the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood in springFor more information, visit 

Fresh Food to Combat a Food Desert 

By Kristin Boza 

Rashelle Strate is too nervous to drive on the highway, so she drives from her home in Beverly/Morgan Park through South Side neighborhoods to get to her job as a florist and gardener. During her commute, she noticed the lack of grocery stores in many South Side communities. As an avid home and professional gardener, she realized her home garden surplus could make an impact in the Englewood community, and the Beverly Farmacy was born.  

“Food justice and food equity is important to me, and I tried to think of a way to do something with my skills to help those affected,” Strate said. “I already had a home garden, and I decided to reach out to others in our area through Facebook to ask for them to donate a portion of their surplus.” 

The Beverly Farmacy is a collective of home gardeners who donate a fresh vegetables produced in their home gardens. Strate connected with the food pantry run out of St. Sabina Church in Englewood, which encouraged the donations since fresh produce is often difficult to come by for food pantries.  

“I chose St. Sabina because it’s in a neighborhood that is a food desert, and, although I am an atheist, I appreciate Father Michael Pfleger’s activism,” Strate said. “While the pantry gets many donations of canned goods, they didn’t get a lot of fresh produce. I donated what I could and now that Beverly Farmacy is headed into its fifth year, we are donating more and more.” 

This past summer, Strate pulled up most of the grass in her yard to plant even more vegetables. She has 12 raised beds, more plants directly in the ground, and her front yard and parkway are also dedicated spaces for growing vegetables.  

Beverly Farmacy members drop off their extra produce at Strate’s home each week. Then the real work beginsStrate spends approximately 20 hours a week harvesting her own garden, and washing and sorting the collected vegetables. She delivered two large carloads of produce to the food pantry each week.  

Recently, Strate was awarded the Chicago Excellence in Gardening award in the urban farm category.  

“I entered the contest to get more exposure for the Beverly Farmacy, and to get more people to join. I also wanted people in other neighborhoods to get involved as well, and I can help them set it up based on the model we perfected here,” Strate said. “By doing this, we tread more lightly, reduce waste, remove food deserts, reduce food injustice, teach ourselves and our kids about where food comes from, and build communities.” 

To get involved in Beverly Farmacy, find them on Facebook, Instagram or 

On the Spot

By Claire O’Malley 

Every Saturday, I take the train to get to The Second City in Old Town to rehearse and then perform in their youth ensemble. I have to be there at 4 p.m., and every weekend I’m faced with the decision: do I arrive two hours early or 15 minutes late? Because I really can’t be late, I choose to be two hours early. I spend these hours doing my homework or working on sketches I am writing for rehearsal later, but why should I have to choose?  

I guess we are lucky to have the Metra. Without it, we would have no commuter train transportation downtown. However, if you are trying to travel outside of the commuter rush hours, there are very few options to get you to the city.  

My older sister, who goes to school downtown, takes the train almost every day. There are considerably more options on the weekdays, with trains coming every 15 to 30 minutes for the morning commute, and leaving LaSalle Street Station just as frequently in the afternoon and evening. So the train schedule works well for teenagers who don’t have after school activities. But after 6 p.m., the trains go from leaving every 20 minutes to every other hour. This means if practice is over at 6 p.m., kids have to take an 8 p.m. train or find another way back to the neighborhood. It can be pretty inconvenient. Luckily, on Saturdays, I only take the train one way and my parents pick me up. 

When I want to see my friends who live in other parts of the city, it’s the same issue. It would be more helpful if the Metra trains ran like 30 minutes on weekdays and weekends and then every hour when it’s later in the day. Most teenagers aren’t old enough to drive and even the ones that are don’t always have a car to use whenever they want. Traffic, parking and parking tickets also make driving to the city a terrible choice. There’s so much to see and do in the city and it would be great if it was easier for teens to get there on public transportation.  

Neighborhood Notes

Neighborhood Notes – November 2019  

The Advent Outreach Program at Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., invites the community to join in knitting or crocheting hats and scarfs to be given as Christmas donations to homeless shelters. With the help of the community, the program gave 53 hats and 36 scarfs to homeless people last year. Items can be dropped off at the church. The program runs through Dec. 7. Details: 

Zoraida Sambolin, breast cancer survivor and Emmy-winning Weekday Edition co-anchor of NBC 5 News Today, is the keynote speaker for the LCMH Cancer Survivor Event Sat., Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Double Tree Hilton, 5000 W. 127th St., Alsip. The event offers a day of inspiration, education and resources. $25. or 708-229-5047 

Bookies, 10324 S. Western, offers a variety of events: Jason Muhr and Markisan Naso, creators of graphic novel “Voracious,” will sign copies of Vol. 3 “Appetite for  Destruction,” Sat., Nov. 2, 12 to 12:30  p.m.; author Sara Shacter reading from her newest picture book for kids age 6 and under, ”Just So Willow,” Sun., Nov. 10, 2 p.m.and on Nov. 23 and 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., get a bundle of book bargains at Bookie’s Old Location Blowout Sale2419 W. 103rd St.  Info: 773-239-1100 or  

Area singers are invited to join the choir for the Handel’s Messiah Concert on Sun., Dec. 1, 3:30 p.m., Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl. The annual concert by the concert choir and orchestra begins the holiday season. Join the choir for rehearsals beginning Sat., Nov. 2.  Info: or 773-779-3355. 

Mercy Circle3659 W. 99th St., welcomes prospective residents, their families and friends to tour its community and learn about the lifestyle and services at an open house, Sun., Nov. 3, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 773-253-3600. 

Smith Village hosts an Open Mic Afternoon, Sun., Nov. 3, 4 p.m., in Smith Village Community Hall, 2320 W. 113th PlSingers, musicians, comedians and other entertainers are welcome to perform. Free. To sign up your act, contact Debbie Parks, or 773-574-9727. For information about attending, call 773-474-7300 and ask for Bridget Murphy. 

Local School Council meetings: Vanderpoel Humanities Academy LSC, Tues., Nov. 5 and Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m. 9510 S. Prospect Ave., 773-535-2690;  Kellogg School LSC, Thurs., Nov. 7 and Dec. 5, 6 p.m. Library, 9241 S. Leavitt St.,  773-535-2590; Clissold School LSC, Mon., Nov. 18, 7 p.m. Auditorium, 2350 W. 110th Pl., 773-535-2560; and Morgan Park High School LSC, Wed., Nov. 20, 6 p.m. Library, 1744 W. Pryor, 773-535-2550.  

CAPS Meetings. Area residents are encouraged to get involved in CAPS meetings. For information, contact the 22nd District CAPS office, 312-745-0620or, or stop by the 22nd District Police Station, 1900 W. Monterey. Beat 2221, Tues., Nov. 5, 7 p.m. Christ the King, 9225 S. Hamilton; Court Advocacy Subcommittee, Wed., Nov. 13, 1:30 p.m. 22nd District Police Station;  Beat 2213, Thurs., Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m. Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr.; and  Beats 2211 and 2212, Thurs., Dec. 5, 6 p.m. 22nd District Police Station.  

GFWC Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club will host a New Member Meeting Wed., Nov. 6, 7 p.m., Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley.  The Morgan Park Juniors, a club for 80 years, meet one Wednesday a month.  At the meeting information about the many community projects will be presented.  Info:  Dena OReilly,  

Special programs offered this month at Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St., include: Home for the Holidays Military Toy Drive collecting new, unwrapped toys for ages 1 to 16, Sat., Nov. 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., info 773-828-8195; Dorenda M. Clink, independent Medicare and Certified Long Term Care Specialist, presents how to improve overall healthcare through VA benefits and Medicare, Mon., Nov. 11, 2 p.m.; and Sew and Tell, make a Thanksgiving holiday table decoration with felt and embroidery thread (all supplies provided), Sat., Nov. 23, 11 a.m. Library programs are free. Info: 312-747-9673.  

Tai Chi-Qigong Classes for Seniors & All Abilities, every Tues., 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.. Immanuel United Church of Christ, 9815 S. Campbell. $10 per session.  Info: or630-234-5532 

Pat Mac’s Pack hosts Trash To Treasure, an auction for one-of-a-kind upcycled and repurposed items created by creative donors, Fri., Nov. 8, 7 to 11 p.m., Cork and Kerry, 10614 S. Western. All proceeds benefit pediatric brain cancer research and patient support.  The event also offers a raffle for a room re-do including consultation by a professional interior decorator, paint and a gift card to a home store. Donation: $10 (includes one free drink). Info: Lucy Beemsterboer, 773-991-1357; Karen Hoey, 312-925-4629; Clare McKeown, 773-633-9674; Shannon McKeown 773-574-6239; or Dee McNamara 773-316-5296.  

Volunteers are welcome to join the Friends of the Dan Ryan Woods Tues., Nov. 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 91st and Hermitage to help clear brush. The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month for workdays. Wear long pants, long sleeves and closed-toe shoes. Tools and gloves provided. Info: 773-398-1178.  

Boys in kindergarten through 5th grades and their parents can learn more about joining Beverly Cub Scout Pack 3607 at an information meeting Thurs., Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Bethany Union Church, 103rd and Wood Street. From participating in the Pinewood Derby to learning how to toast the perfect marshmallow at a campout, Cub Scouts offer activities that encourage children to make new friends and succeed in life. Info: Liz Zapata, 708-439-5824 or 

Neighbors are welcomed to join residents for the holiday fair featuring a dozen vendors offering gifts, sweets, decorations and even fresh donuts for holiday shoppers, Fri., Nov. 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Village Community Hall, 2320 W. 113th Pl. Info: Bridget Murphy, 773-474-7300.     

Red Lotus meditation sangha will host a Guided Meditation Retreat Sat., Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. Appropriate for all levels of meditation. Conversation topic: racism and poverty. Admission by donation. Info:  

Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl., is reaching out to help homeless people this month. The Sharing Closet is collecting winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves and socks for men, women and children, and volunteers are welcome to help on sorting day, Sat., Nov. 16, 2 p.m. The church will be preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinner for and sharing fellowship and support with guests from several area homeless shelters Sat., Nov. 23. Volunteers are welcome to help cook, and serve meals. For more info or to volunteer, contact Pastor Ben, or 773-779-3355. 

Trinity United Methodist Church, Unity in Diversity, Southsiders for Peace and Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative will host fun, fare and fancy footwork at a potluck dinner and square dance Sat., Nov. 16, 6 p.m., at the church, 9848 S. Winchester. Dinner will be served at 6:30 and dancing follows. Donation: $3 for an individual or $5 for a family.  Bring a dish to share.  Activities for children will be available.  

The Chicago Bungalow Association presents Adapting Your Home to a Long Life: Accessibility into the Golden Years, cost-effective design   ideas for making modifications for aging residents, Mon.,, Nov. 18, 6 p.m., Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St. Free. RSVP through  

Cherished Angel Perinatal Loss Support Group for parents who have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death meets meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (Tues., Nov. 19), 7 to 8:30 p.m., Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St.  led by Kathryn D. Gardner, LCPC, PMH-C, Specialist in Women’s Issues, the group is a place to share grief and discuss topics about emotions, relationships and coping. Free. Info: Gina Demas, RN, 708-229-5928 or Susie Schultz, Angel Mom, . 

Bookies will be swinging open the doors once again at the original store, 2419 W. 103rd St., for the Old Location Blow Out Sale, offering incredible deals Sat., Nov. 23 and Sun., Nov. 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Info:  

773-239-1110 or  

Mark Your Calendar  

The League of Women Voters of Chicago-Far Southwest Side Group will meet Wed., Dec. 4, 7 p.m., 9904 S. Damen Ave., for a discussion of Local School Councils. The League is a non-partisan organization that provides informal discussion of current political, social and economic issues.  Public welcome.  Info: 312-939-5949, 773-233-1420 or 

Don’t miss Breakfast with Santa at the Givins Beverly Castle, 10244 S. Longwood Dr., Sat., Dec. 7, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. $5. Christmas tree sales at the Castle will be the weekends of Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 14-15. 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  


Community Events

Community Events – November 2019  


Tech Smart Seniors Planned at Mercy Circle  

Tech Smart Seniors, a free, three-part series of one-hour classes during which Claire DiCola will help people tap the power of their smartphones and tablets, will be held Wed., Nov. 6, 13 and 20, 10 a.m., at Mercy Circle, 3659 W. 99th St.   

Each class will address specific topics: Nov. 6 will cover the basics of using a smartphone and tablet so participants can master standard applications including messages, emails, maps and cameras. Nov. 13 will cover how to use devices to connect with friends and family on Facebook and Nov. 20 will provide tips for using applications including calendars, messenger and photo albums 

Tech Smart Seniors is co-sponsored 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea and 36th District Illinois State Rep. Kelly Burke with Mercy Circle. DiCola, whose company Amplify 7 helps businesses optimize their online profiles, is experienced in presenting how-to tips in easy-to-understand ways. DiCola earned her master’s in business administration in marketing with a concentration in social media at Saint Xavier University. 

“We grateful to co-sponsor this series because we know first-hand how important it is for older adults to stay in touch and to access information using the devices most already have,” said Frances Lachowicz, executive director of Mercy Circle. 

Classes are free, but people are asked to register at or 773-253-3600. Complimentary valet parking is available at Mercy Circle’s main entrance. 


Annual Mass Honors People in Military 

A Mass in honor of military service men and women, past and present will be celebrated at St. Barnabas Church, 10134 S. Longwood Dr., Sun., Nov. 10, 10 a.m. The Mass, celebrated each year since 2008, will focus on peace among all nations and will honor and thank all members of the armed services who have defended and continue to defend the United States. 

The main celebrant and homilist of the liturgy will be Fr. James Joslyn, Captain, United States Navy, Retired. Fr. Joslyn grew up in St. Thomas More parish, was ordained a priest in 1973, and was commissioned a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve Chaplain Corps in 1987.  On active duty from 1988 to 2010, Fr. Joslyn served tours in many places including Guantanamo Bay, the Persian Gulf, and Rota, Spain. Fr. Joslyn also served a year on the staff of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, in Washington, DC. 

At Mass, all veterans and current service men and women are invited to join in the entrance procession and each Military division will be led by their respective flag. All branches of the U.S. Armed Forces will be acknowledged, and the names of those currently serving will be brought up to the altar and read aloud.  

Following Communion, there will be A special blessing will follow Communion, and Mass will close with a musical tribute to the Armed Services sung by the St. Barnabas Choir. A reception follows the liturgy.  

The Mass reminds people to remember and thank the service men and women of our country, and to be grateful to those who have been injured or lost their lives defending our freedom. 

For more information, visit To add the name of an active service person to the list that will be read during Mass, contact Kitty Ryan, 773-779-1166 ext. 226 or 


Beverly Hills Turkey Trot Set for Thanksgiving Weekend 

The 11th Annual Beverly Hills Turkey Trot 5K Run and Family Walk will be held Sat., Nov. 30, 9 a.m., in North Beverly. The race starts at 9201 S. Hamilton. The presenting sponsor is CIBC Bank, and event proceeds benefit the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and 19th Ward Youth Foundation. 

More than 2,000 participants are expected to participate in the 5K, now a Thanksgiving weekend neighborhood tradition for runners and walkers of all ages and skill levels. The run is chip-timed on a CARA-certified course; the family walk is untimed.  

Individual registration is $35 per person for adults or $30 for children under age 19 in advance.  Family walk advance registration is $75. Fees go up $5 on race day. Participants will receive a long-sleeved T-shirt and goody bag.  

The 19th Ward and Original Pancake House (Beverly) will host a pancake breakfast immediately following the Turkey Trot. Admission is $5 per person or $25 per family.  

Sign up for the Turkey Trot at People interested in volunteering can contact Margie Olsen, Race results will be posted at  


Ridge Artisan Market Pop-Up Shop  

The Women Entrepreneurs of Beverly (WEB) will host The Ridge Artisan Market, a pop-up retail shop, Sat., Nov. 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Beverly Hills Gallery, 2135 W. 95th St. (corner of 95th St. and Hamilton Ave.) The space is currently unoccupied but is opening its doors to holiday shoppers for the one-day event. 

This unique shopping experience brings together area small businesses in conjunction with the nationwide push to “shop small” on Small Business Saturday, created 10 years ago by American Express. Small Business Saturday is a collaborative effort to showcase favorite local businesses that strengthen communities.  

For more information on The Ridge Artisan Market, follow along on Facebook or Eventbrite. The WEB is a community for women who reside on the South Side of Chicago and was created by like-minded businesswomen to spark collaboration and support one another.  

The following women-owned businesses will be participating and can be found on Instagram: Beverly Dry Goods @beverlydrygoods; Colleen McCarthy Photography @colleenmccarthyphoto; Crunchy Life Skincare @crunchylifeskincare; Dawn McHugh Metalworks @dawn_mchugh; Erin Cox Designs @erincoxdesigns; Get Local Beverly @getlocalbeverly; Lays Lemons Artisanal Soaps @layslemons; MAYTA Collection @maytacollection; PETALS + INK @tspetalsandink; Scenic Backdrops @scenicbackdrops; Shots by Gaby @shotsbygaby; and Two Mile Coffee @twomilecoffeebar. 


Residents to Launch Beverly/Morgan Park Rotary Club 

Residents to Launch Beverly/Morgan Park Rotary Club 

A small group of area residents is working to bring a Rotary Club to Beverly/Morgan Park and an informational meeting has been set for Tues., Nov. 19, 6 p.m., BAPA Community Room 11109 S. Longwood Dr 

The late Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International, lived on Longwood Drive from 1912 until he died in 1947. The house is currently being renovated into a museum by The Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation.  

Harris and four other men began meeting weekly in 1905 to share business interests and friendship in what became the first Rotary Club. Today Rotary International is a service organization with approximately 1.2 million Rotarians and 35,000 clubs worldwide.  

Rotary’s mission is to unite people to create lasting change in communities and globally. The neighbors who are working to establish the new club are hopeful that a Rotary service club will bring community members together to focus on community projects. Residents and people who do business in the Beverly/Morgan Park area are encouraged to attend the Nov. 19 

The group will continue to meet and explore potential service projects until the club can officially charter. Weekly or biweekly meetings will often have a brief presentation featuring local projects or organizations and discussion of club business. Members will also have the opportunity to network and socialize over a meal. 

People who wish to attend the meeting can RSVP to Mera Johnson, 630-800-9980 or For more information about Rotary International, visit 



Nightlife & Entertainment

Pat Mac’s Trash to Treasure, Sat., Nov. 8, 7-11pm. Calling at DIYers! Pat Mac’s hosts an upcycled auction at the Cork & Kerry, 10614 S. Western Ave.  All proceeds from this event support families and cancer research at Lurie Children’s Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. $10 admission. Info: 

Caution at Blue Island Beer Company, Sat., Nov. 9, 8pm. One of Chicago’s favorite Grateful Dead cover bands, Caution performs at the Blue Island Beer Company, 13357 Old Western Ave. 21+. Tickets $10/$15/door  

“Rumble: Indians who Rocked the World,” Weds., Nov. 13, 6pm.  Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with a movie screening from indigenous filmmaker Catherine Bainbridge whose work exposes a critical missing chapter in contemporary music history, how indigenous musicians helped influence popular culture. Free. 312-747-9673. 

BACinemaCoco,” Weds., Nov. 13, 7:30pm. The Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., screens a family holiday movie that comes with a lot of ghosts and skeletons, Pixar’s Coco explores the mythology surrounding Dia De Los Muertos. Tickets $6/ $5 BAC members. 773-445-3838, 

Open Outcry’s Harvest Fest & Bazaar: Sat., Nov. 16, 11-5pm. Open Outcry’s, 10934 S. Western, annual holiday bazaar returns for its 3rd year and will feature the best of local businesses and artisans. And while you’re shopping enjoy the exclusive Harvest Fest beer, or a seasonal cocktail with a bowl of artisanal chili. Free admission, 773-629-6055. 

The Road to Now with Bob Crawford & Ben Sawyer: Sun., Nov. 17, 7pm. The Road to Now, a podcast about the history behind important events comes to the Beverly Arts Center for a special live event. Hosts Bob Crawford and Ben Sawyer will be joined by special guest Erin Welsh of “This Podcast Will Kill You”. Tickets: $30/ $27 BAC members773-445-3838, 

BACinema: Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: Weds., Nov. 20, 7:30pm, Beverly Arts Center.  John Hughes was the quintessential Chicago filmmaker, a writer-director who explored the nuances of the Chicagoland area and the character of its people like no other. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), is a screwball comedy for people from all walks of life. Tickets $6/ $5 BAC members. 773-445-3838, 

CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band: Sat., Nov. 23, 8pm, Beverly Arts CenterC.J. Chenier, a Creole born, musician delivers soulful vocals along with masterful accordion driven Zydeco and Blues at the Beverly Arts Center this month, tickets $30/ $27 BAC members. 773-445-3838, 


Chicago Architecture Buffs Coming Back to Beverly/Morgan Park Neighborhood Oct. 19 and 20  

Chicago Architecture Buffs Coming Back to Beverly/Morgan Park Neighborhood Oct. 19 and 20  


Eleven sites in Beverly/Morgan Park will be among nearly 350 of Chicago’s most intriguing buildings opening their doors for the Chicago Architecture Center’s (CAC) 9th annual Open House Chicago (OHC). Last year, Beverly/Morgan Park sites were included for the first time on the free, behind-the-scenes event, and nearly 3,000 visitors arrived on our community doorstep – most of them for the first time. This years tour will showcase several new locations, as well as a few of last year’s favorites.  

One of the world’s largest architecture festivals, Open House Chicago is a two-day public event taking place Sat., Oct. 19 and Sun., Oct. 20, with most sites open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, but check the Open House Chicago Event Guide, available at all participating locations, for any time limitations.   

The Beverly Area Planning Association worked with OHC planners to identify and recruit Beverly/Morgan Park locations for this year’s event.  

“We are thrilled that people from all over Chicagoland will have a chance to get an inside look at the diverse architecture and historic buildings that make Beverly/Morgan Park so amazing,” said BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood. “Being on Open House Chicago’s map has the potential to bring more new visitors to our neighborhood. BAPA is proud to be a partner in this citywide event.”  

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin recommended the Givins Beverly Castle in his top ten list of Open House Chicago sites to see this year. In the item, Kamin wrote, “In addition to its wealth of Prairie Style houses, the Far South Side’s Beverly neighborhood boasts this curiosity A castle-like mansion built of rock-solid Joilet limestone . . . it is a Beverly icon and Chicago’s only castle.” 

Beverly/Morgan Park Open House Chicago locations offering behind-the-scenes tours are:  

Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery 

9030 S. Hermitage Ave.  

Chicago’s first meadery uses local ingredients and its own honey – there are hives on the property – to create a wide variety of mead flavors and styles. The transformation into the production facility and tasting room was designed by Moss Design in 2017 and features soaring ceilings and huge windows overlooking patio, garden and Dan Ryan Woods Forest Preserve.  

Beverly Hills Tennis Club 

9121 S. Hamilton Ave.  

Founded in 1919 by a group of tennis-playing families, the current club property was purchased in 1926 and the first four courts were built with clay salvaged from a nearby street construction project. The clubhouse was built in 1928, designed to be converted into a private home, just in case finances became shaky. Soon after, the other four courts were built. The club survived the Great Depression and continued to grow. The clubhouse was remodeled in 1964 and three years later, fast-dry courts were installed. New clay is laid down every year to keep courts in top condition. In 1972, a regulation size platform tennis court was added. A more recent remodeling enabled year-round use of the club house 

Christ the King Roman Catholic Church 

9235 S. Hamilton Ave.  

Christ the King parish was established in 1926 and the current church was constructed in 1955, designed by John Jay Fox Jr. of Fox & Fox Architects, a firm that specialized in designing Catholic schools and churchesFox was a Beverly/Morgan Park resident and active Christ the King parishioner until he died in 2003. The fan shaped church was built on an angle and uses a blend of modern and traditional design emphasizing the symbols of crown and cross inside and outAbove the entrance is a stained glass and bronze figure of Christ the King. Marble and mahogany add to the beauty in the sanctuary. The mural about the windows is paintings on canvas finished in a mosaic effect.  

John H. Vanderpoel Art Association Gallery 

9625 S. Longwood Dr.  

The collection of fine 19th and 20th Century art began with the acquisition of a work by Dutch artist John H. Vanderpoel, at one time a Beverly/Morgan Park resident and instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The gallery is located in the Ridge Park field house, which was designed by John T. Hetherington in 1913 and in 1929 remodeled by Hetherington and his son Murray Hetherington, adding the wing that houses the extraordinary art collection. The collection is composed of nearly 500 works by noted American painters and sculptors, including Mary Cassatt and Daniel Chester French.  

Trinity United Methodist Church 

9848 S. Winchester  

Formed from two congregations each with roots back to the 1800sTrinity United Methodist Church was organized Beverly/Morgan Park in 1920, but the formidable gothic church and courtyard we see today were not built until after the Great Depression, and dedicated in 1940. Patterned after the Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago, the church is designed in the shape of a cross with the chancel at the head of the cross, the transepts forming the arms, the nave forming the body and the narthex at the foot. The sanctuary and chapel showcase exceptional stained glass rich in color and symbolism. The windows in the nave depict stories from the bible.  

The Givins Beverly Castle 

10244 S. Longwood Dr.  

The community’s best known landmark was built in 1886-87 by real estate developer Robert C. Givins and originally used as his private residence. The three-story Irish castle is built from solid limestone and features crenelated turrets, stained glass and elaborate oak woodwork.  In the mid-1890s it was briefly rented to a private school for girls, then transformed back into a private home, wired for electricity and later sold to a physician. It has been home of Beverly Unitarian Church since 1942. Funds are currently being raised to repair and restore the roof and turrets. Learn more at  

Ridge Historical Society 

10621 S. Seeley Ave.  

The Tudor Revival terraced mansion was designed by John T. Hetherington in 1921 and built in 1922. Terraced into the hill, the home was built for the Herbert S. Graver family and later owned by the Driscoll family, which donated it to the Ridge Historical Society in 1972. It is now officially named the Graver-Driscoll House. The Society maintains extensive archives and collections used for research, programs and exhibits, and works to preserve, protect and promote the history of the Ridge communities.  

Ingersoll-Blackwelder House 

10910 S. Prospect Ave. 

One of the oldest homes in Beverly/Morgan Park, the Queen Anne front of the house was built in 1873-74 and the Italianate style back added in 1877. The house was built for Isaac and Gertrude Blackwelder – he was the first president of the Village of Morgan Park and she was the first woman to vote in a groundbreaking 1913 Cook County electionThe Elegant Victorian home was owned and restored by nationally recognized artist the late Jack Simmerling, and features carefully preserved architectural and design details 

Morgan Park Presbyterian Church 

11056 S. Longwood Dr.  

The first congregation of Morgan Park Presbyterian Church build a church adjacent to the Rock Island Railroad (for which many church members worked) in 1892. In 1933, fire destroyed the original church, and despite being in the throes of the Great Depression, the faithful congregation engraved a stone from the original church and laid it as the new church cornerstone in 1934. The new gothic church with the soaring tower was built on the foundation of the original church and  dedicated in 1941The sanctuary was designed by Albert F. Heino with carved oak piers framing lancet windows and exquisite stained glass windows telling stories from the Old and New Testaments.   

Morgan Park Academy Alumni Hall 

2153 W. 111th St.  

Built on the campus of what is now a private co-ed school founded in 1873 as Morgan Park Military Academy, Alumni Hall was completed in 1927 as a memorial to academy cadets who served in World War I, including seven who lost their lives. Note the restored military-inspired murals discovered during a remodeling. The building was designed by Ralph H. Oliver, an architect with Holmes and Finn and a 1904 academy graduate. The main hall on the second floor was built with 30-foor high ceilings and modeled after English baronial halls. Now used as the MPA library, the room features oak paneled walls, an enormous fireplace and wooden beams. 

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Mission 

11652 S. Church St.  

Sacred Heart was founded in 1892 for French settler, many of whom worked at the Purington Brick Yards nearby. The original wooden frame church was built on posts over a swamp in 1904-05. According to local folklore, Purington workers were allowed to take bricks that were not fit to sell, and that over the years, collected a few at a time, enough were accumulated to build the present brick structure around the old frame church in 1922. Due to declining attendance, the church was closed in 1979 and scheduled to be demolished but reopened in late 1982 as a mission of Holy Name of Mary Parish – there are only three other mission churches in Chicago – and with the caveat that the building would be brought up to fire and safety codes 

Open House Chicago is a free event with sites downtown and in 38 neighborhoods, including sacred spaces, private clubs, repurposed mansions, skyscrapers, offices and industrial facilities.  

The Chicago Architecture Center is recruiting volunteers to help out at sites via and people who wish to help out locally through BAPA can contact Grace Kuikman, 

Wintrust is the presenting sponsor of Open House Chicago.   

Proclamation, Presentations Mark Chicago Railroad History Month 

An official Proclamation signed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared October to be Chicago Railroad History Month. This Proclamation, the second in the past two years, is the result of the advocacy work of the Blackhawk Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society led by David Daruszka, vice president of the chapter, Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor and a retired locomotive engineer.  

According to Daruszka, the goal of Chicago Railroad History Month is to bring greater public recognition of the history of railroads in the city.  

“The railroads have been an integral part of the city’s economic and social life since the first inaugural train pulled out of the city in October of 1848,” Daruszka said.  “The dignitaries who rode the first train believed that the railroad would bring prosperity and growth to the city. Little could they imagine how quickly that would happen, and how Chicago would become the rail capitol of the nation.” 

Chicago Railroad History Month celebrates both the past of railroading and the continued importance the railroads play in the city’s current economic life.  

We hope to bring the story of railroads, and the men and women who worked on them, to as wide an audience as possible,” Daruszka said. “The railroads influenced the growth of Chicago more than any other industry, employing thousands of workers and claiming untold acres of land for railyards and tracks.”  

The effort last year to establish October as Chicago Railroad History Month was designed to highlight this important aspect of Chicago’s past and present leading up to 2023, the 175th anniversary of the first run of the Pioneer locomotive on Oct. 25, 1848.   

The Pioneer is a steam locomotive built in New York in 1837 and later purchased for use by the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad. It arrived in Chicago by ship on Oct. 10, 1848. The Pioneer is on permanent exhibit at the Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark St., Chicago). 

Daruszka, an avid railroad historian and collector, and active member of the Blackhawk Chapter, gives presentations to community groups, historical societies, schools and other organizations to share the fascinating history of Chicago’s railroads. Through this and other outreach efforts, the Blackhawk Chapter hopes to support a sustaining effort that will lead to exhibits and programs in 2023 to celebrate that anniversary. 

Our effort is spearheaded by a group of historians, writers and railroad enthusiasts who serve on our advisory board,” Daruszka said. Planning continues on various ideas for the anniversary.  Information about Chicago Railroad History Month can be found at To schedule a presentation or contact David Daruszka, email 

Morgan Park Sports Center Lays Fresh Ice  

By Kristin Boza 

The Morgan Park Sports Center (MPSC), 11505 S. Western, was a little warmer than usual recently. For the first time since it opened, the ice was completely melted down and replaced, a necessary process that takes place every two years or so. 

The painstaking process begins with a switch: the cooling tubes underneath the ice are turned off and, two days later, construction equipment is brought in to push the slush and remaining ice chunks outside, according to Kathy Janik, Learn to Skate and Figure Skating Coordinator at MPSC. 

Then, the rink’s ground floor, which is concrete, is power washed to remove any paint remnants and prepare it for the fresh ice. Once the cleaning is done, the cooling tubes are turned back on to get the slab back down to ice-friendly temps. “We need to make sure the water freezes when it hits the slab. Water is sprayed on lightly to lay the first layer of ice,” Janik said. “One-quarter of an inch of ice is laid down before it is painted.”  

The ice painting is a slow process done completely by hand. “The painters mix water and white-powdered ice paint together, then spray three to four layers of it on the ice to give it the solid white appearance you see,” said John Gannon, Hockey Coordinator and Assistant Facility Manager at MPSC. “It’s then ‘sealed’ by spraying several layers of clear water. After it’s sealed, all the markings are measured, drawn out and painted by hand or with the use of a paint stick.” 

The hockey markings are hand painted and logos are laid. Some logos, like the ones used by MPSC teams, are made of mesh, while others are hand-painted using a template. “The logos are laid out on the ice, measured, and put in place. We then apply thin layers of water to freeze them in place. The process of painting takes about a half day or so,” Gannon said. 

“We are now the home rinks for Marist High School and St. Jude Hockey Club, so their logos were painted on. We also placed logos for our own Horned Frogs Hockey Team and the Chicago Red Line Synchronized Skating Teams, both of which are MPSC programs,” Janik said.  

This is the third year of the Horned Frogs team. “We have seen steady growth over the years and have seven teams participating in the Northwest Hockey League, in addition to our Learn to Play and Little Horned Frogs program,” Gannon said. “Our teams have won two division championships in 2017-2018, two first place finishes in 2018-2019, and we won several tournaments.” 

Registration for the next session of all MPSC programs begins on Oct. 22, and will run from Nov. 3 through Jan. 12. Visit to sign up.