Commissioner Stanley Moore’s Commitment to Modernize Dan Ryan Woods Includes Pike House 

By Tina Jenkins Bell 

Fourth District Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore says even before the portion of North Beverly that includes 88th and 89th Streets, from the east side of Hamilton to Ashland became part of his district in 2022 due to district remapping, he was a major contributor to ensuring close to $5 million in improvements in the Cook County Dan Ryan Woods Forest Preserves.  

“When I took office, one of things I promised myself is that there would be no more abandoned, vacant Cook County owned properties in my district. That’s what I’ve worked towards. The pavilion was boarded up. The Visitors Center was a maintenance facility for storing equipment. Now it’s beautiful. It’s a place where people can go, sit and relax, and exercise. We have a patio for our seniors with beautiful lighting. Lit paths to the pavilion. We’ve done a lot of work,” Moore said.  

“The Forest Preserve has been a great partner,” he said, adding he wanted the Cook County Preserves to be for his family and community the great, beautiful outdoor space it had been for he and his siblings.    

Since 1976, Moore has lived in North Beverly in the same home once owned by former Cook County Commissioner and Board President Dan Ryan, Jr. Moore continues to reside in the family home and feels blessed that his district includes his home and places, like the two former Dan Ryan Woods watchmen houses, one being the historic Eugene S. Pike House.  

“The Eugene S. Pike House was only recently added to my district after the last remapping. Prior to that, it had been a part of John Daley’s district,” Moore said, “I am in full support of saving the Pike House. (It) represents what Beverly is all about. It has that beautiful stucco and Tudor revival style. It would be a shame to let this house deteriorate or be torn down. So, I’m full support of rehabbing and modernizing this endangered, historical place.”  

Moore said he would love to have a conversation with community groups on moving forward with a fair leasing acquisition and renovation plan. He knows there are a lot of funds out there for projects like the Pike House, and he’s open to working with the Eugene S. Pike House Foundation and Beverly Area Arts Alliance, the groups chosen by the Forest Preserves District, to steward this effort to help them achieve these goals. 

“The Cook County Forest Preserves is understaffed and underfunded. We need nonprofit and community groups to partner with,” he said.  

Currently a proposal from the Beverly Area Arts Alliance (The Alliance) and the Eugene S. Pike House Foundation is to transform the Pike House into a cultural center that offers space for artists in residence, art programming, and community events. This collaborative proposal is also committed to move the renovation project forward through fundraising and donated labor. The Alliance-Pike House Foundation proposal is supported by local and state historic preservation agencies, as well as community stakeholders.   

The Pike House is included in the National Register of Historic Places Ridge Historic District and recognized by the City of Chicago for its historical significance though not an an official landmark.  

Moore sees landmark status as a potential conflict with current ADA requirements, which could call for an elevator in the building. Retrofitting the building to meet the needs identified in the Alliance-Pike House Foundation proposal could be as much as $1 million. Moore said those costs increase significantly with landmark status because of the restoration requirements. Either way, he said, “I’m willing to help.” 

Regarding other improvements and initiatives community members have bandied about is the possibility for a nature center. Moore said, there’s no space for a nature center at the Pike House, where even the yard space is consumed by Cook County Forest Preserve maintenance yard, but he was aware of an older proposal to build one in massive grassy area between 88th and 89th and Western Avenue. That particular area is part of Commissioner John Daley’s district, Moore said.  

The potential for a park named after former Bears player Brian Piccolo is another project on the community wish list. This property, located at 92nd and Vanderpoel Avenue, now leveled and vacant and vulnerable to dumping, was formerly the Beth Shalom synagogue before being sold to Chicago Public Schools (CPS).  Moore said he’d love to see that city-owned area developed into a park, too. Familiar with areas in his district susceptible to dumping, he works with Metra to ensure locations near the tracks remain free and clear of refuse.  

Beyond his position as 4th District Cook County Commissioner, Moore is very active in the community and looking to expand his outreach to North Beverly. He has sponsored numerous community seminars based on tax completion, property taxes, protecting assets, or setting up trusts or wills. He’s worked largely with Third Baptist Church at 95th and Ashland, the Beverly Civic Association and other groups. He has also worked with Commissioner John Daley, 19th Ward Mutual Aid founder Tim Noonan, and Ben Cox, Friends of the Cook County Forest Preserves. Moore says he looks forward to working with other individuals and groups for the community’s benefit.  

Meanwhile, he is very proud of his record of extensive renovations to the Dan Ryan Woods, including pavilion and Visitor Center renovations, Groves 15 and 16 parking lot repaving, updated patios, lighting and landscaping, improved wayfinding and interpretive signages, a Dan Ryan Nature Play Center, the popular exercise stairs,  

Major Taylor bike trail improvements, and bike and walking path extensions that allow seniors, walkers and people with strollers to get to the north side of the heavily trafficked 87th Street, without having to cross it.  

“I worked with the Forest Preserves, with Deputy General Superintendent Eileen Figel and General Superintendent Arnold Randall to . . . to continue that path to travel under 87th Street to the north side of the preserves without ever crossing traffic. We did a grade separation to create individual paths for walkers and bikers and just finished that this past summer,” he said. 

Moore is open to new projects, ideas and relationships. “Look at my record,” Moore said. “I like developments, rehabbing, and modernizing.”  

Moore, who is married with two children, attended Kellogg and Luther South schools.  

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