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History and Community Make Beverly/Morgan Park Attractive to NewcomersHistory and Community Make Beverly/Morgan Park Attractive to Newcomers

  
By Kristin Boza 

Historical homes, family-centered living, and a strong community are the attributes Zachery and Brian Wilson-Race apply to Beverly/Morgan Park. The former north siders made the move to the North Beverly community in 2017 after perusing local homes online making a few weekend trips to scout out the potential, with their son, Wayne, happily strapped in his stroller and enjoying the view.  

“After spending time here, it didn’t take long for us to fall in love with the community,” Zachery saidBeverly checked our two big boxes: we wanted a home with a lot of history and warmth in a diverse, family-focused neighborhood.” The family is getting to know the Christ the King parish community, where Wayne will attend preschool in the fall. They’re also regulars at Ridge Country Club and Nicky’s Grillwhere they boast about the vegan menu. 

Zachery spent his career in the fashion industry before Wayne was born; now he is on playground duty and simultaneously consulting for a small children’s clothing line based in Brooklyn. He also volunteers with The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth, and he works on cultivating the family garden. Brian has spent most of his career in the hospitality industry, working with hotels and independent restaurants. He is currently the Senior Director of Operations for a chain of gaming cafes. On the weekends, he takes charge in most of the couple’s home improvement projects. 

“We love how welcoming the community has been, and all of our new friends and neighbors,” Zachery said. “Knowing Wayne has a group of close friends as he grows up means everything to us. Once things get back to normal, we’re very excited to check out City Grange’s new location and continue exploring the restaurants in the neighborhood.” 

 

 

 

House, Business, Charity: It’s all At Home for This Couple

 

Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger have been Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors and business owners for two decades, but it wasn’t until a few years ago they became involved in community life.

Now active and involved neighbors, they’ve recently made a move that brings together the essentials of running their business, meeting the needs of homeless people, and owning a very special vintage home.

Turpin Communication, a successful communication consulting firm, was founded by Ludwig 27 years ago. Owen-Boger joined the business a few years later, and 20 years ago, they bought a century old home in East Beverly.

“We loved the area and soon found that we had the most amazing neighbors. We felt at home very quickly,” Ludwig said.

As much as they loved the community, the challenges of owning an older home and running a growing business kept them on a pretty tight and focused schedule.

“Many of those early years here were spent with our heads down working in and growing our business. Eventually, belonging to the larger community, rather than just living in it, became important to us.”

Ludwig and Owen-Boger began attending more community events such as the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, Beverly Art Walk and 95th Street Farmers Market.

“We love the diversity of the neighborhood. The tree-lined streets and the variety of homes make every drive, bike ride, and walk interesting,” Owen-Boger said.

In late 2016, they, along with then-neighbor Olive Rogers, founded Turpin Cares a charity that provides food, hygiene items and other essentials to homeless people in and around the area. They reached out to BAPA for assistance in spreading the word that donations were being accepted. “The Villager was eager to help us get the word out and promote our fundraisers and other activities,” Ludwig said.

The response from Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors was generous, and Turpin Cares volunteers were able to give care packages to many people in need.

“What has really opened our eyes to the uniqueness of Beverly is the support we’ve received for Turpin Cares. That has really been gratifying.”

In just a few years, the organization partnered with another not-for-profit to handle the one-on-one distribution of food, hygiene products, and relief items to people in shelters and others living on the brink. Donations are collected throughout the year and at special drives at the Starbucks on 103rd and Longwood. Originally, the drives were held in winter, but a summer collection was added last year.

In 2019, they gave out nearly 10,000 items. In 2020 they’re adding starter kits of household items like linens, cleaning supplies, dishes and more for people transitioning from shelters into permanent living arrangements. “People in Beverly are incredibly generous,” Owen-Boger said.

Items donated to Turpin Cares were “warehoused” at Owen-Boger’s and Ludwig’s office. As the charity has grown, so has the need for more shelf space. Last fall, they decided to sell their East Beverly home, and began looking for a house that offered plenty of space to accommodate the non-profit collections and the for-profit business. What they found was a handsome North Beverly house recently confirmed as a Hetherington architects design (BAPA helped in this quest!). The Hetheringtons – three generations of local architects – designed many of Beverly/Morgan Park’s most gracious homes.

Owen-Boger and Ludwig knew as soon as they saw it that this was the house for them! Not just is there plenty of room for Turpin Cares, there is also ample space for their company’s offices, and a beautiful residence to call home. They are in the midst of decorating now.

Through Turpin Communication, Owen-Boger and Ludwig support BAPA as business members.

“BAPA holds the community together through its communication, support of local business, and community events. The strong community identity we have in Beverly/Morgan Park thrives because of BAPA.”

Ludwig lived in Rogers Park for many years, and Owen-Boger grew up in Ohio, so neither came to Beverly/Morgan Park with “roots,” but both had the same answer when asked, “Why did you want to stay in Beverly/Morgan Park?”

“Because it’s our home.”

 New Neighbors: Kacey, Mike and Finn Carey 

 

When Kacey and Mike Carey settled in Beverly/Morgan Park in May 2018, they already knew they were making the right move.  

“We both grew up here and our parents and other relatives are still living in the neighborhood,” said Kacey (nee Kelly). In fact, Kacey and Mike grew up with just two blocks between them, but didn’t start dating until they were in their twenties. They married two and a half years ago, and were living in West Town before coming back to the South Side.  

“When we were ready to start our family we both saw value in having our families close by and raising kids in the tight-knit community that helped give us friendships we still cherish today,” Kacey said. “It is a decision we have never regretted.” The Careys’ daughter Finn is one and a half, and they are expecting their second child in May.  

Mike works in real estate and Kacey is an event planner for a law firm. Even though they grew up with the Rock Island Metra on their doorsteps and easy access to the expressway, Kacey said that one of the best things about living in Beverly/Morgan Park is transportation. “It’s great how easy it is to get downtown for our jobs and other events, she said, adding, “We also love the friendly people that make up the neighborhood whether they are our neighbors, old friends, or strangers saying hello walking down the street.”
The Careys are members of St. Barnabas parish and they try to attend as many BAPA and other neighborhood events as possible. Mike recently got involved with the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association and Kacey volunteers with Pat Mac’s Pack. “We look forward to getting even more involved!” she said. 
Pinning down a favorite place or event is hard for the Careys. “We’ve enjoyed BAPA’s Ridge Run and Bike & Brews, the 19th Ward concerts in the park, and taking our daughter Finn to different playgrounds. It’s great that so many local events and businesses are family friendly!” 

Social distancing has changed the Careys’ activities. “Like many of us cooped up these days we are supporting local businesses via take-out orders,” Kacey said. “But once we’re free to socialize again, we think we will have a greater appreciation for getting out to the local events and businesses and sharing in those experiences with our fellow neighbors.”

Are you new to the Beverly/Morgan Park or do you know someone who recently moved here? Let BAPA know! BAPA provides new residents with information about local organizations, schools, businesses, events and more.  BAPA can help you find out what you need to know! Contact Mary Jo Viero, mjviero@bapa.org or call 773-233-3100.  

 

New Neighbors 

 

D’Cher and Ronell Whitaker 

D’Cher and Ronell Whitaker already knew Beverly/Morgan Park was the place they wanted to live when they first looked at the East Beverly two flat they purchased. We’ve always wanted to set roots in Beverly, as it isn’t too far from where we both grew up,”D’Cher said.  Her husband and brother went to Morgan Park High School 

Established in their careers –she’s a data analyst turned full time business owner and he’s Curriculum Director for the English Department, Community High School District 218 – the timing was right for the Whitakers to make a move. The building was the perfect home, with roomy vintage apartments for D’Cher and Ronell and for D’Cher’s mother, Cheryl, and grandmother, Claudette 

The Whitakers moved here from Avondale in February, and quickly set about becoming part of their new community.  

“We love the community feel,” D’Cher said. “Everyone is so supportive of one another. It just feels like home. The way that small business is supported is also a plus for us. 

D’Cher owns theLove Peridot boutique in the South Loop. “It’s a collection of gifts and accessories curated for the ambitious woman,” she said. She also mentioned she may be scouting out a store location in Beverly/Morgan Park – we’ll keep you posted!  

“When Ronell is not assisting teachers with their curriculum, he is advising them on the importance of including graphic novels (comic books) in their classrooms,” D’ Cher said.  

D’Cher and Ronell recently became BAPA members. “We are open to helping out where we can,” she said. Last fall, she attended the Sip and Shop (“My favorite so far!”) and look for her at BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour on May 17 – she’ll be volunteering one of the houses. 

The Whitakers are enjoying exploring the neighborhoodAin’t She Sweet and Andy Sunflower Cafe have become weekly staples.”  What’s on their to-do memo? “We really want to explore the architecture and history within the neighborhood. The Beverly Art Center is next on the list to visit! 

Welcome to the Whitakers. Love Where You Live!  

 

Are you new to Beverly/Morgan Park or do you know someone who recently moved here? Let BAPA know! BAPA welcomes new residents to the community and shares information about local organizations, schools, businesses, events and more to help new neighbors become a part of our community. Save the date for our spring New Neighbor Meet & Greet: Wed., Apr. 1 at Open Outcry.  For information or to RSVP, contact Mary Jo Viero, mjviero@bapa.org or 773-233-3100.  

 

 

 

A Neighbor to Know: Mrs. Markham 

A Neighbor to KnowMrs. Markham 

Every summer, a patch of flowers on the east and west corners of 99th Street and Vanderpoel Avenue welcome people to the Vanderpoel Improvement Association (VIA) and our community. 

This garden spot begin when neighbor James Markham planted brilliant orange lilies more than 40 years ago. Since then, his wife, Ruth Markham, has tended the corner garden every springAt the end of February, she was recognized by the VIA for her many years volunteering to tend the corners.    

‘We as a community are always grateful for each and every contribution to the upkeep and beautification of where we live,” said the VIA newsletter. “Mrs. Markham, a true gardener has now retired from her volunteer service. Vanderpoel Improvement Association [thanks her for her] years of dedication to the upkeep and beautification of our neighborhood. 

Mrs. Markham has lived on the 9800 block of Vanderpoel since 1977. Everyone who drives down 99th Street during the spring and summer should add their voices to the VIA in thanking Mrs. Markham for adding so much beauty to our travels.  

New Neighbors: Jessica and Paul Payne 

New Neighbors 

Jessica and Paul Payne 

Jessica and Paul Payne moved into their Beverly/Morgan Park home on Aug. 21, 2019 and couldn’t be happier to be here. After a dozen years in a South Loop condo near UIC, they were smitten with our friendly neighborhood at first sight. As with many of our new neighbors wharrived here without a history in the community, the Paynes learned about Beverly/Morgan Park from coworkers.  

Paul works for the City of Chicago and many colleagues raved about how wonderful the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood was and we couldn’t agree more!” Jessica said.  

The couple had outgrown the condo lifestyle and were ready house with a garage – Pau’s hobby is woodworking  and space for family and friends to stay when they visit.  Both were both born and raised in Cadillac. Michigan area.  

“We looked at almost 30 homes before finding our dream home, which was nothing we were envisioning!” Jessica said.  

When asked what they like best about living here, Jessica gave an enthusiastic reply “The people!”   

Their block party was held the weekend they moved in “Everyone on the block made sure to greet us and truly welcome us to the neighborhood,” Jessica said.  “The sense of community was prevalent immediately. Our letter carrier made sure to welcome us to the neighborhood and said many residents are second or third generation as people just don’t leave Beverly once they are here. We loved hearing that! 

Although they do not have any childrenJessica and Paul have nieces and nephews ranging from 6 months to 19 years old. “Knowing we were in a safe community with diversity, a yard to play in, and access to incredible healthcare among a plethora of food, shopping, parks, et cetera, made it that much more exciting to be here.,” Jessica said. “Plus, we aren’t that far from the Loop so we really have the best of both worlds.” 

The Paynes have been involved with two not-for-profits outside the community and are excited to become volunteers here at home. They will certainly be hearing from BAPA!  

In the few months they’ve been here, Jessica and Paul have discovered a lot to love about where they live. We LOVE to eat (who doesn’t?) and so far, we haven’t had a bad meal,” Jessica said.  Beverly Park has been a top hit with our nieces and nephews and it’s just 2 blocks from our house. We stop at Swanson’s or Nicky’s on the way to the park and a few hours later, we’ll stop at 7-11 for a Slurpee on the way home. Kids love it! 

The Paynes also enjoy events, and cited the Beverly Art Walk, Sip & Shop Girls Night Out, and Breakfast with Santa at the Givens Beverly Castle as part of what makeBeverly/Morgan Park so popular and so inviting.  [We] applaud the everyone that gets involved to keep our neighborhood thriving with excitement and opportunities. 

Jessica and Paul are looking forward to spring. “You’ll be sure to find us out and about exploring everything Beverly/Morgan Park has to offer. 

 

Are you new to the Beverly/Morgan Park or do you know someone who recently moved here? Let BAPA know! BAPA welcomes new residents to the community and shares information about local organizations, schools, businesses, events and more to help new neighbors become a part of our community. Send contact information to Mary Jo Viero, mjviero@bapa.org or call 773-233-3100.  

 

New Musical Inspiration Comes to Morgan Park Presbyterian  

New Musical Inspiration Comes to Morgan Park Presbyterian  

Dhilanthi Fernando begins her tenure as Music Director at Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl., during Black History Month. She will lead the chancel choir and members of church in African American spirituals, as well as an Africanchoral blessing  Bwana Awabariki (“May God Grant You a Blessing”) – which they will sing in Swahili and English.   

The three spirituals that will be sung as choir anthems on Feb. 9, 16 and 23 are Over My Head, I Hear Music in the Air,” Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel and Wade in the Water.  

Born in Sri Lanka and a longtime resident of ChicagoFernando completed graduate studies in musicology at the University of Chicagoclassically trained pianist who is also a choral director and educator, she recently retired from the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), where she was on the piano faculty for several years.  

Fernando is the founder/director of Le Cantanti di Chicago, a women’s choir based in Hyde Park that explores the rich repertoire of both original and arranged songs for women, many of which are also by women composers. She looks forward to starting a satellite of the choirin the Oak Lawn/Evergreen Park/ Beverly/Morgan Park area. 

Fernando hails from a family of church musicians. She expresses her faith best through music, which is evident in the many roles she has played as a church musician in four countries – Sri Lanka, India, Switzerland and the USA.  

The Morgan Park Presbyterian Church Children’s Choir is a growing music ministry that rehearses for 20 minutes after worship on Sundays and sings once a month during Youth Sunday Worship. This focus on children in worship has empowered a new generation to learn about music, singing, teamwork and the Christian faith. The children’s choir director, Jamie Wasowski, also leads music classes at the Beverly Arts Center.Children ages 4 and over who are interested in getting involved can contact the church at morganparkpres@gmail.com  

Grace and Sid Hamper Will Receive BAPA Community Service Award 

By Grace Kuikman 

For the past three decades, Sid and Grace Hamper have been tireless stewards of one of Beverly/Morgan Park’s most cherished institutions, the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association (VAA) collection of 19th and 20th century American art. As lovers of art and their community, the Hampers have committed their outstanding time and talents in abundance, Sid as treasurer, president and now president emeritus, and Grace as a volunteer and curator.     

For their dedication to the Vanderpoel Art Association, the Hampers will be presented with the BAPA Community Service Award at the Beverly Area Planning Association annual Donor Recognition Reception on Thurs., Nov. 14. The by-invitation-only reception also honors BAPA donors giving at levels of $500 and up, and this year will be held in the John H. Vanderpoel Gallery at Ridge Park  

The Hampers were recruited to the VAA through a friend, the late George Ralston, who recognized the talents that the couple possessed and the Association needed.  Ralston was right: the Hampers’ dedication to the VAA has been unmatched.  

Grace, who always had an interest in the arts, joined VAA in 1989, once the couples’ four children were grown. Grace summed up her experience with the VAA as “years of joy.” Through her work at the gallery, she has helped to curate the art, prepare exhibits and help wherever she has been needed. “I’ve met lots of interesting people from the art world,” she said.  

Sid joined the VAA in 1992, following his retirement from a successful career at the Chicago Board of Trade and as a lawyer in private practice. He was a teenager when he started working as a runner at the CBOT, and in the early 1950s became a trader. He is still a CBOT member and served ten years as a director. In 1958, Sid earned a law degree. In addition to this career as a trader, he opened a law practice with partner. He specialized in wills, probate, commodities and security law, and as a qualified trade advisor. Conveniently, the law office was located in the CBOT building.  

Sid’s expertise in finance and law were pivotal in raising funds needed to protect the Vanderpoel Art Association collection in perpetuity. He cultivated donors whose generous gifts made it possible to provide for the future of the collection and to underwrite important art conservation efforts, including the cleaning and restoration of about 30 art works. The VAA continues to preserve art, working with top quality art restorers.  

The outstanding art collection is named for Dutch-born artist John H. Vanderpoel who lived in North Beverly while teaching at the School of the Art Institute. Following the artist’s death in 1911, community residents took up a collection and purchased Vanderpoel’s painting “The Buttermakers.” In 1914 the painting was placed in Vanderpoel School as a tribute to the artist for whom the school – and the street where it’s located — was named. It was later decided that a memorial collection of works would be an even better honor. Vanderpoel was beloved by his students, many of whom were eager to donate their works to the collection.  

Many of the paintings in the collection were donated by artists or owners. “A lot of the paintings were in people’s homes,” Sid said. He explained that the first curator of the collection – John Campbell – would write to Chicago area artists asking them to donate pieces of their work. And they did. Paintings, drawings and sculpture arrived at Ridge Park. The file of Campbell’s correspondence documenting this fascinating aspect of the gallery’s history still exists.  

When the collection had grown too large to be housed in the school’s gallery, a new wing was built on the Ridge Park field house, creating a permanent home for the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association collection.  The collection of what is now more than 600 19th and 20th century works by American artists also grew in reputation. Counted among the artists are Mary Cassatt, Maxfield Parrish, Grant Wood, Daniel Chester French and Vanderpoel, whose work, “The Buttermakers,” is still on display. 

At the gallery almost every day for many years, Sid also dedicated important time to research and myriad other important tasks that illuminate, protect and benefit the art collection Many people – from the community and beyond – recognize the Hampers as the faces of the Vanderpoel collection. In fact, when Chicago Magazine profiled the Vanderpoel Gallery Feb. 2018, Grace and Sid Hamper were interviewed and appeared in the photograph.  

At age 88, the couple is no longer in the Ridge Park gallery every day, but they remain involved as tremendous resources and keepers of the collection’s history.  

“Grace and Sid Hamper have shown an extraordinary and steadfast commitment to the care and preservation of the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association’s art collection,” said Irene Testa, current VAA President. “Their leadership has been crucial to the success of the organization.  We are profoundly grateful for their efforts to preserve this valuable art collection for posterity.” 

For information on how to support BAPA at the Community Support Circle and higher levels, contact BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood, 773-233-3100.  

  We’re BAPA Members. Are You? 

 

Terrence, Grayson and Carla Herr 

We are BAPA members because we believe that BAPA is the foundation of the neighborhood.  They are the eyes and ears of Beverly.  If we have questions or concerns, need a trade referral or have suggestions on community improvement, they are there to help.  BAPA supports the community in so many ways and we enjoy supporting the activities they arrange.  The Cookie Crawl is one of our favorites but we like that there are a variety of events ranging from family friendly events to adult only events.  We love that the activities highlight the wonderful businesses in the area.  We have discovered so many gems through these activities.  BAPA has also been a wonderful partner in supporting the individual clubs we are involved in.  Thanks BAPA for all you do! 

 

The Pies Have It! 

Guide to Local Pizza Places  

By Kristin Boza  

The stress of the holidays is fast approaching, so make it easy on yourself and indulge in the hot, cheesy goodness of pizza. Beverly/Morgan Park is lucky to be home to so many different types of pies, all of which are family-owned neighborhood staples that support the community while also keeping us fed. Looking to mix up your pizza night routine? Check out these delicious spots. 

Barraco’s Beverly
2105 W. 95th St. 773-881-4040 

From numerous locations on the south side, Barraco’s offers thin crust, stuffed crust, deep dish, and its Sicilian style pizza which has a traditional fluffy crust topped with fresh sauce, cheese, and toppings. Sicilian pizza is traditionally served on Dec. 7, the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Barraco’s pizza is frequently purchased or donated for parish fundraisers and school fun lunches. 

Fox’s Beverly Pub
9956 S. Western Ave. 773-886-1616 

Since 1964, Fox’s has been a neighborhood favorite. As the restaurant expanded its locations, the original Beverly location is still one of its most popular destinations. “We appreciate our business here and all the generations of Beverly residents that have dined here or worked here for these past 55 years,” said Thomas Fox, owner. “Serving this community for so many years makes you realize how strong and wonderful the families are that make up Beverly!” Fox’s signature thin crust pizza is made fresh on site daily with fresh ingredients, and the recipes are carefully crafted to ensure the best pizza every time. The original pizza recipe is still in use today — why mess with perfection? 

Home Run Inn
10900 S. Western Ave. 773-432-9696
Still using the original family recipe developed by Mary Grittani and Nick Perrino in 1947, Home Run Inn has established a Chicago pizza empire. Pizzas are made with 100% all-natural ingredients, ensuring the freshest and pizza. The dough, made daily from scratch, is known for its buttery flakiness, and pays homage to the founders’ Italian roots. Patrons come for the crust, but stay for the sauce, for which tomatoes are peeled, pasteurized, and mixed with Home Run Inn’s propriety spice blend within two hours of harvesting in Modesto, Calif. As they say, “All you need is love and pizza. 

Milano’s Pizza
10945 S. Western Ave. 773-445-4010
Consistently ranked highly in neighborhood pizza polls, Milano’s is a carry-out or delivery pizza service that just celebrated 35 years in Beverly/Morgan Park. Fresh, imported mozzarella and a secret family sauce recipe make the extra-thin crust, thin crust, and stuffed pizzas some of the best in the area. For something truly unique, check out their chicken alfredo pizza or fajita pizza to up the flavor ante. 

Pizzeria Deepo
1742 W. 99th St. 773-840-3087
Pizzeria Deepo stormed the southside when it opened in 2012. The deepest of deep dish, their pizza is made with fresh ingredients and an incredibly thick, yet somehow light, crust. Pizzeria Deepo also serves a vegan pizza that is cheese-less and made with a special egg-less crust. The spot offers carry-out pizza, but many patrons enjoy the patio and BYOB options. 

Waldo Cooney’s
2410 W. 111th St. 773-233-9781
Since 1981, Waldo Cooney’s has served solid slices and a ‘just-right’ doughy crust to customers. Branch out from the typical pepperoni and sausage and try their BBQ chicken pizza, made with cfoohicken breast, onion, bacon, and BBQ sauce. Or their signature Mexicana pizza, made up of ground beef, onions, chili peppers, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, and mozzarella cheese. 

Calabria Imports
1905 W. 103rd St. 773-396-5800 

Head to Calabria Imports to grab a pizza set-up — all the best ingredients are available to make a pie at home. Customers can head to the refrigerator section to choose their cheese, sauce, crust, and a variety of toppings and head home to enjoy creating their own perfect pizza. Calabria has been in business since 1988 and specializes in authentic Italian and American food and deli goods. 

Open Outcry Brewing Co.
10934 S. Western Ave. 773-629-6055
New to the pizza scene, Open Outcry’s Chef Cesar has perfected wood-fired pizza. These pies are some of the most innovative in the area, blending typical South Side ingredients with high-end options. Three Pigs pizza, for example, includes Open Outcry’s house sausage, plus pepperoni and prosciutto. The Chi Town is topped with braised beef, giardinera and fries — essentially a beef sandwich on top of a fired-up crust.  

Which pie is on the menu at your house tonight?