Village Viewpoint

By Susan Flood, BAPA Executive Director 

When I joined BAPA’s team six months ago I was very vocal with my viewpoint that Beverly/Morgan Park is the city’s most well-kept secret.  As I drive to work down Longwood from 95th to 1111th every morning I am consistently struck by the very same emotion: These amazing places are in my own backyard!  Passing such a wealth of architectural gems on a daily basis makes me feel lucky to have discovered our neighborhood.   

Neighbor, our well-kept secret is out.  On Oc. 13 and 14, the Chicago Architecture Center will tap our community’s hospitality as eight iconic neighborhood sites open their doors for Open House Chicago.  Beverly/Morgan Park is new to this citywide festival, which one of the largest architect events in the world.   

I have always loved to travel, especially to other countries.  When I take in the experiences of those trips, I remember the people, the food, the arts.  But where most of my time is spent is touring the architecture.  It’s the architecture that really defines the people who live in and around it.  

Sure, most of the buildings were here long before the people who live among them now, but the preservation and pride the community puts into these spaces speaks volumes about the people, their way of life, their approach to their world, the respect they have for their surroundings, each other and visitors.  

When I visit small towns, I get the feeling that I really know the people who have so lovingly cared for their historic places. For the throngs of architecture and history buffs who will be visiting our Village in the City for Open House Chicago, we are those people. What a great reflection on our neighborhood and neighbors!  

Please, be a part of this amazing event! Perhaps you’ve admired the façade of Givins Irish Castle or wondered what’s behind the amazing decorative doors of the century old firehouse that is now home to the Optimo Hat Company.  During Open House Chicago you can discover the wealth of beauty and history that’s in your own backyard.  I’m certain, like me, you already know that you are truly lucky to be “at home” with people who care so very much about our past and our future.