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The newsletter of Logan Square Preservation – Winter 2019 Edition
Rising From the Ashes

Stately ash trees line Logan, Kedzie and Humboldt Boulevards. These emerald promenades make even simple road trips feel like grand vents. But the truth is, the trees are doomed. They are victims of an invasive species that notoriously feeds on Ash trees – the emerald ash borer.

The Ash Borer hit Illinois and 24 other states extremely hard since it was discovered in 2002. In 2015, the Illinois department of Agriculture determined it was too late to limit the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. (Chicago Tribune, Oct 21, 2015). The battle to save our green and white ash trees could not be won.

The fate of this foliage is much like that of the elms that stood before them, which were cut down en masse in the 1970s when infested with Dutch Elm Disease. To avoid the devastation of a single species, most cities now install a variety of native and disease resistant trees. Dr. Andrew C. Bell, Curator of Woody Plants for the Chicago Botanic Garden, suggests new varieties of Elm, London Plane tree and Gingko among others. No new ash trees should be planted.

Logan Square Preservation commissioned a detailed planting plan for Logan and Kedzie Boulevards in 2016. Produced by a local landscape architect, the plan details disease-resistant elm trees along the roadway and ornamental trees in the center of the green spaces. While it may take 30 years to fulfill the plan, we hope to obtain a permit and begin planting Logan Boulevard this Fall. Then the work will begin of taking down the dead and dying Ash trees so we can prepare the way for a healthier urban forest. 

Logan Square Steps Up
to Shovel Logan Square

Upwards of 8,000 people depend on the Logan Square Blue Line every day. But during winter, snowfalls threaten to make the commute to the two main entrances at Kedzie and Milwaukee a little more treacherous. Thankfully, local groups and businesses, led by Logan Square Preservation, have banded together to pay for snow removal in and around the square leading to the Blue Line Station.

As of late February, Chicago has seen around 35 inches of snow – with more precipitation predicted through March. While property owners are required by law to clear adjacent sidewalks, and snow removal on streets and at transit stops is taken care of by the city, Logan Square itself depends on the community to be cleared.

The Winter of 2018-19 marks the fourth year in a row area businesses, groups, and politicians have donated. Neighbors can rest easy knowing the snow plows will come out anytime snowfall exceeds two inches. The cost: between $2,600 to $4,000 for the season, depending on what mother nature brings.

Logan Square Preservation is grateful to the establishments and donors who made this possible.

  • R. P. Fox & Associates
  • Logan Square Auditorium
  • Reno Chicago
  • Play
  • Ald Scott Waguespack (32)
  • Ald Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35)
  • Logan Square Chamber of Commerce
  • The Whale Chicago
  • The Walk In
Are you ready for a
Summer Fling?
Yes, you read that right – Logan Square Preservation is planning a summer party and fundraiser in the beautiful walled garden at St. John Berchmann's. If you haven't been, it's a favorite "secret" spot in the neighborhood.
Historic Logo T-Shirts

Wear your love of Logan Square on your sleeve with these designs from People's Garment Company. Choose from eleven styles from the history of Logan Square like the Chicago Norske Klub and the Terminal Restaurant.

Visit our online store to see all of the designs and styles printed on baseball sleeve t-shirts, plain tees and sweatshirts. You will also find prints of historic images and more.


All meetings take place the third Thursday of every month at 
The Minnekirken
2614 N Kedzie Blvd
The Norwegian Lutheran Church 
on the Square
Be sure to mark your calendar to attend these important and informative meetings!

March 21 – April 18 – May 16 – June 20 – July 25 – August 15 – Sept 19 – Oct 17 – Nov 21
In This Edition - Winter 2019
Rising from the Ashes
Logan Square Steps Up to Shovel
Keep History from Going Dark
Are you ready for a Summer Fling?
Historic Logo T-Shirts
Volunteer with LSP
Meeting Calendar
Lost Houses of Lyndale
Park – Not Parking Lot
Remember When – M-L Photo
Keep a Piece of Logan Square History from Going Dark

Logan Square Preservation is on a mission to restore the historic windows at the former 11th Church of Christ Scientist, today the Central Hispanic Seventh Day Adventist Church, at 2840 W. Logan Boulevard.

(click to view full size)

The interior windows of the church, which were built by noted landmark architect Leon Stanhope, are in many places being held together with duct tape. If we are successful in raising the funds to restore these windows, the church has agreed to backlight the ones facing Logan Boulevard at night. Once again, they will be a warm beacon to passers-by.

While the stained glass windows do not need to be removed, the cost is significant to fund the needed repairs. If you can help us, please visit our web site to make a donation. Even small amounts help.

Membership Renewals for 2019

HAVE YOU RENEWED your membership for 2019? Logan Square Preservation needs your support to continue our work to Preserve, Beautify and Restore Logan Square. Please renew today! Easy to do via our website:
Volunteers Needed
Logan Square Preservation has the need for some experienced volunteers for our ongoing projects.
Archivist – We now have a space to organize and display our growing collection of photographs and Logan Square memorabilia. LSP needs an archivist to coordinate it all.
Grant Writer – We are constantly engaged in community based activities that would benefit from grant funding.
QuickBooks – LSP is seeking a volunteer to assist in the growing volume of activity.
Events Committee – We are now starting to organize our 2019 schedule. It’s a good way to get engaged in Logan Square Preservation.
Stay Tuned!

In the next issue of 'Round the Square, we will explore the history of the Grace's Furniture Building, the rise and fall of the exterior billboards, and the structure's next incarnation.

Lost Houses of Lyndale
In the last three years, the two long blocks of Lyndale Street between California and Kedzie Boulevards have seen over twenty houses torn down for redevelopment.

Many of these houses were frame cottages and two-flats dating to the 1880s and 90s. Walking down the sidewalks of the street where I've lived for the past ten years, the old houses were familiar neighbors – each with a public face to the street and private history of those who lived there. Today, construction crews topple houses in a day, scraping the ground clean and erecting cinder-block towers with all the latest finishes. I'm sure in time these developments will become Lyndale's new familiar backdrop. 

To help myself remember what was once there I began drawing pen-and-ink portraits of the humble working-class houses that stood before. Curious about the age of the buildings, I looked at property records, census data and old city directories to piece together a picture of what the street was like 125 years ago, learn a bit more about its earliest residents, and understand the street's historical path.

For an exhibit during November and December, 2018 at the Logan Square Library, I displayed the portraits in frames made from scraps of wood scavenged from the demolished houses, accompanied by miniature wooden models containing relics, toys and photos left behind by former residents. As the old houses disappear, I hope that these portraits can preserve some small memory of the homes that stood proudly for over a century.  – Matt Bergstrom

You can help tell their story...

If you live on Lyndale Street or know someone who did, please share your memory of what the street was like in the recent or far distant past. Contact Matt via email at

A selection from the Lost Houses of Lyndale exhibit is now part of LSP's storefront display in the Logan Square Auditorium building (next door to Lula Cafe) at 2535 N Kedzie Blvd.

Just what is LOGAN SQUARE PRESERVATION and what do we do?

LOGAN SQUARE PRESERVATION is a cornerstone non-profit organization working for over thirty years to preserve, restore and beautify the historic square, architecture and boulevards that make the Logan Square neighborhood unique.

You can help support the continued beautification of this magnificent and historical area by becoming a member of Logan Square Preservation where you’ll have a voice in important issues affecting one of the most desirable places in the city to live. Informative and topical meetings are currently held the third Thursday of each month. You’ll be notified of locations and meeting agendas by email.

Join today if you would like to help keep and preserve Logan Square the acclaimed neighborhood that it’s always been and remains today.
Park, not Parking Lot

Once a developer has his mind set, it’s hard to change it. But at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club's Barnet Hodes Sculpture Garden at 3228 W. Palmer St., Logan Square Preservation did just that. First we gained the support of 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack and the Logan Square community. Then we successfully negotiated to keep the park – LSP even submitted plans to redesign it. 

While the Boy’s and Girl’s Club will be gone, the spirit of the former space, and the 100-year-old synagogue that stood there before it, will remain. Today, Logan Square Preservation is actively working to move or restore these sculptures for future generations to enjoy.

A Living Circle

Amorphous forms recline, in plain air year-round, their undulating shapes rising from the cobblestone like concrete whales. These sculptures, which originally included a working fountain, are titled Circulo Vivo or “A Living Circle.”  They are the centerpiece of the Barnet Hodes Sculpture Garden – the city’s first freestanding, community-built artwork.

photo: A Living Circle

Created by artists Lynn Takata and John Pitman Weber in 1981, the sculptures were built with federal and state funding support and substantial community participation. The project was under the umbrella of the Chicago Public Art Group, one of the premier public art groups in the country, that Weber co-founded almost 50 years ago. The sculpture was featured in a 2002 Chicago Tribune article.

The sculptures were inspired by Pedro Silva’s Grant’s Tomb Mosaics (1972-1974) and Antonio Gaudi’s Park Güell ceramic fragment-encrusted benches (1900-1914), as well as by the work of David Harding in Glenrothes, Scotland. 

THANKS to our CONTRIBUTORS...  Bruce Anderson – Matt Bergstrom – Betsy Elsaesser – Leslie Gray – Shana Liberman – Vicki Logan – Andrew Schneider. Editing and Layout... Vicki Logan – Leslie Gray – Steve Isakson.
Remember When

The year is 1907
M-L Photo is located at 2837 N. Milwaukee Avenue, in an office above a drug store.

At M-L Photo, photographers Leon Leonhard and Bismark “Ismar” Masure produce photo postcards of street views from Chicago as well as small towns and cities around Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Like many partnerships, it began almost by accident. Leon, a barber-turned-photographer, lived with the family of his friend Arthur English, also a photographer.

Ismar likely learned the photography trade from his older brother Morris, who was a well-established portrait photographer with a studio near Maxwell Street at 14th and Halsted. Ismar and Morris lived with their parents at 912 W Belmont for several years before the family moved to the Woodlawn neighborhood.

There is a postcard craze in the air and M-L Photo is prospering. In fact, by 1913 it will have seven employees and Ismar will claim to make $100 to $150 per week ($2500 to $3800 in today’s dollars), while Americans as a whole will mail more than 900 million postcards nationwide. That was nearly nine postcards for every person.

Ismar and Leon don’t yet know that the public will lose interest in the postcard fad, that sales will plummet and that they will have to close up shop in 1915 and move on – Ismar to Muskegon, Michigan, where he’ll run a photo studio and greenhouse until passing away in 1952 and Leon to a career as an electrician, before passing away in 1938.

For now, it’s business as usual and they are out taking pictures of Logan Square. To view more historic photos of Logan Square, visit our website

 PRESIDENT Andrew Schneider      VICE-PRESIDENT John Concannon
 TREASURER Bruce Anderson      SECRETARY William Bennett
 Elizabeth Blasius - Betsy Elsaesser - Shana Liberman - Vicki Logan - Steve Niketopoulos - John Parizek - Kerry Shintani - Kate Slattery - Jaime Szubart - Michelle Warner - Barnaby Wauters
Logan Square Preservation is a 501(c)3 non-profit.

Copyright © 2019 Logan Square Preservation, All rights reserved.

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