Jefferson Park Part 2
Former Fire Station at 4035 N Lipps
5216 W Lawrence Ave
Named for famed Prussian astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, the Copernicus Foundation is built on the site of the former Gateway Theatre, a former movie palace that opened in 1930. It was part of a chain of movie palaces in Chicago built by Balaban and Katz, designed as was often the case for their theatres, by their favorite architects, Rapp and Rapp. Other collaborations between Balaban and Katz and Rapp and Rapp were the Oriental, the Chicago, the Uptown and the Riveria. Happily, the interior is largely restored and intact and they still show films, including Polish and Silent Film Festivals in the theatre.
The Coppernicus Foundation has been rebuilt to accommodate the new uses of the center, which is as Polish Cultural Center. The area plays host to the annual festivals, Jeff Fest and Taste of Polonia. The tower is a replica of the 800 year old Solidarity Clock Tower of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland.
5142 W Strong St
Eden Evangelical Lutheran Church - 5051 W Gunnison St.
Frank J. Wilson Park - 4630 N. Milwaukee Ave
This park is deemed to be in the Portage Park community area, even if Jefferson Park residents think of it as being part of their neighborhood. In truth, it was formed by the Old Portage Park District in 1925 after 41st Ward Alderman Frank J. Wilson helped the Park District secure the land from competing railroad interest, insuring the park would be his namesake. The Georgian Revival field house is built from the same plans and is virtually identical to the field houses at Chopin and Shabbona Parks.
Our Lady of Victory - 5212 W Agatite Avenue
Our Lady of Victory parish was organized in September of 1906. The structures directly before us were all completed by E. Brielmaier and Sons of Milwaukee, WI. The rectory, church and convent were all started in 1927 and all were completed and dedicated by 1929.
The church is a modified Spanish and Moorish design. The limestone was quarried in Minessota and selected because it matched well with the terracotta surfaces. The spire of the tower is almost 120 feet to its top.
5741 W Windsor Ave
Craftsman Bungalow – 1903 (city tax records) or 1914 (Chicago Landmarks survey) by Ernest Braucher
Ernst Prussing Elementary - 4650 N. Menard Avenue
Named for a prominent Chicago lawyer and author, Ernst Prussing Public School was constructed in 1927. Prussing’s father was also a prominent Chicago figure who was an abolitionist and a member of the Free Soil Party, a predecessor political party to the Republican Party.
5432 W Leland Avenue - circa 1908
Herman and Dora Esdohr House - 5371 W Giddings
Built in 1908, Herman had sold his home on Milwaukee and planned to make this home his retirement home. Retirement did not last long for Herman, who intended to make a business for his children to work at, and started a dry-goods store called ” H.H. Esdohr Co.” within a few years of retiring.
4800 N Milwaukee Building - Haperin and Braun, 1930 Art Deco
Jefferson Bank Building
Now Hoyne Savings Bank - 4786 N Milwaukee
Opened in 1919 prior to falling victim to the Great Depression, this building was the Jefferson Bank Building. Eventually, the space was occupied by Walgreens, and then was returned to its original purpose once it was purchased by Hoyne Savings.
Big Shoulders Realty and the Law Offices of Barbara Demos
4746-52 N Milwaukee Avenue
Big Shoulders Realty is housed in an apartment at 4748 N Milwaukee #1, above the Law Office of Barbara Demos. The Demos family owns these two buildings, that have been joined together. The 4746-4748 N Milwaukee building was built for Humboldt Realty along with apartment income in the 1950s. At the same time, Mr. Demos had travelled to Florida where he became enamored of much of the modernist architecture that flourished in the state, and this building was merged with the adjacent 4750-4752 N Milwaukee, which used to be a movie theater. The floor sloped down past the basement to a pit at the bottom. The brick piers used as horizontal support represents where the screen and stage were, and the bathrooms, were the behind the curtains operations. At one point, it was our plan to work with the Demos to build out the old movie theater section and eventually locate our offices within that space, but for a variety of reasons, the build-out is on permanent hold, and we are quite comfortable in our bright sunny office.
The interior space of the theater was heavily modified, the theater seating filled in, and two layers of dropped ceilings were installed. A variety of shortsighted modifications ruined much of the plaster molding and the lattice filled medallions which were once used to pull the hot air from the theater with large exhaust fans and blow it out the back of the building in lieu of air conditioning.
It is still everyone’s hope that there will be a day where the remaining elements can be salvaged and merged with a restored space, but the economics of the moment prevail over the wishes we might have.
Congregation Church of Jefferson Park
United Church of Christ - 5320 W Giddings St
This church was originally established in 1861 as the Congregational Church of Jefferson Park. The original church was a frame church on Milwaukee north of Giddings. A new church replaced it on the present site in 1896 before being replaced by this Colonial brick church in 1929. This is a classical revival style.
5433 W Lawrence
6203 W Gunnison - 1923 – Apartment building – mission style
4920 N Mulligan
A more traditional cape-cod, though still brick, and featuring masonry that is more representative of other Chicago properties. City records show the home was built in 1940.
St. Constance Rectory - 5843 w strong
St. Constance Parish was established in 1916.
4910 N Austin - Queen Anne circa 1888.
4930 N Austin
In 1930, this mult-unit building that seems like a cross between a traditional two flat, a bungalow and a Dutch Colonial house.
4948 N Austin
This gothic and craftsman inspired bungalow was built in 1923.
Austin-Foster Playlot Park (c/o Dunham Park)
Established in 1965 by the Board of Education, the park was turned over to the Chicago Park District in 1991 and two years later lost it’s old name, “Park Number 285” in favor of the present name, which local residents had long referred to it as anyway.
5440 N Melvina
This war era Tudor was built in 1940.
Rufus M Hitch Elementary - 5625 N McVicker Ave
This school was built in 1926.
St. Tarcissus Parish - 6040 W Ardmore Ave
This parish was formed in 1926 so that citizens of the Gladstone Park neighborhood wouldn’t have to travel all the way to Our Lady of Victory.
6010 N Melvina - circa 1903
Jefferson Park Part 1
Jefferson Park Park 3
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