New Landmark in Edison Park?

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The Chicago Park District is nominating the Edison Park Fieldhouse for a spot on the National Register of Historic Places on Thursday.

The building was designed by famed architect Solon Spencer Beman, the same guy who designed what is now the Pullman neighborhood.

Here's more on Beman, and the fieldhouse

From Chicago Park District press release:

Solon S. Beman was one of Chicago’s most accomplished 19th and early 20th century architects. Beman originally designed the Edison Park structure as a school house. It is a two-story structure, rectangular in plan, and composed of red brick. The building was rendered in a modest and pragmatic expression of the arts and crafts style.

Constructed as a public school for the Village of Edison Park in 1907, the Board of Education leased the building to the Chicago Park District in 1936, marking the school’s conversion into a field house. This summer, Edison Park celebrates its centennial anniversary as a field house.

The Park District made physical improvements to the landscape and building in order to convert the site into a park. These included reconditioning the landscape, planting trees and hundreds of shrubs, laying new sidewalks, re-glazing windows, and making general repairs to sashes, doors, floors, and wiring.

Acclaimed architect Solon S. Beman was commissioned by George M. Pullman to design all the structures for the proposed industrial town of Pullman. Beman moved to Chicago in 1879, and along with Nathan F. Barrett, began designing one of the first planned communities in the U.S.

Beman designed a broad range of buildings in various styles and was widely acclaimed for the eclectic architecture of Pullman. He was made a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1886. He served on the Board of Architects for the World’s Columbian Exposition and produced designs for several fair structures. He also designed what is now known as the Fine Arts Building, which was originally a showroom for carriages.

The Chicago Park District has also nominated a second park to the National Register of Historic Places. Palmer Park, 201 E.111th St., was designed by the Olmsted Brothers landscape architects and D.H. Burnham and Co. architects for the South Park Commission.

Palmer Park was created in 1905 as part of an innovative neighborhood park system based on providing social services as well as breathing spaces to the city's congested tenement districts.

Palmer Park became part of the Chicago Park District in 1934 when the city's 22 independent park commissions were consolidated into a new unified system. Later that year, Park District art director James Edward McBurney created the murals "Native Americans," "Explorers," and "Dutch Settlers" as part of a Works Progress Administration project funded by the federal government.

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on June 11, 2007 12:06 PM.

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