Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winnemac Park Advisory Council meeting beats the weather!

The Winnemac Park Advisory Council met for a short meeting under our "temporary fieldhouse" and held a stewardship day last month. The current advisory council and several volunteers enjoyed refreshments while discussing issues and concerns related to the park before dispersing to pick up trash and document any recent park vandalism.


Highlights of the meeting included members of the community raising several concerns including a lack of daytime toilet facilities in the park during weekends and the danger of unleashed dogs running about. Members of a local garden club volunteered to give springtime lectures in the park to anyone with a green thumb. The board is currently taking bids on installing a porta-potty by the children's playlot and plans to have one in place next month.  The council was disappointed no one from the Chicago Park District showed up at the meeting despite assurances the park supervisor or another park staffer would attend.

In the new year, the board plans to meet with Alderman O'Connor, Alderman Pawar and Park District brass to discuss these concerns and move our agenda forward.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ravenswood Holiday Walk! Thursday December 12th 3:30pm to 8:30pm

Go to for details and participating vendors!

Eat, buy gifts, get outside!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sponsor a HUGE Amundsen High School Fundraiser: Billy Corgan and Resistance Pro Wrestling Event!

Please contact Amundsen High School to be a part of the this exciting fundraiser!

 Anna Pavichevich, Principal
Amundsen High School
5110 N. Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
Phone -
Fax -

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pro Wrestling comes to Amundsen High School

Get your tickets now for this family-friendly professional wrestling event co-hosted by Amundsen High School on November 23.  Featuring creative director Billy Corgan (who will be in attendance, I am told), this event is expected to be sold-out, and is also a great fundraiser for the school (which will receive 50% of the proceeds).

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Winnemac Park Advisory Council Public Meeting & Stewardship Event

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Winnemac Park Advisory Council Public Meeting & Stewardship Day

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Photos! Winnemac Park Neighbors gathering, food and wine a hit at Dolce Casa Cafe

Your neighbors and Winnemac Park Advisory Council (a no- profit working with the Park District) sponsored wine and terrific appetizers from Chef Ross on October 15th at Dolce Casa Café.  We had a great time seeing old friends and meeting new people.  Each meeting connects neighbors with local issues and each other!

The crowd gathers in the warm environs of Dolce Casa Café
Amundsen Principal Anna Pavichevich updated the neighbors on recent success, improvements and near future goals. They have improved attendance and ACT scores in just one year. They share a new partnership with Northeastern Illinois University where many resources have been shared with and invested in Amundsen High School.

 Most of the neighbors in attendance live near the high school and we all share the park campus.  The shared park campus is a rare opportunity for the public and high school students and staff to positively interact  on a daily basis.  Amundsen has taken many programs to high levels.  If you are community member or business owner with resources to share with students please visit their web site and contact Principal Anna Pavichevich.

Dara Salk from the 47th Ward updates on neighbors on upcoming events including the 47th Ward Health and Wellness Fair at Sulzer Library

Stephen Reynolds from Welles Park Baseball discussed the NEW and successful fall youth baseball league at Winnemac Park, how it's financed and its plans for the future.  Contact Welles Park Parent Association if you're interested in Baseball at Winnemac Park.

Captivated crowd!

Winnemac Park Advisory Council updated neighbors on the next Fall Meeting and Park Clean Up on Saturday, November 15th 1PM to 3PM in Winnemac Park. This is a great way for people of all ages to meet and contribute in the park.  The kids love helping too! 
Contact to help or lead with park specific programs.

We had a great evening!  See you next time!
Make sure you are on our email list and like our Facebook page  

Volunteers needed! Fall Carnival Wednesday, OCT 30th at Chappell School

Chappell parents and community members have added several events to benefit the hard working kids and raise a little money at Chappell.  They can use some event volunteer help!

Check out the volunteer page for next week's Fall Carnival HERE
Photo Eric Rojas
Contact Kris Swanberg to volunteer or
donate resources for the games and prizes.

Winnemac Park Advisory Council Meeting & Stewardship Day

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lawrence Street-scape, Metra update

We hosted a gathering last week on October 15th for Winnemac Park Neighbors.  Here's an update we received from the 47th Ward Alderman's office on the ongoing Lawrence Street-scape project and a quick update on the Ravenswood Metra station:

Cones slowing you down? 

The Lawrence Avenue Streetscape is on schedule.  Asphalt and concrete work on the north side of the street from Damen to Western is complete; installation of the pavers, and light fixtures will follow.  Sidewalk work is continuing on the south side of the street and is on schedule to be completed this November. Rain gardens, trees, and other landscaping and some roadway marking details will be completed in the spring as they begin the hardscape between Damen and Clark.

The section of streetscape in front of Mariano’s will be completed this fall by their own crews, following CDOT’s specs.  Any questions can be directed to me at

Metra is ongoing;  the West side of the station will be complete by April .  The east side (in-bound) will remain on the north side of Lawrence until the end of the project; likely in the end of 2015. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You're Invited! Amundsen celebrates partnership with Northeastern Illinois University

You are invited to celebrate the Amundsen High School and Northeastern Illinois University partnership celebration! This is an important City of Chicago initiative. If you are alumni of either school or support these institutions then you will enjoy this event. The program is held on the NEIU campus 5500 N St Louis Ave tomorrow evening.

Wednesday October 23rd, 2013

Time: 4:30pm to 7:30pm

NEIU Student Union
5500 N St Louis Ave, Chicago

Appetizers, wine and beverages

As an alumnus and NEIU Alumni Advisory Board Member I will be there in support of this partnership.  See you tomorrow!

RSVP to Ms. Cindy Jones [email protected] 
or 773-442-5509

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chappell Elementary School Tour Dates: Starting Tuesday November 5th

Chappell School playground at Winnemac Park: Photo Eric Rojas

2013-14 School Tour Dates
Tuesday, November 5, 2013        9:30 am
Tuesday, December 3, 2013        4 pm
Tuesday, January 7, 2014            9:30 am
Tuesday, February 4, 2014        4 pm
Tuesday, March    18, 2014        9:30 am
Tuesday, April 1, 2014            4 pm
Tuesday, May 6, 2014            9:30 am

RSVP to 773-534-2390 to let us know they will be attending.  
2135 West Foster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625

Please check in at the office, thank you!

You're Invited! St. Matthias School Admissions Coffee October 29th

Please join St. Matthias School for an Admissions Coffee on 
Tuesday, October 29, from 9:00-11:00am.  

Our program will include a welcome from Principal Adam Dufault along with presentations from teachers, small group tours of our school, and time for questions and answers. Reservations are requested.

 Please RSVP to  or  by 
Monday, October 28. We look forward to welcoming you to our school!

Developments / construction around Winnemac Park

We called the 47th Ward and invited them to speak at our Winnemac Park Neighbors meeting about the large amount of new construction and re-purpose projects going on around Winnemac Park.  Here's a great chart below of current residential and commercial projects of note.  This does not include some major gut renovations of several homes at the moment.

The projects that require  zoning changes and/ or variance are noted. 

4534-4542 N. Damen
Alderman supported variance in RS3 to allow adaptive reuse of old C-M Auto body building for 3 SFHs; some existing of the walls to be preserved; drawings on our website
4646 N. Damen
SFH owner requesting rezoning from RS3 to a B district to aid in selling this frame house next to Brown line tracks; on our 47th Ward Zoning Advisory Committee agenda this week; drawings on our website
4713 N. Damen
Large frame SFH in B3-2 for sale; condo association next door to north is concerned about potential 50-foot high development with zero side setbacks
4834 N. Damen
New 3-unit condo construction in B2-2 replacing a one-story commercial building
4835-4839-4845 N. Damen
Candea Development constructing three identical 4-story buildings with 7 condos and 2 commercial spaces; see website (under Private Development for “4845” drawings)
1952 W. Lawrence
Alderman supported rezoning from B1-2 to B1-3 to allow proposed plans for 6 residential rental units and 1 commercial from existing one-story furniture store
2034 W. Lawrence
Alderman supported rezoning from B1-1 to B1-3 to allow proposed plans for 3 condo units and 1 commercial space from existing vacant lot; drawings on our website
2115 W. Lawrence
Requested rezoning from B3-2 to B2-2 for proposed plans for new 4-unit residential building (5/12); reviewed by 47th Ward Zoning Advisory Committee but applicant dropped out
2208 W. Lawrence
Alderman supported rezoning from B1-1 to B2-3 to allow proposed plans for 21 condo units and 3 commercial space from existing vacant lot; drawings on our website
4710 N. Ravenswood
Band of Bohemia
Alderman supported rezoning from M1-2 to C1-1 to allow 6,000 sf brewpub in former manufacturing building; drawings on our website
4550 N. Winchester
Lycée Français school
The demolition of the old Ravenswood Hospital for the new Lycée Français School is completed and site is regraded. Construction on the school is slated to begin in 2014 and be completed by spring 2015 so that students can occupy the building in fall 2015.
1800 W. Lawrence
Ravenswood Station Retail Center
LA Fitness is looking to open by end of 2013 and Mariano’s by early 2014. We’ll post any hiring notices as soon as we get them; drawings on our website (under Private Development for “1800 W. Lawrence”)
1801-19 W. Argyle
Ravenswood Terrace Apartments

The alderman supported the 624’ by 200’ former Sears parking lot rezoning from B1-1 to B2-3 for this project being constructed.

·         A series of 6-unit 3-story buildings with one 4-story building and one 5-story
·         150 residential units which are one-level (simplex)
·         Ground level units have a little garden terrace and above-ground units all have front balconies
·         111 outdoor parking spaces on the east side (adjacent to Metra tracks)
·         Bike racks in two outdoor areas (a 16’ wide pass-through between buildings and parking lot)
·         Per city ordinance 10 percent or 15 units are affordable (the remaining are considered luxury rentals)
·         1-bedroom units average rent $1,291/average 630sf
·         2-bedroom units average rent $2,255/average 1100sf … has 2 bathrooms
·         15 affordable units: 1-bdrm is $743/month and 2-bdrm is $894/month
·         10 units are adaptable for disabled and 23 are “visitable” by disabled
·         The 4- and 5-story buildings have elevators with slightly larger units
·         The 4-story building has an exercise room and multifunction meeting space (first floor)
·         The 5-story building has a rooftop (community) deck
·         In-between the two (north-south) rows of buildings is a pedestrian promenade or mews
·         An open area for vegetable gardening is a provided amenity
·         The development is completely open, no gates

Planned green/sustainable features

·         Chicago Green Homes Program
·         50% of roofs (5,272 sf) of the 4- & 5-story buildings will be vegetated (probably sedum type) and have some planters
·         All other roof surfaces in any building will use reflective (cool) material
·         The parking lot will use “water detaining” through buried concrete pipes (slows stormwater into city sewer system)
·         The pedestrian promenade will use “water retaining” through permeable pavers & landscape
·         Landscape will surround the entire project (per city code)
·         Recycled materials will be used – like wood, concrete, roofing and sheathing
·         The existing asphalt & concrete parking lot material will be ground and reused for fill, etc.
·         Use of building insulation and energy star appliances to reduce energy costs

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Possible Liquor License for CVS Pharmacy at Damen and Lawrence

We received the following email from the 47th Ward Service Office in regard to a possible license to sell Beer/ Liquor at the CVS store at Lawrence and Damen. The property also houses a residential condo building. If you have an opinion on this, please read the note below and contact Jim Poole below.  
Good Morning,
You are receiving this email because you are a chamber, block club/community organizer, or someone who has contacted our office who lives in the vicinity of the CVS at Lawrence and Damen.  CVS has submitted the attached questionnaire requesting that Ald. Pawar lift the packaged goods moratorium on Lawrence Ave. between Damen and Leavitt so they can apply for a packaged goods license in the store. 

We are currently reviewing their request with our Quality of Life Committee.  As part of that process, we solicit feedback from neighborhood groups and local residents.  Feel free to share this information with your neighbors and any opinions can be sent to me.  If you think we should hold a public meeting regarding this request let me know that as well.  Ald. Pawar would restore the moratorium once a year has passed if this is done.  Please let me know if you have any questions. 
Jim Poole
Community Specialist & Legislative Liaison
Office of Alderman Ameya Pawar – Ward 47
4243 N Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Reminder: Wine and appetizers at Winnemac Park Neighbors gathering

Winnemac Park Neighbors Meeting

Location: 4947 N. Damen Ave.
Date: October 15, 2013
Time: 6:30 PM
Winnemac Park Neighbors Meeting
Join Winnemac Park Neighbors for the lowdown on what's going on in and around the park, 6:30 p.m., Oct. 15, Dolce Casa Cafe, 4947 N. Damen Ave.

Come for the free wine and appetizers and the chance to mingle with neighbors, stay for the agenda packed with information.

Reps from the 47th Ward office will be on hand with updates about major area development projects. Amundsen Principal Anna Pavichevich will discuss the school's relationship with the park. The leaders of Winnemac Park's new fall baseball league will talk about the program and how you can help. Plus details will be shared about a new gardening effort along Ravenswood.
Please let us know you are attending at

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Get on Email List and LIKE Facebook Page

If you would like to be on our DIRECT EMAIL list (this list receives occasional emails and timely news during the week in addition to the BLOG UPDATES on Thursdays) then

please email   and we will add you to the direct email list.  We may ask for volunteers for a certain event, shoot out special information from the Alderman's office that affects our immediate area or send a reminder of a meeting.

You may also click on our Facebook link on the right hand column.  Please post your local news, events, special sales, programs or services (Nanny, maintenance, computer etc...) there.  The group will self monitor.  Anything deemed lewd, inappropriate or malicious in nature to the group of volunteer administrators will get taken down.

Out list is only used by site administrators (me mostly) and is opt-in only.


Signs of a great block!

Photo Eric Rojas

Many of the blocks surrounding Winnemac Park look like this.  And we like it!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Free Wine and Appetizers at Winnemac Park Neighbors! October 15th, 6:30PM at Dolce Casa Cafe

Join us at our next gathering Tuesday, October 15th at 6:30PM.  Winnemac Park Advisory Council along with Chef Ross and Winnemac Park Neighbors will provide appetizers and wine while we discuss important (and fun) topics around the park.

Join a regular park clean-up initiative!

-47th Ward Alderman's Office will update us on local major developments!

-Update on Winnemac Park Advisory Council activities and where you can help
-Amundsen High School Principal Anna Pavichevich and the school's relationship with Winnemac Park
-The neighbors that brought baseball to Winnemac Park!  How to get involved in Winnemac Baseball
-Dara from the 47th Ward office on a North Ravenswood Avenue Gardening initiative
...And More!

Hang out get connected with some great neighbors. 
Enjoy some food and wine at Dolce Casa Café!
Tuesday, October 15th at 6:30PM
4947 N Damen Avenue, Ravenswood/Lincoln Square

Lawrence Avenue Streetscape Construction - How is it affecting you?

Have a story about your experience with the Lawrence Avenue Streetscape construction? 

Feel free share your concerns and observations with us at [email protected]   

We will be discussing construction  & development at our next neighborhood meeting, Tuesday, October 15th at 6:30PM Dolce Casa Café 4947 N Damen Ave.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

NEIGHBOR MEETING October 15th! Amundsen Principal, Winnemac Park Update, Local Real Estate, Baseball and More!

Winnemac Park Neighbors and Winnemac Park Advisory Council 
will once again host a community get together at Dolce Casa Café.  Come out and network with neighbors at a great local business. Topics will focus on recent activities surrounding
Winnemac Park.

Tuesday, October 15th at 6:30PM
Dolce Casa Café
4947 N Damen

-Amundsen High School's Principal Pavichevich will update neighbors on school activities and answer questions.  Amundsen has a big footprint on the park campus so get to know your neighbor!

-Winnemac Park Advisory Council President Scott Bloom will be on hand to talk initiatives, activities and accomplishments at the park this past year.  This is a great time to get involved at Winnemac Park.  Topics will include programming, park clean-ups, and increasing volunteerism.

-Welles Park Parents Association will update neighbors on the new Fall Baseball league at Winnemac Park and provide information on playing in their baseball leagues.

-Neighbor and Real Estate Broker Eric Rojas of Kale Realty will have some local real estate updates on prices, sales, renting, interesting stats and a look at the booming construction and development. Ask questions about the local market.  We are trying to get some local officials to discuss the large amount of development around Lawrence and Damen.

We'll update speakers and topics as we get confirmations.  If you are interested in speaking at a Winnemac Park Neighbors gathering or would like to help organize a meeting please contact

See you soon!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2nd Annual Golden Stein Beer Competition raised a glass (and some money) for the Winnemac Park Advisory Council

Guests quaffed home made beer which was paired with tasty bites from Chef Ross of Dolce Casa Cafe. The night ended with a raffle and the announcement of the crowd favorites

Thank you to everyone who helped out!

The fellas from Brew Camp made beer on site

Each brewer brewed 4 different categories of beer.

Even beer has rules

Beers were named

Some more creative than others


Since you asked, it's a Cypriot semi-hard cheese

This was my favorite. No plate required
Serious brewing equipment

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

For Rent! Great Lincoln Square 2 bedrooms apartment $1,500 a month, Pets OK!

Kitchen with dishwasher

Lincoln Square/ Ravenswood, 1100 sq. ft, 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment for rent October or November. 4800 block of Damen.  $1,500/month.  Hardwood floors throughout.  LR with sunroom, separate DR, updated kithcen with microwave, dishwasher and lots of counter space, 2 bedrooms, and newly gutted bathroom.  Large entry way closet.  Separate central AC and heat, decorative fireplace, laundry on premises.  Heat, AC, electic paid by tenant.  Garage negotiable, and pets welcome.  Storage space in basement.  Near brown line and Metra. 
Contact Linda at 773-610-0707 

Rent from a Winnemac Park Neighbor! 
Contact Linda at 773-610-0707 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

14th Annual "Friends of the Grape Fundraiser for St Matthias School, Lincoln Square


St. Matthias Parish and School located at 4910 N. Claremont hosts its annual Friends of the Grape Wine Festival Sunday October 6th 12:30-6:30pm featuring up to 40 wines paired with tastings from 20 of Lincoln Square‘s finest restaurants. This annual “first weekend in October” event will continue its tradition of a LIVE & silent auction, raffles, entertainment & much more.

Jillian and I are excited to be on the Friends of the Grape committee this year and hope to help make it a great event.  The food and wine is a fantastic deal and we think there are fun auction packages for every budget!
Learn more about the event and food HERE

Thursday, September 12, 2013

St Matthias Elementary School in the news! New IB program

Lincoln Square Patch did a nice story on St. Matthias Elementary School and it's development of the new International Baccalaureate middle years program.

Click HERE to read the story!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Alderman O'Connor throws first pitch at new Winnemac Park fall baseball

It's a strike!  Alderman O'Connor brings the heat at the first weekend of Welles Park Parent Association baseball at Winnemac Park.  WPPA members and baseball leaders Lonny Essex, Jim Coffman and Stephen Reynolds also on the mound (All photos by Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker)

I had the pleasure to stop by and watch the first pitch ceremony at the inaugural season of fall baseball at Winnemac Park.  Welles Park Parent Association (WPPA) member Steven Reynolds brought together Welles Park Baseball, Amundsen High School, the 40th Ward Alderman's office and the Chicago Park District to meet the demand for youth baseball at Winnemac Park.  Over 350 kids signed up quickly!
The teams line up for the first pitch!

From left: Fall ball commissioner Lonny Essex, WPPA member and neighbor Stephen Reynolds and 40th Ward Alderman O'Connor discuss the new baseball league.

Families gathered around three diamonds of baseball action.  The crowds are great for exposure to the park, quality of life in the neighborhood and local business.

Please contact the Welles Park Parent Association for more information on their baseball leagues and other local activities.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

This Saturday Evening September 14th- Vote for your favorite beer at Winnemac Park fundraiser!

Enjoy craft beers, food and vote for the winners!  This is a great opportunity to support projects at Winnemac Park!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chappell, McPherson schools in the news!

Our two neighborhood elementary schools have been thriving.  Chappell and McPherson have started the years off strong.  Here's a couple stories from the first week of school.  Check out what's going on.

I was able to sponsor the Kindergarten Coffee orientation at Chappell for the second year in a row.  Parents with new Kindergarten students were able to meet and learn more about their child's full day and the school resources available.

Read about McPherson

Read about Chappell

Newer Posts Older Posts Home