This fountain was dedicated to Dr. John T. Warner who was instrumental in developing the Park District and was elected to the Park District's first board of commissioners. Dr. Warner passed away before he could take his oath of office in 1935.
This stained glass window is the only remaining item from the original library. It was carefully removed and stored until its installation in the new facility. The window currently faces Des Plaines Avenue however in the old library I think it used to face Jackson Boulevard but I'm not sure.
The new Forest Park Public Library is a very modern facility equipped with new educational mechanisms including internet access, The Reading Edge (a device that assists the vision impaired), a telephone directory computer disk, a Chicago Tribune index and more. It’s shelves hold about 90,000 items. A number of programs sponsored by the Forest Park Library include arts and crafts, story hours, family movies, guest speakers, educational seminars and holiday parties. Source: http://www.villageprofile.com/illinois/forestpark/forestpark.html
As a child, I spent countless hours here learning everthing from art crafts to skateboarding to tennis lessons. The Howard Mohr Community Center, named in honor of the late state senator and Forest Park mayor, serves as an entertainment and social service center with programs serving children and the elderly. The community center also provides emergency assistance and crisis intervention and a meals on wheels program in addition to the senior and youth activities and other special programs. The food pantry is available to residents in need of emergency food, and food and gift baskets are provided those same families during the holidays through this program. Source: http://www.villageprofile.com/illinois/forestpark/forestpark.html
2010 marks the 50th year of Jerry's barbershop been on the corner of Randolph & Margengo Streets for 50 years. It's a quaint, old style barbershop tucked away on a residential corner.
This building was once home to the Freemasons of Illinois, Forest Park Masonic Lodge No. 1054. Most recently the upper floors were build out in to condominiums with businesses occupying the main floor. Its attractive architecture has survived exceptionally well.
St. Bernardine Catholic Church was built in a Spanish Mission style and designed by McCarthy, Smith, and Eppig. At the turn of the century, when Forest Park was still known as the Village of Harlem, the area was still prairie and dire roads, and only a few homes dotted the landscape. While the business district was beginning to build up, there were still few paved streets. Since they had no church of their own, the faithful Catholics, known as "The Old Timers," walked miles to St. Luke's Church to dutifully attend Sunday Mass. Even after 1907, when "The Old Timers" started going to Mass at the newly established Ascension Church in Oak Park, the distance and poor weather conditions during the winter and spring still made traveling difficult.
Finally, in 1911, the Catholics of Forest Park decided that it was time to have their own parish to fill the growing need for their families and the rest of the burgeoning population. And so Mrs. H. White and Mrs. H. Fromme went through the village obtaining signatures on a petition that was then presented to the Most Reverend James E. Quigley, Archbishop of Chicago. The need demonstrated, their request was fulfilled. A new parish was born and put under the patronage of St. Bernardine of Siena, "The Apostle of Italy." Source: http://www.stbern.com/parish/about-history.html
This stained glass window on Circle Avenue is all that remains of the Krader-Wolf Bros. Furniture store that was located on the corner of Madison St. and Circle Ave. After the furniture store closed, the building remained empty for years. Today it is home to a fitness club and Healy's Westside. To the left of this window is a Jimmy John's restaurant.
HISTORY: In the mid 1800’s, the area we now call Forest Park was known as Harlem. Many Lutherans from Germany settled in this area. To attend services at a church, folks in Harlem would have to travel to one of two Lutheran Churches in Chicago or to Bensenville or Hillside. At that time, this was a considerable distance to travel.
In 1860, the same year Lincoln was elected President of the United States, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hillside granted permission for their pastor to preach in Harlem once a month. The pastor would arrive Sunday morning and conduct services in a home, school, or even the railroad station. He would then spend the night with one of the families and return to Hillside the next day. While the nation fought the civil war, the preaching station at Harlem grew. In 1867, the congregation was organized and this church building was constructed for $1,165. The church had to take out a $300 loan to complete construction. It was located at the corner of Marengo and Franklin Streets. Three years later, in 1870, a teacher was hired to teach 25 students. Each parent paid 50 cents a month in tuition. Classes were held in the church building. The first teacher left after a year and Pastor Grosse was called as the first permanent pastor. He also taught the school. When Pastor Grosse arrived, the congregation began to plan a second larger church. The second church was built for 500 people, but on holidays, it typically held half-again that many. In 1873, the existing church building was moved to the back of the lot and the new church was built at the site of the old. The school continued in the old church building. Sadly, this church building was destroyed by a fire in 1916. However, by this time the current church had been built and was in use. The school continued to grow. There were 80 children in 3 classes, but only one teacher. In 1887, the congregation decided to open a new school at Circle and Warren. This school once stood in what is now the St. John’s main parking lot. Originally, the school had 4 large classrooms. It was enlarged to 8 classrooms in 1904. The current church building, dedicated in 1914, stands as a memorial to a group of people who showed strong faith to erect and dedicate this edifice to the Glory of God and provide a gathering place for this congregation to worship Him these many years. Many of these members mortgaged their own homes and unselfishly contributed so that the church was debt-free when they gathered for the dedication. The school program continued to grow and the school expanded again in 1927. From 1928-1959 a branch school was operated on the south side. The current school building was dedicated in 1964. A pre-kindergarten program was added in 1970, and an accredited day-care program was added in 1982 using some of the space in the basement of the parish hall. In 2007, the congregation tearfully voted to close the school due to declining enrollments and increasing costs. While this was a very sad day for St. John Church, it opened the opportunity for the present Walther Lutheran Academy to use our facilities where it continues to operate today. Source: http://www.stjohnforestpark.org/history.htm
Constitution Court and Fountain was added to Madison Street as a part of the village's beautification project many years ago. In the Spring and Summer the fountain is in operation and the square will gather with residents and visitors who are frequenting the nearby restaurants, shops and bars.