Tag Archive | sculpture

Illinois Potpourri


Illinois Trip – Interesting Sights

4-21, 22, 23 – 2014

The destinations on our trip were interesting. Sometimes though, something caught our eye ON THE WAY to each place.  As we got near Chicago, I got a great view of O’Hare Airport from the car window. O'Hare Airport The towns are so close together that usually the best way you know you are passing through another town is the water tower. Here are just a few of them.

Illinois Water tower Collage

Waiting at a stoplight was a car repair shop, with 1/2 a car attached to the wall of the building. :/

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The community of Fox Lake was of enough interest to stop for at least 1/2 hour.  They have a Dog and Suds drive-thru, I have been to those in the past near Park Forest.  Near there was also the Fox Lake-Grant Township Area Historical Society and the volunteer fire department.

Dog and Suds Fox Lake Illinois

Fox Lake Historic Society

Fox Lake Fire Memorial

In Mattawa is the historic Adlai Stevenson house. Part of  I-55 is named after him in Chicago.

 

Near Park Forest in University Park, there was a large art display, too large to see the whole thing. It’s the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governor State University.

University Park sign

Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park

Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park 2

There is more to Illinois than meets the eye.

 

 

Coming Home to the Village of Park Forest


Illinois Trip – Day 2 -Park Forest

April 22, 2014

Park Forest sign

Park Forest is my hometown, I grew up here.   My family was here from 1966 (birth) to 1984 and it was a great place to grow up.  It was interesting seeing the changes 30 years after moving to Wisconsin. Park Forest is famous for being the first planned community after WWII.  An early nickname for Park Forest was “GI Town”.  Park Forest was built to address the lack of housing for all the returning vets of the the war. The village  was  ready for residents by 1948.  Enjoy this video showing the early history of Park Forest.

As of the 2010 census, the village had a population of 21,975, which is less than it’s peak of 30,000  in the 1960’s.   Park Forest  earned the “All American City” honor twice. The first time was in 1954 and the second time was 1976, when I was there.  What a time to be be there, when community pride was high.  

Let’s begin our tour of my hometown, right here with the sign at the edge of town at the intersection of Lincoln Highway and Orchard St.  Right across the street from here is another childhood memory of mine, this little structure at the edge of Olympia Fields, for a gated community called Maynegaite Woods.  When I was little I called this a “little castle” and always wanted to go inside.

Maynegaite signMaynegaite Little Castle

The Chinese house across the street.

Park Forest Asian house

We move further down Orchard, on our left is the building where the fire dept.  practice putting out fires.  I knew it as the Jaycee’s Haunted House, where we  went to get scared near Halloween. It is dedicated to Captain Adolph Pfeifer, who  died in the line of duty in 1963.

Park Forest Fire Dept. Training siteCaptain Adolph Pfeifer plaque

On our right is the Aqua Center, the outdoor pool complex where I learned how to swim.  They were getting it ready for summer.  This pool used to have a high dive.

Aqua Center

Aqua Center inside

Next to the Aqua Center is the Park Forest Public Library, where I spent MANY hours all the way through high school.  We had arranged a tour with the Library Director Barbara Osuch, to show us around.  She is very gracious and an asset to a place that was so important in my life.  I was especially impressed by the children’s area, completely revamped and modernized.   One theme has persisted over the years, kites.  When I was 12,  they had a  summer work shop on making kites out of plastic garbage bags and wooden dowels.  We made the kites, then went out to Central Park just outside of the library to fly them.

Park Forest Public Library

 

Park Forest Library Kid Zone

The view outside these windows facing Orchard USED to be my school, Lakewood. I was a student there from 4th-6th grade.  Here is a picture I took of the school in  1993  before it was torn down to make room for housing. Thanks for the great tour Barbara!

Park Forest Library windowsBarbara Osuch and us

Lakewood School 1993

Back behind the library is the Freedom Hall/Nathan Manilow Theatre, named after one of my town’s founders.  I have attended and even have performed there when I was a kid, tap dance recitals.  It opened in 1976 when I was 10.

Nathan Manilow Theater

Park Forest does not have as many restaurants as it used to have, but this red brick building on Orchard has housed a restaurant as long as I can remember. It has been Dunagains Irish Pub since 2013.

Dunagains Irish Pub

In the 70’s, the restaurant was called “The Country Squire”.  Here is an ad from 1977.

Country Squire Broiler ad 1977

The current business is still owned by the same family but has changed with the times.  They also still serve great food,  we found that out by having lunch there. I had soft tacos and Al had a Reuben.   Friendly staff  made us feel welcome and we would recommend coming here. They also have live music on some evenings.

Dunagains Collage

Lunch at Dunagains

No longer hungry, we continued our tour.  We got to the corner of Orchard and Indianwood, where my childhood Catholic Church resides called St. Irenaeus.  Some of my best memories are here, in the CCD religious program, and helping out at our summer day camp for two weeks every summer during high school.  It was just as beautiful inside, with distinctive stained glass windows.  We attended a Sunday service there in Oct. 2003 during our last visit.  Following are pictures from then.

St. Irenaeus Church St. Irenaeus inside 2003

St. Irenaeus windows

Just past the church on Indianwood  on our right is the bank and post office.  It was “The Bank of Park Forest” when I lived there. We sometimes sold Girl Scout cookies there in the post office. Drive-through on the right.

US Bank in Park Forest

Park Forest Post office

Across from the post office is the new Fire Department building. Also a memorial to fallen comrades.  Also a piece of metal from the World Trade Center.

Park Forest Fire Dept

World Trade Center metal

During my years there my family lived in two townhouses.   Homes are arranged in “courts”.  We visited my first court on Hemlock St. where I lived from birth to age 7.  We had to leave there because they were going to become condos, and they still are.

Hemlock court

This the back of our former apartment, this is a merge from summer 1974 and from this visit. This is my little brother and I, love that Schwinn Pixie bike I had then.

153 Hemlock 1974 and 2014

Our other apartment was on Forest boulevard, we lived there from 1974-1984. here in Court F-2.

Court F-2 Park Forest

We lived here, number 185 on the right.

85 Forest

There are individual trees in this court that I liked even as a kid, they are still here!  Also much larger!

Court F-2 tree 1 - 1986Court F-2 tree 1 - 2014

There are three red bud trees behind our former place, this is comparing 1986 and now.

Court F-2 Three Redbuds 1986Court F-2 Three Redbuds 2014

If you keep following the sidewalk, there once WAS a playground ahead. It is gone now.  Here is a picture I took of it in 1980. The same perspective NOW.

F-2 Park 1980

F-2 Former Park View 2014

On the right side of the picture used to be a road that went next to the park, the road has been gone for more than a decade, but the remnant still exists.  The park would have been left of this view.

Former Sears parking lot

The white structure you see behind the town homes in the top picture is a former landmark of Park Forest, the Tower. It was right next to Western Ave, which leads to Chicago Heights. Here is a better picture of the same tower.  This was 1989.

The Centre Tower 1989

In the middle of the former downtown was a slightly smaller version of this tower, but it had two clocks on it. Of course it was known as the Clock Tower.  It was the center of downtown when I lived there, and near it was (is) a stage for musicians to perform on summer nights.  Here is a newspaper clipping from 1977.  People playing frisbee on the lawn near the tower, this is classic Park Forest! the logo now and in the 1980’s.

Park Forest logo 2014Shop Park Forest sign

 

Downtown PF by ClockTower

Both of the towers are long gone, this sculpture is now in the approximate place of the clock tower.

Park Forest sculpture

This view is taken from the left side of the top picture, looking across.  On the right used to be a Marshall Fields.  The Marshall Fields building has since been torn down, this was my last photo pf the building. There is now a veteran’s memorial in the center of the picture.

Former Clock Tower view 2014

There are now two murals downtown.   This one is on the other side of the building on the left in above photo.  It is outside the building now occupied by the Tall Grass Arts Association (that used to be a Kresge’s). The second one is close to my Forest  Blvd. court.

Tall Grass Arts Association Building

 

Park Forest mural

Our visit is nearly over. Please be sure to visit the Park Forest 1950’s Museum, sponsored by the Park Forest Historical Society. It was not open the day we visited unfortunately 😦   The address WAS 141 Forest Blvd.  In 2016 it is at 227 Monee Road, inside St. Mary’s Catholic Church.Park Forest 1950's Museum

Right before leaving town, we stop by Thorn Creek Nature Preserve.  My Girl Scout troop went there a lot, a great day in a forest.

Thorn Creek Nature CenterThorn Creek Nature Center plaque

Another great attraction to visit is the new Rail Fan Park, opened July 28 of 2013. There is a viewing platform with a great view of a rail “clover leaf”, the only such rail juncture visible by the public.

Rail Cloverleaf

 

Rail Fan Park in Park Forest

We made a full circle, not far from here is where we began our tour.  It was great coming back home to my hometown.

 

Obscure Madison Art 3 – Sid Boyum Sculptures


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Sid Boyum was an artist who was born in 1913 who created his art more for himself than others.  He died in 1991. An organization called the Design Coalition on Atwood Ave put it upon themselves to preserve as much of Boyum’s pieces as possible.  Here is the house where he lived, his son Steve now lives there.

Sid Boyum House

I found 15 pieces visible around the Atwood area, one inside a library as well.  Take a look!

Sid Boyum sign

White Lantern

White Lantern

Easter Island Head

Easter Island Head

Smiling Mushroom and Blue Dragon Urn

Smiling Mushroom and Blue Dragon Urn

Polar Bear Chair

Polar Bear Chair

African-Influenced Sculpture

African-Influenced Sculpture

Hippopatamus

Hippopatamus

Geometric With Round Window

Geometric With Round Window

Fantasy Seahorse

Fantasy Seahorse

Layered Pyramid

Layered Pyramid

FuDog Lantern

FuDog Lantern

Creature Abstract

Creature Abstract

Blue Tripod Lantern

Blue Tripod Lantern

White Lantern

White Lantern

Six-Sided Red Lantern

Six-Sided Red Lantern

Quite an enjoyable time finding all these art pieces. A part of Madison history.  If you get to Monticello, you will see more Sid Boyum art at Montesian Gardens.

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Dr. Evermor’s Art Park Near Baraboo


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As you can see, art is everywhere in Wisconsin.

Artist Tom Every created this steampunk fantasy land of sculptures and strange creatures made of scrap metal. You can see some of from Highway 12 just below the Baraboo hills. Last year we finally decided to stop and look around. What a fascinating place! His crowning achievement is “The Foreveratron”, a huge structure that looks like a big time machine. They even participate in the popular pastime of geocaching.

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Here is a small sample other structures here and weird things.

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We came to the Aluminum Foil Hat zone.  They had a funny contraption that made two foil hats at a time. Funny! Here we are posing with our new hats.

tin-foil-hatCrazy Hats

On site is Lady Eleanor Every, an artist in her own right. We posed for a picture with her, Tom’s ill health prevents him from being there also so we didn’t meet him. She is a gracious lady and is happy to chat or take a picture with you. She also directed us to a great natural area we visited soon after, Pewit’s Nest.

Eleanor Every and usEleanor Every sign

If you wish to stop by, here are the hours.

Location:  Right behind Delaney’s Surplus (address for Delaney’s below)

S7703 US HWY 12

North Freedom, WI  53591

 

Open:        Thursday – Monday

Closed:      Tuesday & Wednesday

Hours:       11 AM – 5 PM (may vary)

Contact:    Lady Eleanor Every

                608-219-7830

Its free to look at the structures, but donations are gladly accepted.

contributions

Madison has a couple structures that Tom Every created. They are on Paterson Street. Its a couple of large metal birds called, “Dreamkeepers”.

Dream keepersDreamkeepers sign

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