North Shore Views
Archive for the 'North Shore communities' Category
Every October I make my annual pilgrimage down to Lawndale Avenue to check out the Halloween decorations in one particular front yard. This yard may not have the most decorations, but it certainly has the cleverest and most amusing.
This year’s decorations feature effigies our disgraced ex-gov, Rod Blagojevich and Sarah Palin, as well as the Cubs Cemetery of Excuses, with tombstones for all the years the team should have won a championship, but didn’t.
I’ve written before about Wilmette’s “famous” rock at the corner of Ridge Rd. and Thornwood Avenue. The rock is always dressed for the season and accordingly is already modeling its Halloween costume.
Not long ago I included the Schweppe Mansion in my post about the top ten priciest properties for sale on the North Shore.
What I didn’t mention is that the Lake Forest home was, at one time, reputed to be haunted. With Halloween right around the corner, it seemed like the time to tell its spooky story. Here’s the background: The house was built in 1917 by John G. Shedd (president of Marshall Field and Company and founder of the Shedd Aquarium) as a wedding gift for his daughter, Laura, upon her marriage to Charles Schweppe. But Laura died in 1937, leaving a lonely and tormented Charles to roam the 33,000 sq. ft. mansion for the next four years. Charles ultimately killed himself with a bullet to the head, and the house stood empty for the next 47 years.
Although ghosts have never actually been sighted here, rumors of Charles’ ghost haunting the master bedroom spread throughout the area. and the abandoned mansion had all the makings of a haunted house, especially some its more bizarre features. One was a lone window overlooking the driveway, which never needed cleaning, even when the rest of the house was covered in dirt and grime. The other strange feature , discovered by Donna Desplenter when she bought the house in the 1980s, was the “doorway to hell”, an entryway in the basement that led only to narrow, black corridors turning into other dark, winding passageways, leading only to dead-ends and desolate rooms.
The house was finally purchased and completely renovated and restored. No paranormal activity has been reported for many years. The house is for sale now and can be yours for a mere $15,000,000.
Bargain hunters: If you haven’t yet gotten your yearly rummage sale fix, you have only two more opportunities this fall (on the North Shore, at least). The last sales of the season are in Winnetka and Wilmette:
Winnetka Congregational Church Rummage Sale
When: Saturday, October 16 from 9 am to 2 pm
Where: Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka
This sale is not as big as the spring sale, which raises over $200,000 in 8 hours. But, by any other standards, this is a big sale and you can buy pretty much anything you can think of. This year there will be an especially large amount of furniture for sale, and I have it on good authority that it’s the “good stuff”. There is also clothing for men, women and children, electronics, toys, sports equipment, china, glassware and books. Come early for the best selection, or late for the best deals.
None of the money goes to the church. All proceeds are donated to Chicago-area social service agencies. For more info, call (847) 446-0575
St. Francis Xavier Rummage Sale
When: Thursday, October 21 from 8 am to 1 pm
Where: St. Francis Xavier, 808 Linden Ave., Wilmette
This is a parish wide event that raises funds for the school. It also has a wonderful selection of gently used household items, clothes, toys, etc.
For more info, call (847) 251-4661
My kids, our three dogs and I look forward to this event every year. Where else can you raise money for a good cause just by walking the dogs? With that many dogs in one place it’s an orgy of barking, wagging and sniffing. You can almost see the smiles on the faces of the dogs (except the ones who are dressed up…they’re looking a little embarrassed).
Hounds for Hadley is a fundraiser for the Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka. Hadley provides distance education for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
What: A two mile walk through Winnetka with your dog(s) plus refreshments and a contest for best-dressed dogs and owners
When: Saturday, October 23 at 9:00 am (check in begins at 7:30)
Where: The Hadley School for the Blind, 700 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL
How it Works: Register for the event ($30 pre-registration, $40 day-of-event registration) and collect pledges from friends and family to donate to the walk. (Registered walkers will receive a packet with t-shirt, dog bandana, goody bag and raffle ticket).
Come dressed in your Halloween costume and with your dog in his costume (if he’ll allow it…mine absolutely refuse). You could win the “best-dressed” contest.
Oh, and by the way, you don’t need to have a dog to walk in this event. Everyone is welcome.
The Wilmette Fire Department and Sparky the Fire Dog would like to invite you to this year’s Fire Open House on October 9th from 9 am to noon.
Fire trucks, ambulances, firefighting gear, paramedic equipment, water rescue gear, and special rescue tools will all be on display. There will also be hands on activities for children, including the always popular Teddy Bear Check-up.
Did you know that the Wilmette Fire Department is one of only 113 accredited fire departments in the world? The accreditation process independently evaluates the department’s compliance on over 230 individual performance indicators. Wilmette was first accredited in 2001, becoming the 21st agency in the world to earn such recognition, and re-accredited in 2006. The organization is driven to provide a cost effective and efficient fire department while honoring our values, accomplishing our mission and achieving our goals.
So come on out and see for yourself why we are so proud of our fire department!
And remember: Fire Prevention is everyone’s responsibility.
Affordable housing for seniors is not easy to find on the North Shore, but it does exist. One affordable senior building in Wilmette is the Village Green Atrium, a 35-unit condominium building for seniors 62 years or older. Located at 800 Ridge Rd. in Wilmette, the building contains 25 one-bedroom units and ten two-bedroom units. It’s in a good location, too. The Treasure Island is right up the street, as are dry cleaners, a bank and the Ridgeview Grill. The PACE bus stops nearby. And, last but not least, the police station is right next door, making residents feel secure.
To maintain their affordability, the units are bought and sold at a formula price below market value. There is no income cap, but priority for units goes first to Wilmette residents, then to former Wilmette residents or parents of Wilmette residents, and last to non-Wilmette residents.
To receive an application, view a unit or get more information, you can call Erika Fabisch at the Community Development Department at (847) 853-7522.
Another condominium building with affordable units is Mallinckrodt in the Park. While most of the 81 units sell at market rate, 12 are formula-priced to keep these units affordable.
Here’s a breakdown of Winnetka home sales by school district for the first nine months of the year. The Greeley neighborhood is the most balanced, with 8.8 months of supply, followed by Crow Island. (6-7 months supply is considered a balanced market). Hubbard Woods, on the other hand, has just over 14 months of supply.
Winnetka Home Sales by Elementary School District
January – September 2010
Even those of us who spurn Us Weekly and its ilk, will not be immune to the fever when the cast and crew from a new movie descend upon the town in a couple of months.
The movie is called “Contagion” and it is an action-thriller about the worldwide outbreak of a deadly disease, and the international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the epidemic. Apparently it won’t be a sensationalist sci-fi movie, but rather an examination of how different groups (media, politicians, medical community and the general public) deal with the threat of a worldwide pandemic.
Director Steven Soderbergh must have liked the North Shore when he was here last time (shooting Ocean’s Twelve in Winnetka and Lake Forest), but this time he’s going to show Wilmette some love. He has several locations already scouted, including Central School, Gillson Park, a private home on Greenleaf and the Wm H. Scott Funeral Home. (Guess that’s where they’ll take all the bodies of people killed off by the virus). Filming in Wilmette is set to take place between November 23 and December 9.
It’s got quite the star-studded cast:
Gwyneth Paltrow as Beth Emhoff, a business woman who returns from Asia and comes down with a mysterious ailment.
Matt Damon as her husband, who is forced to care for her as her condition worsens.
Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Ellis Cheever, head of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)
Kate Winslet as Erin Mears, a doctor for the CDC.
Jude Law as a blogger with an unfortunate interest in conspiracy theories.
Parts of the movie will also be shot out in Elgin at the old Sherman Hospital, as well as outside a Yorkville High School.
The movie is set for release in October 2011.
In its 51st season, the Wilmette Children’s Theatre will present its latest production, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”. beginning this Friday night in the auditorium at the Wilmette Community Rec Center.
The Wilmette Children’s Theatre is a unique and multifaceted program of the Wilmette Park District. It s designed to provide a live theatre experience to both its participants and the audience.
There will be eight shows:
Fridays, October 8 and 15 at 7 pm
Saturdays, October 9 and 16 at 2 pm and 7 pm
Sundays, October 10 and 17 at 2 pm
Tickets can be purchased at the Rec Center front desk (3000 Glenview Rd.) or online. Call 847-256-9686 for more info.