June 24, 2011

Library, Mail & News

This post is a composite of topics that include Lake View's libraries, postal service, and news
The Public Library
The Chicago Public Libraries were created directly from the ashes of the great Chicago Fire. After Chicago’s Great Fire of October 8, 1871, A.H. Burgess of London proposed an “English Book Donation,” which he described, two months later, in the Tribune on December 7, 1871 to the people of Chicago - “I propose that England should present a Free Library to Chicago, to remain there as a mark of sympathy now, and a keepsake and a token of true brotherly kindness forever…” 
unknown location photo - The Children's War via John Stafiej
Before the full-service (stand-alone) library and Delivery Stations (library storefronts) their was the book-mobile
The book-mobile was initially used in rural areas so to provided communities that would wanted access to free library materials and could not afford rent for storefronts or stand-alone buildings. At one time, in the 19th century and early 20th century Lake View was regarded as 'rural' or underfunded for their own stand-alone library. Libraries were located in one central location in a city with branches in areas that could afford one. That changed after the Great Depression of 1929. The federal government provided funding for 'library out-reach' activities to communities that wanted access to publicly provided materials. 
The jpeg below area of an unknown location in Chicago but the image do provide an idea of what it may have been like before store-front libraries became for affordable. 

photo - Chicago Public Library
unknown Chicago location and date
A Township Library
It would appear that a historical society funded a full service library by 1884. This is the account for local historian of that time period: Ravenswood History Society is a new but very vigorous young organization with among its objects the founding of a library for the benefit of the community. 
 1894 Sanborn Fire Map highlights the library 
with a zoomed view below
[The society's existing building] has rooms on the east side of Ravenswood Park [Avenue] near Sunnyside Avenue. The society has just purchased a lot to erect a library building and to raise money if necessary on their property. The building will be on the southwest corner of Sulzer (Montrose) and Commercial (Hermitage) streets and is expected to cost $1500; a two story brick building-30x50 ft. The ground floor will consist of the library [itself] and a reading room. The second floor [space big enough] for a concert hall.' - historian Theodore Andreas who wrote a chapter in a publication called 'History of Cook County Illinois' called History of Lake View: 1884 page 712. This publication covers the existing and historical accounts of Lake View and Ravenswood with many of the topical mentions highlighted in this blog.
– Chicago historian Theodore Andreas
City of Chicago Libraries
In the early 20th century local libraries, sometimes located in storefronts, were just feeder outlets and served as satellites to the main city library is downtown, much like Harold Washington Library is today. Library materials would be loaned-out to be returned to the main library at a scheduled time period. The three main types were branch, deposit stations, and delivery stations. 
In 1927, the Chicago Public Library opened its first branch in Ravenswood. The library, however, had been offering books to the community through delivery and deposit stations since shortly after the area was annexed to the City of Chicago in 1889. Four years after renting this storefront, the Library again expanded service by opening the Hild Regional Library at 4544 North Lincoln Avenue - Explore Chicago Collection
The Branches
According to the Chicago Daily News almanac of 1922 the following locations served as District branch libraries (p. 868).
Butler House
3212 N Broadway Avenue
Hamlin Park
Barry & Hoyne Avenues
The Deposit Stations
 According to the Chicago Daily News almanac of 1922 the following locations served District Deposit stations (p. 868-9).
Lake View @ Lill & Seminary Avenues
Le Moyne @ 3712 N Halsted Street
The Delivery Stations
According to the Chicago Daily News almanac of 1922 the following locations served as District Delivery Stations 
(p. 869) as well as branches and deposit stations
4336 N Hermitage 
School & Ashland
3212 N Broadway Avenue 
 2932 N Clark Street
3712 N Halsted
3711 N Southport
Barry & Hoyne Avenues
3456 N Hoyne
3317 N Broadway
Currently known as the Lake View Athletic Club
image - Lake View Saga 1847-1985

Finally a Full Service Library

According to Susan Reibman Groff‎ 
the building was used as a bomb shelter during WWII

This Lake View Branch of the Chicago Public Library system opened September 14, 1942 at its present location. Earlier, a storefront named the Broadway Branch existed at 3119 North Broadway Avenue. The Broadway Branch served the Lake View community from 1925 through 1942.
(click on article to enlarge)
'Merlo Branch was rededicated December 8th, 1988, after undergoing a major renovation. In June 1993, John M. Merlo Branch, formerly the Lake View Branch, was renamed in memory of John Merlo, who was a local community leader and long-time Chicago politician. The two-story building was designed by City Architect, Paul Gerhardt; sculptor Abbott Pattison designed the frieze above the front entrance. The branch houses artworks by Martyl, Louise Papageorge, and Michael Ryan, funded through the Percent for Art Ordinance administered by the City of Chicago Public Art Program'. 
photo - Flickriver:Photoset
The glass enclosed canopy to the frontage 
was added during a 1988 renovation
photo - Lake View Patch
photo - Flickriver
This sculptures are located under the window umbrella 
within the entryway. It was created by Abbott Pattison.
A tale about a librarian and her library - 1988
A petition for another library - 1963
with the existing libraries in article

The Lincoln-Belmont Public Library
photo Lake View Patch
 photo - Lake View Patch
The Lincoln Belmont Branch is a relatively new library that opened on January 23, 1999.  It replaced two smaller storefront branches, the Hamlin Park Branch Library located 2205 Belmont and the North Lake View Branch Library. 

The Post Offices 

All municipal operations occurred at the Old Town Hall including the postal service in the township days except for the community of Ravenswood
 photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
Ravenswood Mail Carriers

mailed from Portugal - unknown date
 front & back
all images above - Ebay
While most of the mail funneled though the Old Town Hall on Halsted during the days of the township the community of Ravenswood was originally one of many communities in the old township that earned their own post office well into the early 20th century.  

 US Post Office Department seal 1792-1971
image - Wikipedia
According to Forgotten Chicago the old Bailiwick Theater @ 1229 W. Belmont once served as a post office.
This  building medallion above served as a symbol 
of post offices from 1837 - 1971
In the early 20th century other postal stations dotted the area that included areas of Edgewater, Sheridan Park, North Halsted, as well as the Lincoln Park Station. 
Click on this link on a 1917 'travel time study' for  transport deliveries times from the main office downtown that involved the difference between horse vs automobile.    

The Lake View Station
1343 W. Irving Park Road
 postmarked LAKEVIEW STATION - Ebay
This postcard was postmarked from the original TownHall that was once located on the corner of Halsted & Addison

US Post Office on Lincoln
US Post Office on Ashland
3024 N Ashland Avenue
The Newspapers of Lake View
Lerner Newspapers

The Chicagoan

Local community newspaper industry 
had its beginnings in our neighborhood: 
 page 2
images - Lake View Saga
Before the Booster 
In the late 19th century news about the Township/City of Lake View could be read from the Chicago Daily News under the subtitle 'Lake View Matters'. Also in the late 19th century publication called Lake View's Saturday weekly called the Lake View Independent that was established in 1884 as well as the Lake View Telephone. 
Lake View Matters 1871
insert from Chicago Tribune - a sample
from the Chicago Public Library Newspaper section
An Account about the Lake View Telephone 
'History of Lake View' by Theodore Andreas
The ‘Lake View Telephone’ was outgrowth of the ‘Lake View Townsman’ a paper which was first issued March 21 1881. It published as a five column folio (dimensions) paper. The first issue of the Telephone was published in June 4 1881 with C.J. Whitney as editor and publisher. On the 11th February 1882 the paper was enlarged to a seven column folio and one year thereafter to an eight column [newspaper]. 
- historian Theodore Andreas 1884

 images - Ebay
These newspapers can be found in the Ravenswood - Lake View Community Collection at Sulzer Regional Library in Lincoln Square.
Along the with the Lake View Independent there was the
'The Lake View Independent' and 'The Telephone' were weekly publications (according this link their was a publication in 1887 called the 'Lake Viewer Tribune'.

The Chicago Daily Tribune forward from the 
Lake View Independent 1887 when Lake View was a city
Online News Organizations 
that follow Lake View: 
(an aggregate source for news)
News about real estate developments, street cleaning and parking issues per city ward organizations
News organization to follow offline:
Inside-Booster by Inside Publications
 They do have a Facebook presence 
- the newsboys of the predecessor Lincoln Belmont Booster 
- late 1940's early 1950's?
Your Planned Development News
by Curb Chicago's 
This online news lists the latest construction news
Lake View & Lake View East

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Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!

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