June 24, 2011

Library, Mail & Newspapers

As the title of this post indicates 
I will discuss Chicago libraries in general, 
Lake View's current libraries
 as well as
Lake View's Mail & Newspapers past & present
The Chicago Public Libraries were created directly from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire. After the Fire of October 8, 1871, A.H. Burgess of London proposed an “English Book Donation,” which he described, two months later, in the Tribune 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, a keepsake a token of true brotherly kindness forever'.

Central libraries started thinking critically about how to best serve geographically broader communities. Beginning in the late 1890s, central libraries opened smaller branches in cities to accommodate the explosion of urban population growth. As immigrants set up their own communities away from the more expensive city centers, new branch libraries helped provide services to these new enclaves.
below photo - Chicago Public Library
According to the Chicago Public Library, 
"As Chicago's reconstruction after the Great Fire of 1871 progressed and residential districts extended further from the downtown area, it became apparent to the library's directors that the Chicago Public Library needed to make its services available to people nearer to their homes. In April 1884, the Chicago Library Board appointed a Special Committee on Delivery Stations. Four stations, two on the West Side, one on the North Side, and one on the South Side, were established. In June 1884, the Board agreed to pay Mr. Morris Rosenstock $18.00 per week to manage the delivery of materials to the four stations by horse-drawn carriage."
According to the Chicago Public Library, 
"the library inaugurated a new Delivery Service, establishing delivery stations were established in businesses such as the Horder's New Depot in 1884.  Pictured above are E.Y. and Ada Horder with their children Ivy and Harry. Library messengers were dispatched twice a day to pick up and deliver book orders left by patrons with the store's proprietors. At first, the storekeepers were paid a small fee for their work. It was soon found, however, that the delivery stations brought such large numbers of people into the stores, that the increase in business more than repaid the proprietors for the trouble of operating the service. By 1887, [when Lake View was a city in Illinois] Chicago's system delivery stations, now numbering eight, accounted for 127,000 volumes in circulation."
photo - Chicago Public Library
According to the Chicago Public Library, 
"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 this point of my research, I wonder if the Township/City of Lake View had mobile libraries, speaking of rural areas. 

"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 photo below area of an unknown location in Chicago. The image provides an idea of what it may have been like before store-front libraries became more available

above photo - Chicago Public Library
below photo - Chicago Public Library
Our Historical View:
The Lake View Township Library
 part of my collection
a 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 
(X marks the spot)
with Sulzer (Ravenswood) School on the right
a 1905 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
with Ravenswood (Sulzer) School to the right
zoomed view below
A 1884 article 
that highlights the opening 

Historian Theodore Andreas Testimonial 
"The Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Society's 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 was expected to cost $1500; a two story brick building-30 x 50 ft. The ground floor will consist of the library [itself] and a reading room. The second floor [space big enough] for a concert hall." 
- from a publication called 'History of Cook County Illinois' 
subtitled 'History of Lake View' in 1884 located on page 712 when he mentions the Community of Ravenswood.

'The Ravenswood Historical Society [Association] erected a building known as Library Hall. Designed by Holabird and Roche, the building housed the first ‘public’ library in the community on the ground floor. A large hall used for meetings, concerts and dances filled the second floor. In 1894 the Ravenswood Masonic Lodge signed a 20-year lease and commissioned W. L Klewer to add a third floor to the building. The building, however, continued to be used for community meetings and programs of the historical society through World War I. By 1929, after the Masons had moved to their new building at Paulina and Wilson, Library Hall was vacant. Eventually it was torn down and a gas station was operated on the site. In 1894 the Ravenswood Masonic Lodge #777 signed a 20-year lease and commissioned W. L. Klewer to add a third floor to the building.' 
Below is an 1894 article of a new owner
then a parking lot for a good many decades
2021 Google view
City of Chicago Libraries
after the annexation of 1889
In the early 20th century local libraries, sometimes located in storefronts, were 'feeder' stations 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 at the time 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 a full service building called Hild Regional Library 
1994 photo - Chicago Public Library
The Branches
According to the Chicago Daily News almanac of 1922 the following locations served as District Branch libraries (p. 868).
The Butler House
3212 N Broadway Avenue
(Lake View Athelic Club)
Hamlin Park
at 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).
Le Moyne School
at 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 
corner of School & Ashland
3212 N Broadway Avenue 
 2932 N Clark Street
3712 N Halsted
3711 N Southport
corner of Barry & Hoyne Avenues
3456 N Hoyne
text below - Lake View Saga 1847-1985
The Broadway Branch served the Lake View community 
from 1925 through 1942
the former local library - 2019 Google photo
a Modern Full Service Library 
in the Community of Lake View

Public Library
on Belmont Avenue
According to Susan Reibman Groff‎, a contributor to my Facebook page, 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. 
interior view in the 1950's
1952 marked the library's 10th anniversey 
Merlo Branch Library was re-dedicated in 1988, after undergoing a major renovation. In June 1993, John M. Merlo Branch, formerly a 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. - Merlo
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 once located under the window umbrella 
within the entryway. It was created by Abbott Pattison.
Doing the Work in 1988
photo below - Michelle Schaps

The Renovation of 2019
According to 44th ward Alderman Tom Tunney's Facebook page in 2018 "investments will be made to the facility, and in library programming, to provide a modern, state-of-the-art branch to the Lake View community. Improvements will include an early learning play space for children, a dedicated teen space, additional seating, additional meeting and study spaces and refreshed collections. The Merlo Branch will also have digital skills training available to patrons of any age through the Library’s Cyber-Navigator program. The renovation work is expected to begin in early 2019."
Meeting on the Plans in 2018
Construction Photos
via 44th Chicago ward ofc

Re-Opens in 2020
Request for Another Library 
in 1963 Denied!
The Lincoln-Belmont 
Public Library
photo - Sarah Bowlin 
The Lincoln Belmont Branch is a relatively new library that opened on January 23, 1999.  It replaced two smaller storefront, the Hamlin Park Branch Library located 2205 W Belmont and the North Lake View Branch Library. Plans for this library began as early as 1975
text - People-Building-Neighborhood 1979 edtion
2018 photo - Tiffinany Lawson Dance
photo - Richie Morales
 photo - Laurie Wolske Ruxton
 photos - The International Beethoven Project
other scenes
2013 photo - Joy Palmito-dizon
2019 photo - Edit Racz
2018 photo below - Wendy & DB
Lake View's Post Offices: 
The Lake View 
Township/City Stations

All municipal operations included the police, courts and mail occurred at the original Old Town Hall in township/city of old Lake View except within the once private community of Ravenswood 
*they had their own facility & postmark*
A New Facility in 1889
the year of annexation
 postmarked LAKEVIEW STATION - Ebay
This postcard was postmarked from the original TownHall that was once located on the corner of Halsted & Addison
postcards - Ebay
The Stations Nearby by 1906
once located on Southport and Irving Park Road at the same location at the current post office
Penny A Noordwal-Ware's grandfather was postmaster of this station in the early 1930's. Mrs. Noordwal-Ware 
*contributed her photo to my blog post*
  Postal Chatter 1918 Union Postal Employee Newsletter ...
The Ravenswood Station
Due to the semi-autonomous nature of this community, 
Ravenswood had its own facility and postmark

The Ravenswood Mail Carriers
 photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection  
image - Ebay unknown date
Rumors of a Move in 1900
May educated guess is that the post office 
was in Library Hall - see segment on libraries 
1891 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
that shows Library Hall and Ravenswood School
Ravenswood Envelopes & Postcards
with their postmarks

mailed from Portugal - unknown date
 all images above from Ebay
the Ravenswood Post Office in 1910 was located on 4513 East Ravenswood Park (N. Ravenswood Avenue) - east of the tracks a few steps the former NorthWestern RR platform
The Belmont Location 
 US Post Office Department seal 1792-1971
image - Wikipedia
for transport deliveries times 

 Post Office Areas in 1963
The Lake View Station
on Irving
1343 W Irving Park Road
2013 photo - Jason P via Foursquare
photo - Marco via Foursquare
This mural is a product of the Federal Art Project via Works Progress Administration that was established in 1935 during the Great Depression of 1929. View my post on Lake View's Art Forms for more information on the mural.
The Lake View Station
 on Lincoln
The Newspapers 
of Lake View:
image below - The Chicagoan

Local community newspaper industry 
had its beginnings in our neighborhood: 
 page 2
images - Lake View Saga
a 1964 edition
photos -  Pat Kollman Thompson via 
LakeView Historical-Facebook
 a 1930's-ish business card
Testimony about the Lincoln-Belmont-Booster
Below this biz card are comments snipped from my Facebook presence called LakeView Historical about folks experiences with the now defunct local paper

Before the Booster Papers
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'. Lake View was considered 'suburban' prior to the annexation of 1889
Lake View Matters in 1871
insert from Chicago Tribune - a sample
from the Chicago Public Library Newspaper section
 photos below - Ebay
An Account about the 
Lake View Telephone Newspaper
'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

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' and 'The Telephone' were weekly publications (according this link their was a publication in 1887 called the 'Lake Viewer Tribune'
Investivated Reporting by the Lake View Independent
about the Mayor of Lake View in 1887
Apparently, the Lake View Independent and its staff was owned by the township/city of Lake View, hence a government paper - page 10
The Online News Organizations 
that follow Lake View: 
(ended service in 2015)
(once an aggregate source for news)
Chicago Phoenix
Opus Chicago - Lake View
Chicago Tribune - Lake View articles
RedEye - Lake View
RedEye - Wrigleyville
RedEye - Boystown
Curbed Chicago
 that includes
News about real estate developments, street cleaning and parking issues per city ward organizations
News organization to follow on or offline:
Inside-Booster by Inside Publications
 the newsboys of Lincoln Belmont Booster, one of several 
photo late 1940's? 
A Story Published in 1964
contributed by Janice Poglitsch via 
'Reminders of growing up in Chicagland'-Facebook
A Snippet of What Was
By Jess Middleton
contributor to LakeView Historical-Facebook
Jess Middleton worked as a newspaper boy during the 1950's and shared his experience with the group
"Each neighborhood booster would of course have stories from that neighborhood. So, Lincoln/Belmont for me this is where a lot of stories were from because that was the headquarters for shopping in my neighborhood. In Lake View it was the Lerner Booster, in all neighborhoods it was the booster but with a different name, example, 'Ravenswood Booster'. Everybody called Lincoln/Belmont the "Avenue". If someone said they were going to the Avenue, you knew where they were going. Those were the days of Goldblatt's and Weibolts and lots and lots of mom and pop shops. We both decorated their windows at Christmas time right on the corner of Lincoln and School Street. There was a huge Christmas parade that came straight down Lincoln southbound. The windows were beautiful, moving figures and everything. I can still remember Santa Claus on his huge sleigh coming down Lincoln Avenue throwing candy out for all the kids."

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