Friday, April 19, 2013

Congratulations To Our Andersonville Honors Award Winners!

It was a wonderful evening last night at the Swedish American Museum for our 2nd Annual Andersonville Honors Gala!  Wonderful food, delicious wine and (local!) beer, terrific music and just all around Andersonville good vibes.  Below are the winners in each category, congratulations to them and to each of our nominated businesses.  Andersonville is lucky to have you all!

The crowd warms up for the awards ceremony with some beer from Andersonville's own Metropolitan Brewery.

40th Ward Alderman Patrick O'Connor presents the Kurt Mathiasson Award to Dennis Stanton.  Dennis was accepting the award on behalf of his mother Marlies Stanton, the owner of the Swedish Bakery since 1979.  She will be honored again on Saturday, June 8 during the Midsommarfest opening ceremony.

Alma Gutierrez of Cassona accepts the Eco-Andersonville Award from 48th Ward Alderman  Harry Osterman.

Cheetah Gym owner Reza Toulabi and manager Angie Frank accept the Service Organization of the Year Award from 40th Ward Alderman Patrick O'Connor.

48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman presents First Slice Pie Cafe with the Welcome Addition Award for the best new business to open in Andersonville in 2012.

Hamburger Mary's owners Brandon & Ashley Wright were genuinely surprised and humbled to win the Good Neighbor Award!

In addition to winning the Retailer of the Year Award, In Fine Spirits also won the Audience Favorite Award at last nights event and the $250 cash prize from Bridgeview Bank!

And last but certainly not least, we were so thrilled to give the Swedish American Museum, our host for the evening , the award for Arts Organization of the Year.  As Executive Director Karin Abercrombie said last night, the Museum is proud to "keep a little bit of Swedish" in Andersonville.

The Restaurant/Bar of the Year Award went to Lady Gregory's, who was unable to attend last night's event.

Congratulation again to all of our winners and nominees, and thank you for helping to make Andersonville such a wonderful place.

And thank you to Timmy Samuel of Starbelly Studios Photography for the amazing event photos from last night.  Seriously, if you need a photographer, hire him!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Andersonville Loves Trumbull Day: April 4, 2013

Trumbull School: part of Andersonville's National Historic District!

On Thursday, April 4, 2013, from 3PM – 5:30PM, Andersonville businesses will partner with parents and teachers in “Andersonville Loves Trumbull” Day, an initiative to demonstrate the importance of Trumbull Elementary School to the neighborhood. Trumbull is one of the fifty-three schools slated to be closed by Chicago Public Schools at the end of August.

During “Andersonville Loves Trumbull” Day, Trumbull parents, teachers, and friends will patronize local Andersonville businesses en masse to show mutual support for the community and demonstrate the economic impact that the school has on the neighborhood. Along with business owners, they will distribute materials explaining why Trumbull should remain open and how Andersonville constituents can advocate for it.

As the neighborhood chamber of commerce and development corporation, we believe that walk-able, quality schools are an essential element of strong communities. For our commercial district, Trumbull has been an important economic driver for over 100 years, serving our residents and employees and providing customers for our businesses. The building itself is one of the most significant structures in our Andersonville National Historic District

Recently, new leadership in the school’s parent-based Local School Council (LSC) has put Trumbull on a strong swing upwards. With a new principal, and thousands of dollars of improvements already invested, Trumbull is well on its way up. 

Trumbull Local School Council member Ali Burke tells us that by CPS' own standards, Trumbull should not be on the list for closure. CPS committed to not close schools that had 80% or greater occupancy. Trumbull’s highly-regarded special education program necessitates that the school have smaller class sizes. When determining Trumbull’s occupancy percentage, CPS deemed it to have lower than 80% occupancy, which is incorrect if the special education standards are applied. The Trumbull LSC fact sheet has more details. 

Below are other reasons why we think Trumbull is important. If you think so too, you can contact your local alderman and  CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett (, 773.553.1500) to tell them to keep Trumbull open.

You can also download a window sign and an information sheet about Trumbull's impact on our local businesses.

Why Trumbull School is important for the Andersonville commercial district: 
Customers. Teachers and parents who work in and visit Andersonville make up a substantial consumer base for area retailers and restaurants. Trumbull serves a population with diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds who in turn are customers and employees of Andersonville businesses and help create a stable residential district.

Strong schools, strong neighborhood. Walk-able, quality schools are an essential element of strong communities. With the turnaround of Peirce School on Bryn Mawr, we have seen the substantial positive impacts of an excellent public school on local property values and community well-being. Trumbull is right in the middle of such a turnaround, with a new, parent-based, highly engaged local school council, a new principal, and thousands of dollars of improvements already invested. Trumbull is well on its way up.

Community cornerstone. The school building could prove a blight if left vacant, as many previously shuttered CPS school buildings currently remain. Such a closure may attract loitering and unwelcome activity and may decrease area property values. Already, the long-vacant Edgewater Medical Center has weighed on the community.

Historic significance. The Trumbull School building is one of the most historically significant structures in our Andersonville Historic District, designed by famed architect Dwight Perkins. It is gorgeous inside and out. It should be maintained, and maintained as a school.