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Elmhurst Centre for the Performing Arts’ Spotlight Gala

by Thomas Makinney

There’s still time to get tickets for one of the most exciting events in town! Elmhurst Centre for the Performing Arts will host its third annual Spotlight Gala on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Elmhurst Art Museum.

The nonprofit group is working to raise funds for a downtown state-of-the-art performing arts center, which would comprise a 50,000 square foot facility with two theaters of different sizes, a vibrant lobby, and rooftop green space that would be available for smaller groups. During the gala, the group plans to announce the latest updates in its search for a permanent location.

Approximately 30 local performing arts groups in and around Elmhurst have expressed interest in using the center.

The evening will include performances by Evolution Dance and Extensions Lyrical Dance performers as well as musicians from York High School.  Attendees can dance to music by the talented Elmhurst resident Brian Patti's seven-piece orchestra.

There will also be plenty of food, live and silent auctions, and wine and beer pull. Tim Soszko from Elmhurst Children's Theatre will serve as the evening’s emcee.

The Elmhurst Centre for the Performing Arts (ECPA) was established as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization in 2016. Once the group has landed on a location, they will begin a capital fundraising campaign. Earlier this year, a study conducted by a Chicago-based consulting group confirmed that the city and surrounding area could support a performing arts center.

Tickets to the gala are $150. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.ecpa-elmhurst.org.

Here at Gracik Makinney Group, we’re thrilled to watch the vision of ECPA come to life. The city has a well-known, vibrant arts scene, and there is no doubt a center would be a jewel in the crown. To find out more about living here, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

Image rendition courtesy of Elmhurst Centre for the Performing Arts.

 

 

Elmhurst Trolley Returns for Free Rides All Summer

by Thomas Makinney


 
If you’re looking for a fun way to explore Elmhurst this summer without worrying about parking or hoofing it in the heat, the Elmhurst Trolley is back in action to help you out!
 
This is the fourth season for the trolley, which makes a 30-minute loop and runs on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to midnight.
 
Hop on and off to visit the museums, grab a bite to eat, take in a movie, or do some shopping. The trolley is free and you don’t even need a ticket.
 
There are six stops throughout town, connecting downtown Elmhurst with the Spring Road business district and the York and Vallette business district. Each stop is marked by an Explore Elmhurst sign and has nearby parking. The trolley is equipped with a GPS so riders can visit ExploreElmhurst.com and track the location.
 
As if that weren’t enough, the sounds of the Elmhurst College Jazz Band are piped in, and a historical narrative points out highlights of the city.
 
The trolley is in operation from June 1–September 15. It is handicapped accessible and ADA compliant. Collapsible strollers are welcome if they fit in the seating area, however onboard storage is unavailable and as such, no bikes are allowed.
 
The trolley stops at the following intersections:
Stop 1—York and Park
Stop 2—York and Schiller
Stop 3—Second and Addison
Stop 4—Cottage Hill and Virginia
Stop 5—Spring Road and the Illinois Prairie Path
Stop 6—York and Vallette
 
For more information on the trolley and other summer events, visit ExploreElmhurst.com.
 
For more information about life in Elmhurst and the many benefits we offer, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.
 

30 York musicians and singers perform in ILMEA All-District band

by Thomas Makinney

Congratulations to the 30 York High School students who were selected to perform in the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) All-District band, chorus, orchestra, and jazz band! More than 3,000 students auditioned from over 75 schools throughout northeastern Illinois.

The Senior Festival was held Nov. 18 at Elmhurst College. There was also a Junior/Senior Jazz Festival on Nov. 11 at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing.

The following York students were selected for the IMEA All-District I:

Nick Agliata, bassoon; Katharine Bartosz, soprano; Michael Bindeman, bass; Olivia Braun, trombone; Madds Buckley, alto; Grace Clarke, alto sax; Matt Dardick, alto sax; Emily Dow, cello; Kristen Drost, soprano; Audrey Fatheree, French horn; Danielle Fite, alto; Lauren Hund, flute; Rylan Johnsen, viola; Carina Kanzler, soprano; Helen Koczur, soprano; Erin Lee, soprano; Wilke Macariola, tenor; Bailey Maguire, alto; Lauren Makinney, double bass; Abigail Marianetti, cello; David Menichini, trumpet; Jackie Meyer, alto; Chuck Miller, tenor sax, concert band and jazz ensemble; Siena Olson, French horn; Nicole Polizzi, soprano; Sebastian Rohn, tenor; Erin Stone, alto; Cece Stumpf, trumpet; Tessa Vermeulen, flute; and Nick Villarreal, clarinet.

Other Elmhurst students who performed on Nov. 18 were Timothy Christian students Dana McAdam, soprano 2; and Jack Vandermolen, clarinet.

Gracik-Makinney would like to congratulate all the young musicians! We’re proud of the strong music programs that are supported by all of the Elmhurst schools. A vibrant arts community is one of the best parts of our town. To learn more, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.

 

Elmhurst featured in Chicago magazine as one of best suburbs

by Thomas Makinney

 

Chicago magazine is once again turning the spotlight on Elmhurst.

This month’s edition profiles Elmhurst and all that the city offers. Calling Elmhurst “the most interesting suburb,” the article gives accolades to the variety of shops, restaurants, and destinations.

Elmhurst College is noted for not only its age (145 years and counting) but also for its strong academic programs, variety of public talks and concerts, and the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. once hosted a talk there.

The piece highlights our museums—Elmhurst Art Museum, Lizzardro Museum of Lapidary Art, and the Elmhurst History Museum.

Elmhurst is particularly lucky (and proud) to be the home to one of two famed architect’s designs: Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. McCormick House, designed by van der Rohe, is currently undergoing a renovation to bring it back to more of its original design. It is part of the Elmhurst Art Museum.

There is also our beautiful Wilder Park, the Elmhurst version of Central Park, surrounded by museums and home to a playground, youth sports fields, and beautiful trees and flowers.

Popular shops highlighted in the article include Bob James Magic Shop, Main Street Candy and Toys, and RedE boutique. And restaurants, from iconic Hamburger Heaven to the upscale One Fifty One and newbie Red Arrow Tap Room, get a nod as well.

And let’s not forget that Elmhurst also knows how to throw a party. As the article notes, our St. Patrick’s Day parade is one of the best and most popular in all of the area. If you can’t wait that long, the Elmhurst Craft Beer Festival will be held Sept 16 on the grounds of the Elmhurst History Museum. And Sept. 30 is the Homecoming game at Elmhurst College against Augustana College.

All of us at the Gracik Makinney Group know what a special town Elmhurst really is, for all the reasons listed in the article and so many more (great schools, amazing parks, public transportation). There’s really something for everyone. To find out more, give us a call at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.

McCormick house to be restored to original exterior

by Thomas Makinney


Elmhurst’s famous Mies van der Rohe McCormick house is about to get a facelift, or should we say an un-facelift.

Van der Rohe, the pioneering modernist architect built the McCormick house between 1951 and 1952. It is one of only three homes he designed; two of which are in the Chicago area.

In 1997, the home was attached to the Elmhurst Art Museum via a long, narrow walkway. Although the corridor was designed in Mies’ style, it hid the main façade of the house.

For years, the McCormick house was used for administrative space before eventually being opened to the public, but even then, it was unclear to visitors that they were in the famed home.

The museum now plans to tear down the hallway, restore a carport, and recreate the original landscaping.  This will allow the home to be better recognized for the architectural gem that it is.

Van der Rohe fans will be able to visit both the McCormick house and the Farnsworth House, located in Plano, on the same day.

Work begins this fall and should be completed by the end of the year. Heritage Architecture Studio and Bergland Construction, which also restored the Farnsworth House, will be doing the work.

With the interior of the home already restored, this exterior restoration will bring the house back to its original glory. Museum visitors will need to step outside for a few seconds to get to the house, which is a trade-off museum officials feel will be worth it in order to get a better appreciation of van der Rohe’s artistry.

The museum has commissioned Barry Bergdoll, architecture and design curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to organize an exhibit, “Mies in Chicago,” which will open at the museum next year. The museum will then be used as exhibition space.

The McCormick House and the Elmhurst Art Museum are cultural gems that we are lucky to have in our town. If you would like to live somewhere that celebrates and integrates cultural treasures, give us a call at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com

Former resident writes book about Elmhurst in the 1960s

by Thomas Makinney


If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to grow up in Elmhurst in the 1950s and 60s, pick up a copy of My Father, in Snow by former Elmhurst resident E. Sheila Johnson.

Johnson’s memoir reflects on her childhood as one of nine siblings in a boisterous family led by a strong and compassionate father. The book forms a loving portrait of her father and her big family, and shows how echoes of his character reside within each child today. The title refers to the warmth inside their home contrasted with the often-cold environment outside.

Johnson spoke and read excerpts at the Elmhurst Public Library on June 11 as part of a co-presentation with the Elmhurst History Museum and in conjunction with the library’s June storytelling theme.

Johnson left Elmhurst and moved to the East Coast when she was 14. She is a graduate of Cedar Crest College, Villanova University, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her first published work was a poem she wrote in Elmhurst in seventh grade about wet leaves in rain.

Much as changed in Elmhurst since Johnson lived here, but the spirit of the town and the people have remained the same. If you want to find out more about what makes Elmhurst a good hometown, give us a call at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst College makes Forbes’ national ranking

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst College has racked up another distinction. Forbes magazine recently placed the college ninth among the top 10 schools in Illinois in its annual ranking of the country’s best values in education.

Elmhurst also placed in the top 13 percent of colleges and universities nationwide in the rankings titled “America’s Best Value Colleges 2017: 300 Schools Worth the Investment.”

The list examines which colleges give students the most return for their money and which ones deliver a significant return on investment. Out of 2,360 colleges and universities in the U.S., only 300 were ranked as a “Best Value College.”

To determine the rankings, Forbes examined data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and PayScale, a worldwide salary database. Rankings were based primarily on school quality, alumni mid-career earnings, student debt, and on-time graduation rates, as well as dropout risk rates and enrollment figures for Pell Grant recipients.

Elmhurst was one of only 11 colleges and universities from Illinois to make the list. Others included the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago (both Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses), Loyola University, Illinois Wesleyan University, DePaul University, Bradley University, Wheaton College, and Illinois State University.

For Elmhurst residents, the college offers rich and assorted opportunities, including a variety of concerts, lectures by world-renowned speakers, and a beautiful campus arboretum. To learn more about how this college campus enriches our city, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst College to honor Terri Hemmert and Doc Severinsen

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst College will tip its hat to the music industry at its May 27 commencement ceremony. The Board of Trustees will confer honorary doctoral degrees on alumna and popular radio host Terri Hemmert and Doc Severinsen, a Grammy-award winning trumpet player and former bandleader of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Hemmert is well known to many in the Chicago area, having been a disc jockey at WXRT-FM for more than 40 years. She was Chicago’s first female morning personality and has been in the midday position since 1992. She was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2010 and has worked on music education programs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has remained close to her Elmhurst College roots, serving on the advisory board of WRSE-FM, the college’s radio station where she worked while a student.

Severinson led the NBC Orchestra for 30 years during Johnny Carson’s tenure on The Tonight Show. Since the show ended in 1992, he has been touring with both a quintet and with his own big band. He has recorded more than 30 albums, ranging from classical to big band. He has appeared with the Elmhurst College Jazz Band three times in the last three years, most recently last October when the Jazz Band backed him on an Ohio tour. He’ll be back in June to perform at the college’s June Jazz festival.

Elmhurst College is a gem located in the heart of our town, offering concerts and performances throughout the year. The popular Jazz Festival recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.  If you’re interested in learning more about Elmhurst and all of its many benefits, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website www.gmregroup.com

2017 Summer Festivals and Happenings

by Thomas Makinney

Mark your calendars! As the weather warms up, the western suburbs are gearing up for a season of festivals, housewalks, music fests, art shows, craft fairs, and wine festivals.

You won’t even need to battle traffic on the Eisenhower or coordinate a Metra schedule to take advantage of all that’s going on in the towns surrounding Elmhurst. We’ve highlighted the ones that are happening right in town.

May

May 6-7—Art in the Park

Wilder Park, Elmhurst

 

May 12—Kitchen Walk

Hinsdale

 

May 20-21—Riverside Arts Weekend

Guthrie Park, Riverside

 

May 20—Wright Plus 150 Architectural Housewalk

Oak Park

 

May 21—Museum Day

Elmhurst

 

May 25-August 31—Thursday Night Out

Downtown Oak Park

 

May 29—Memorial Day Parade

Elmhurst

 

May 29—Walking Tours of Historic Riverside

Riverside

 

May 29—Memorial Day Parade

Naperville

 

JUNE

June 3—Uncork Illinois Wine Festival

Downtown Oak Park

 

June 4—Downtown Wine Walk

Naperville

 

June 4—A Day in Our Village

Scoville Park, Oak Park

 

June 9—Gathering on the Green

Western Springs

 

June 10-11—Hinsdale Fine Arts Fest

Burlington Park, Hinsdale

 

June 11—Oak Park Great Food Truck Rally

Pilgrim Congregational Church, Oak Park

 

June 16-August 12—Brookfield Zoo’s Summer Nights

Brookfield Zoo, Fridays and Saturdays

 

June 16—Movies in the Park (also July 14, August 11)

Wilder Park, Elmhurst

 

June 30-July 3—American Music Festival

FitzGerald’s Nightclub, Berwyn

 

JULY

July 4—4 on the 4th Race

Elmhurst

 

July 4—Celebrate America: Parade and Craft & Art Show

Downtown Hinsdale

 

July 6-8—Summer Sidewalk Sales

Downtown Naperville

 

July 9—Garden Walk & Faire

Elmhurst

 

July 13—Concert in the Park: Elmhurst Summer Community Band (also July 20)

Wilder Park, Elmhurst

 

July 14-15—Hinsdale Sidewalk Sale

Downtown Hinsdale

 

July 15-16—La Grange Craft Fair

Downtown La Grange

 

July 21—Elmhurst Cycling Classic

Elmhurst

 

July 21-23—Forest Park Music Fest

Madison Street, Forest Park

 

AUGUST

August 5—Kite Fest

Berens Park, Elmhurst

 

August 19—Oak Park Micro Brew Review

Downtown Oak Park

 

August 19—Park Palooza

Berens Park, Elmhurst

 

August 25-26—ZooBrew

Brookfield Zoo

 

August 26-27—Oak Park Art Festival

Skoville Park, Oak Park

 

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 1-4—Last Fling & Labor Day Parade

Downtown Naperville

 

Sept. 9—Ribfest

Forest Park

 

Sept. 15-16—Oaktoberfest

Downtown Oak Park


Elmhurst History Museum looks at homes in America, and in Elmhurst

by Thomas Makinney


As realtors, we spend most of our time focused on homes and helping people find their perfect home. That’s why we are loving the Elmhurst History Museum’s new exhibit, “House and Home.”

The exhibit looks at how people have defined home at different times and in different regions. It examines building materials, interior finishes, and the finishing touches that people use, both decoratively and purposefully, to make their house a home.

There’s a wonderful sense of nostalgia woven in the exhibit, and most people will likely feel a sense of connection or nostalgia to at least one of the commonplace items on display, such as a toy, toaster, gardening tool, or household manual.

Rather than looking at housing trends chronologically, the exhibit zooms in on overall themes, tying together trends and innovations in building materials, furnishings, and décor.

The exhibit is on loan from the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., but it also delves into housing and homes in Elmhurst. The museum has planned a number of tie-in events for children and adults, including a bus tour of Elmhurst neighborhoods on April 30.

The exhibit runs through May 25. The Elmhurst History Museum is located at 120 E. Park Ave. in downtown Elmhurst and is open Sunday, Tuesday-Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

If you want to discuss current homes and housing in Elmhurst, give us a call at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 64

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