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District 205 Starts Implementing Referendum Changes

by Thomas Makinney


District 205 is already making strides on its fall referendum mandates. The much-anticipated all-day kindergarten may begin much earlier than expected, at least for some schools. And new boundary lines have been finalized and approved for Edison School in a few years. 

The all-day kindergarten program is part of the district’s master facilities plan. The program was targeted to begin in the 2024-25 school year; however, district officials announced that Fischer Elementary could be ready to begin rolling out the program as soon as this fall. The school already hosts an all-day dual language program, an integrated Spanish-English curriculum that begins in kindergarten and continues through fifth grade.

Following Fischer, Emerson and Jefferson appear ready to begin rolling out the program for the 2020-2021 school year. Others may be ready by 2022.

Some kinks are still being worked out. Board members anticipate that students within the school boundaries would be given first priority, and the program would then open to others in the district if spots are still available.

In other forward-moving news, minor boundary adjustments have been finalized for Edison School. The adjustment won’t go into effect until June 2022, and they will boost Edison’s enrollment while easing some of the crowding at Jackson and Hawthorne.

No current families will be impacted, only families who move into a home after June 1, 2002, and fall within certain boundaries (i.e., the east side of York Avenue and north side of St. Charles Road and either side of Harrison Street, going north to the south side of Butterfield Road).

In other exciting District 205 news, York High School class of 2019 was the 100th graduating class! A great school keeps getting better.

Elmhurst District 205 consistently ranks among the best in the state, and we love that administrators are always looking forward and addressing changing needs. To find out more about our schools or about life in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or reach out via our website, www.gmregroup.com.


The arts will officially have a permanent home in Elmhurst! The Elmhurst Center for the Performing Arts announced that the building at 109–119 W. First St. (between Addison and York) will be the location for its proposed 50,000 square foot performing arts center.

Not only will the performing arts center be located directly across from the Metra train station, the building will also be right in the middle of Elmhurst’s vibrant downtown scene—near restaurants, shopping, wine bars, and pubs.

Since 2016, the ECPA board has been searching for the perfect location that would provide easy access via public transportation and access to the central downtown area. The center will offer a permanent home for theater, music, dance, and comedy performances, both local and regional/traveling, as well as space for classes and meetings.

The board is now working on securing funding for the $30 million building. The hope is that funds can be raised through a capital campaign, grants, and naming rights, among other methods. Official plans cannot begin until those funds are secured, meaning the tenants currently occupying the location will not be impacted for three to five years.

The board is continuing to hold public meetings for residents to learn more about getting involved and what the center will bring to the community. So far, support and enthusiasm from residents continue to pour in.

For more information and to see a virtual rendering of the Elmhurst Center for the Performing Arts, visit www.ecpa-elmhurst.org.

Here at Gracik Makinney, we’re thrilled at the progress being made. Our city has long been a proponent of the arts, with four museums, a college, and a world-class library. To find out more about what living the Elmhurst life looks like, visit our website, www.gmregroup.com or call us at (630) 441-5570.

Photo courtesy of Elmhurst Center for the Performing Arts

Elmhurst Open House List for March 9-10

by Thomas Makinney


817 N Willow Rd, Elmhurst—Sunday, 1:00-3:00 

106 N Myrtle Ave, ElmhurstSunday, 1:00-3:00 


585 S Bryan St, Elmhurst—Sunday, 11:00-1:00 

150 E Grand Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-4:00 PM

$169,800

743 N Willow Rd

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-4:00 PM

$324,500

558 S Hillcrest Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$360,000

651 W Gladys Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-4:00 PM

$420,000

203 N Berteau Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$429,900

284 E St Charles Rd

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$443,000

391 N Emroy Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

11:00 AM-1:00 PM

$449,990

833 S Cedar Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$459,500

220 N Oak St

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$475,000

465 S Parkside Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$480,000

462 S Washington St

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$489,900

326 S Hagans Ave

Elmhurst

03/09/2019

12:00-2:00 PM

$495,000

771 S Cedar Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$522,500

281 S Lawndale Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$600,000

618 W Belden Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$619,900

435 S Sunnyside Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

2:00-4:00 PM

$689,900

817 N Willow Rd

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$699,000

262 N Ridgeland Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-4:00 PM

$725,000

585 S Bryan St

Elmhurst

3/10/2019

11:00 AM-1:00 PM

$745,000

389 N Adele St

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-4:00 PM

$749,900

891 S Bryan St

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$764,000

106 N Myrtle Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$835,000

221 N Larch Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$915,000

695 S Fairview Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$929,900

569 W Fay Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

2:00-5:00 PM

$939,900

435 S Parkside Ave

Elmhurst

03/09/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$1,049,000

435 S Parkside Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$1,049,000

165 S Kenmore Ave

Elmhurst

03/10/2019

1:00-3:00 PM

$1,250,000

 

Elmhurst Art Museum Hosts Only U.S. Stop for Bauhaus Tour

by Thomas Makinney

The Elmhurst Art Museum has reason to toot its horn. Their current exhibition, The Whole World a Bauhaus, which opened last week after a transportation delay, is the only U.S. stop on its international tour.

2019 is the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement, an integrated approach to the art, crafts, and technology. Founded in Germany, it lasted only 14 years due to the Nazi occupation, but the effects are still being felt. The tenants of Bauhaus include the feeling that aesthetic design elements should be a part of everyday objects, from refrigerators to coffee tables.

The EAM has specific ties to the Bauhaus movement, as McCormick House architect Mies van der Rohe was the last director of the school before it closed, leaving its ideals spread across the world. The McCormick House, adjacent to the movement, is one of only three van der Rohe-designed homes in the U.S.

The exhibit explores the influence of Bauhaus through photographs, design pieces, and documents and encourages people to rethink and reimagine the objects around them. There will be events throughout March and April exploring the influence of Bauhaus, such as tours of the McCormick House outlining the Bauhaus influence in the design, as well as lectures and workshops.

This year’s annual museum annual fundraiser is themed after the exhibition. “Soiree 2019: Bauhaus 100” will be held on Sat. April 27 at the museum. The event will include cocktails, a multi-course dinner, entertainment, and live and silent auctions, including Bauhaus artwork by new and established artists. During the evening, the museum will unveil “Parallel Perspectives,”,a light and color installation in the McCormick House.

The exhibit is open through April 20. More information about the exhibition and the soiree can be found at the museum’s website, www. Elmhurstartmuseum.org.

Having a world-class museum in our city is one of the many ways that Elmhurst is a unique and vibrant place to live. To find out more, call us at (630) 441-5570 or reach out through our website, www.gmregroup.com.

 

Chicago Ranks at Top of List of Best Cities in the World and the U.S.

by Thomas Makinney

Congratulations to our eastern neighbor Chicago, the city of big shoulders, which was recently recognized as the seventh best city in the world and the second best city in the U.S.!

Resonance Consultancy, a global advisor for tourism, real estate, and economic development, ranked cities across the world and the U.S. as a way to help cities understand their strengths and gaps. The U.S. survey looked at housing affordability, job opportunities, diversity, economic prosperity, art scene, culture, restaurants, and nightlife.

Chicago has an impressive amount of museums, national teams in every major sport, vibrant neighborhoods, two airports, and a variety of public transportation. It also boasts impressive higher education institutions, an enormous convention center, and world-renown architecture.

The city came in second (to New York) in U.S. cities for programming (shopping, nightlife, culinary, and culture). In global rankings, it finished sixth in the product category (infrastructure) and ranked #22 in the world for its food scene.

The top 10 U.S. cities are ranked as: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego, Houston, Miami, Seattle, and Boston.

The top cities in the world are listed as: London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Barcelona, Moscow, Chicago, Singapore, Dubai, and San Francisco.

 

Elmhurst’s proximity to Chicago (15 miles as the crow flies and a variety of highways and public transit options, including a direct Metra train line) makes it the perfect community for people attracted to the vibrant culture and job opportunities of the city but who also want a more suburban lifestyle with good schools, parks, and amenities.

 

Living in Elmhurst means easy access to the vibrant city scene of Chicago. We’re proud of both cities. To find out more about what makes living in our area so remarkable, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

Portillo’s Awarded Best Fast-Casual Restaurant in the U.S.

by Thomas Makinney

What started with a little hot dog stand in Villa Park is now recognized as THE best fast-casual dining spot in the U.S.

TripAdvisor.com just awarded their annual Travelers’ Choice awards for restaurants, and Portillo’s came out on top. The awards honored 75 eateries across the country in the categories of fine dining, everyday dining (great meals for any occasion), and fast casual (high-quality meals at great value served quickly).

Whether it’s the Italian beef, the chocolate shakes, or the classic hot dog (all-beef Vienna hot dog on a poppy seed bun, topped with mustard, relish, freshly chopped onions, sliced red tomatoes, kosher pickle slice, celery salt, and slightly spicy sport peppers, and NO ketchup), Portillo’s fans are devoted and legendary.

Started in 1963 by Dick Portillo, the first Portillo’s was a trailer parked in the parking lot of a Villa Park discount store. It now boasts 57 restaurants in seven states in the U.S. It offers catering and ships nationwide.

TripAdvisor ranked restaurants based on quantity and quality of reviews over a one-year timeframe.

Three other Chicago restaurants were recognized in the list. In the everyday dining category, The Purple Pig came in 15th place; while in fine dining, Alinea placed 19th and Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf rounded out that category in 25th place.

Portillos is followed on the top 10 fast-casual dining list by Earl of Sandwich, Shake Shack, Blaze Pizza, In-N-Out Burger, The Taco Stand, Five Guys, Super Duper Burgers, Tacos el Gordo, and Torchy’s Tacos.

You can see the full list here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Restaurants-cFastCasual

Here at Gracik Makinney, we’ll be celebrating with a classic hot dog, a side of crinkle fries, and a chocolate cake shake. To find out more about living in our area, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit www.gmregroup.com.

 

Recycle Those Holiday Lights at Elmhurst Locations!

by Thomas Makinney


The upcoming holiday weekend is not only a time to be grateful, for many it’s a time to start holiday decorating. Are you dreading pulling out the holiday lights only to find they’ve somehow turned themselves into an impenetrable ball? Or that you’ll plug them in only to find they gave up the light over summer?
 
Whatever the situation, if you find yourself with holiday lights that don’t work anymore, don’t throw them in the trash!

The City of Elmhurst and the Elmhurst Park District have partnered with SCARCE (School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education) for the annual holiday lights recycling program. There are five donation drop-off locations in Elmhurst and more than 55 in DuPage county (see lists below).
 
The program, which is seven years old, has so far recycled an amazing number of more than 50,000 pounds of holiday lights.
 
Items that are acceptable for drop-off include: Italian mini-lights, traditional lights, extension cords, rope lights, and LED lights in both working and non-working condition. Please note that they cannot accept lawn ornaments or other holiday decorations.
 
The light strands go through a shredding system and then get sorted by material (copper, glass, and plastic). It’s the copper that makes the holiday lights worth the recycling effort, but the plastic and brass prongs from the plugs get recycled too along with the metal from the strand.
 
By recycling your lights, you not only save landfill space, you save energy as well, especially if you replace them with energy-efficient LED light strands.
 
Elmhurst residents can drop off their holiday lights at the following locations. Look for the bins labeled “Holiday Lights.”
 
·     Elmhurst City Hall, 209 N. York Street: M-F: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
·     Courts Plus, 186 S. West Avenue: M-F, 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat/Sun 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
·     Park District Administrative Building, 375 W. First Street: M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
·     The Abbey, 407 W. St. Charles Road: M-Th, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; F, 8:30 a.m.-12 noon
·     Wager Community Center, 615 N. West Avenue: M-F, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Click here for a list of locations through DuPage County.
 
This program is one of the many ways that Elmhurst makes recycling easier than ever for residents. We’re proud to be a part of such a progressive and forward-thinking city. To find out more about life in our area, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.
 

Elmhurst Public Library Receives National Five Star Rating

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst residents know just how amazing and special our library is—with its vibrant atmosphere, depth of materials, stunning views, and friendly staff, it’s consistently ranked among the best in the area. But it has officially been once again recognized as one of the best in the entire country.
 
For the second year in a row, the Elmhurst Public Library received a five-star rating from Library Journal’s prestigious national review of public libraries. Out of 7,361 public libraries rated across the country, only 257 qualified as star libraries. In Illinois, 21 libraries were given star ratings, but Elmhurst is one of only three that received the top-tier five-star rating, joining Skokie Public Library and Oak Park Public Library.
 
In fact, Elmhurst Public Library had the honor of being ranked in the top ten libraries ten nationwide and was ranked first in Illinois in the $5-9.9M category.
 
The ratings system looked at five measures: overall circulation, circulation of electronic materials, library visits, program attendance, and public computer use. Circulation and visits were the two strongest indicators, but Library Journal also reports that the best libraries need to have welcoming facilities (yes!), a variety of well-attended community programs (yes!), and a wide range of collections (yes! yes!). Technology use and access were also factored in.
 
Libraries were compared to other libraries with similar funding, meaning that a star rating is given on an apples-to-apples comparison basis and small libraries are not at a disadvantage.
 
The five states with the most Star Libraries are New York (31), Ohio (23), Illinois (21), Massachusetts (13), and Kansas (12). 
 
The breadth of offerings of our library—from the coffee shop to the makerspace, the story time room to the teen room, the senior programming to the business center—makes the library one of the consistently most popular places in town. When you tie in the expansive view of windows overlooking Wilder Park, the fresh coffee and pastries, and the welcoming fireplace, the magic of our library is particularly evident.
 
Congratulations to one of Elmhurst’s crown jewels! To find out more about offerings at the library and other aspects of life in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst tree will be star of Chicago’s Christmas scene

by Thomas Makinney

Chicago’s official Christmas tree will actually be an Elmhurst tree. Longtime resident Deborah Orth’s 60-foot Norway Spruce will be aglow all season in Millennium Park.

The 48-year-old tree has graced the yard of the Orth’s home since it was built in 1949.  It weighs a whopping 8,200 pounds. Workers came last Thur., Nov. 1, to cut it down and bring it to Millennium Park.

It will be adorned with approximately 30,000 glowing lights, and the Orths will have the honor of flipping the switch at the official tree lighting ceremony on Fri., Nov. 16.

The city put out the call for a tree in mid-September, and the Orth’s tree was chosen by out of 79 submissions. 

To qualify trees must be at least 55 feet tall, be less than 100 miles from Chicago’s Loop, and be a Spruce or Fir (pine trees aren’t sturdy enough). Applicants must send in two photos and a brief description of why their tree deserves to be the city’s official tree.

The tree will get it’s chance to shine next week. Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16. The star of Chicago’s production of Hamilton, Miguel Cervantes, will be the host of the evening. In addition to the tree lighting and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus, there will also be performances by the cast of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and musicians from the Grant Park Music Festival.

Congratulations to the Orth family! We’re proud that a local tree will be enjoyed through Jan. 6 at Millennium Park. To find out more about the houses (and trees) in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit gmregroup.com.

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.

 

 

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