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The Newsletter of Lincoln Central Association
Winner of Five Consecutive APEX Awards for Publication Excellence
January 27th 2021

Dear Neighbors:
This past November, I notified LCA's Board that I would be unable to serve another term as the organization's President and would, instead, ask our 2021 Nominating Committee to recommend a new President. Accordingly, while I will continue to serve on LCA's Board for one more year, my tenure as the organization's President will conclude tonight at our 2021 annual meeting and election.

Both Kenneth and I will forever be grateful to the organization's Board of Directors for their wisdom and guidance during our respective terms as President as well as to the loyal members who have proven so supportive of our efforts along the way. Our enormous pride in what LCA has accomplished in recent years—through the efforts of many and building on what came before—is surpassed only by our optimism that the organization's best days are yet to come.

One thing is certain; LCA will be in good hands going forward. This year's LCA Nominating Committee, chaired by Kathy Jordan, identified three outstanding new Directors to replace the three departing ones and also recommend a slate of officers for election in 2021. While the election of officers rests with the full Board, the Board will no doubt rely most heavily on the Nominating Committee's wise recommendations which are included later in the newsletter.

While LCA's new leadership will build upon the foundation that today exists, they will also bring new energy, different skills and fresh approaches as they continue LCA's journey forward. They will have Kenneth's and my full support as we watch their progress going forward. They deserve yours as well.

From the Heart,
Held Via Zoom | Please Register Here

You are cordially invited to join Lincoln Central Association at our 2021 Annual Meeting & Election this evening Wednesday, January 27th at 6:30 PM. Our special guests for this year's meeting will once again include Congressman Mike Quigley and 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith who will update attendees on matters impacting our community.

Each year at the Annual Meeting, an election is held to fill seats on the organization's Board of Directors which are open due to term expiration, or otherwise. This year LCA will be electing new Directors to replace outgoing Directors Anne Moore, Joel Merkin and Jerry Swarzman. The procedures for the election of Board members are outlined in the organization's bylaws excerpted here.

Due to the corona virus pandemic, this year's Annual Meeting and Election will be held via Zoom.

OR Dial In At
Phone #: +1312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 811 9217 5859
Passcode: 722479

Information on Board nominees and officer recommendations can be found in sections below.
LCA, Oz Park Advisory Council Sponsor Lights in Oz Park
Lincoln Central Association and the Oz Park Advisory Council were once again pleased to sponsor the holiday tree in Oz Park, a popular neighborhood tradition initiated by the two organizations in 2017 as a gift of holiday cheer for our community.

While no lighting ceremony was held this year due to the pandemic, we hope the tree brightened your holiday season. We looking forward to resuming the three lighting ceremony in December 2021.
Oz Park Holiday Tree
LCA Joins With Alderman's Office For Ward Walk
LCA Director Erik Heitman and long-time member Bob Fogel plan their route
On Saturday, November 7th, LCA, in coordination with 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith's office, hosted a Ward Walk through streets in Lincoln Central boundaries to identify signs, trees, streets, alleys and sidewalks in need of repair and to check for graffiti or sanitation code violations. Participants also made note of other public safety concerns.

Concerns identified by participants during the walk were reported via the City's 311 app and are currently being addressed by the appropriate City agencies.
A special thanks to Nada Riley, Chair of LCA's Community Affairs Committee, for organizing the ward walk in coordination with the Alderman's office.
Preliminary Landmark Approval for Willow & Halsted Gateway Landmarking
Modern day Lincoln Park, for all its historic buildings, is the product of urban renewal. LCA, like other neighborhood organizations in the area, has a long history of advocacy for landmarking and preserving historic structures. In years past we have worked with others to save a Gothic structure on Burling Street. Additionally, we worked with Alderman Smith to passively preserve a Lincoln Avenue “painted lady.”
The Black Duck Building, formerly Schulien's Tavern, at 1800 N. Halsted.
Since 2013, LCA has worked with RANCH Triangle Association and the Alderman's office on a preservation effort at the gateway corner of Willow and Halsted Streets. The Halsted-Willow Gateway was listed on Landmarks Illinois’ 2014 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois due to development threats. With a $2,000 grant from Landmark Illinois to match funds contributed by LCA, RANCH and the Alderman, a consultant was hired in 2018 to complete the City of Chicago Landmark designation for this corner. Read the landmark study here.

Lincoln Central representatives were key advocates at a December 3rd meeting seeking preliminary approval from the City’s Commission on Landmarks to landmark four buildings at the corner of Willow and Halsted. The intersection, graced by historic buildings, is considered a gateway from the more business area south of the intersection into the neighborhood. Preliminary approval was granted and the project will move to the next phase.
The Frank Niesen building now housing Vinci
1727-1729 and 1733 N. Halsted Street, current homes of Boka and Pizza Capri respectively.
The buildings currently house Vinci restaurant on the southwest corner, the Willow Room on the northwest corner, and the twin buildings on the southeast corner home to the Pizza Capri and Boka restaurants.

Preservation Chicago described each of the four structures as a finely crafted building, from the Frank Niesen Building (housing Vinci) constructed in 1889, to the twin buildings—Zuber Building and Gespitz’s Drug Store Building, both circa 1880 and Hammerstrom’s Hall/Schulien’s Building (housing the Willow Room) built as a combination storefront, apartment and social hall, and dating to 1883.

The 1800 N. Halsted building was noted for its many historic uses, including as the birthplace of "Chicago-style" magic, created at legendary restaurant Shulien's, which occupied the site from 1886 to 1956. LCA has had a special connection to magic in recent years and several of the magicians who perform regularly at LCA events wrote letters to the Commission noting its significance in the history of magic.
A special thank you to LCA member Deirdre Graziano for her tireless efforts to ensure the success of the meeting. Deirdre was instrumental in ensuring that a direct descendent of the Schulien family spoke on behalf of its preservation.

LCA and Deirdre are also active in the Armitage-Halsted Landmark District. Learn more the district here.
LCA Members Painting It Forward
by Kathy Jordan

Warning: This story will make you feel good.
After 10 years in his Clark Street gallery (2218 N. Clark), local artist and Lincoln Central Association member Josh Moulton had to temporarily close his doors in March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Although he couldn’t see customers in his gallery, Moulton continued to paint during that period focusing on local businesses.
LCA member Josh Moulton
Neighborhood favorite and LCA member, Geja's Cafe had also temporarily closed for in-restaurant dining due to the pandemic. To help support the staff of the restaurant during the layoff, Geja's owner Jeff Lawler and his wife Darla (pictured) established a “GoFundMe” page in April.

Lawler and Moulton had first met at an LCA event in 2016 where Moulton was showing paintings and Geja's was serving fondue to attendees. The two became friends and so it was natural for Moulton to offer do a painting of Geja’s as part of his local business series.
"Josh is a fan of Geja's and wanted to support us,” Lawler said. “He offered to do the painting with customers of Geja’s choosing what part of the restaurant they wanted to see painted. They chose near the doorway inside the restaurant,” added Lawler.

“I wasn’t in a position to donate money, so I donated the painting,” Moulton said. The painting (pictured) was completed in April and presented to the Lawlers.
Moulton's Geja's painting by Josh Moulton
Article continued...
Social Distancing Doesn't Mean Isolation
By Anne Moore
Anne Moore masking up like a good neighbor
A week or two into the lockdown I turned to my husband and said, “The hard part of this is the social piece. How do we safely get together with friends and neighbors?”

I was not alone with this dilemma. Soon enough we were having weekly outdoor, social-distance cocktails with dear friends in Old Town. It was still cold outside, so we dressed for the weather and bundled up in blankets. What a treat to converse in person.
As the year turned to summer, I noticed and participated in more and more inventive social-distance outdoor gatherings. A half-dozen homeowners who share the refurbished alley between Cleveland and Hudson gathered for byo cocktails. We caught up, met each others’ children and dogs, laughed. Our handsome alley became a safe play space for children all summer: kids chalked it, played a very narrow version of touch football, and learned to fence. (One of my neighbors is a former Olympian.) 
Cocktails in the alley
The chess tables in our neighborhood park became the site of a weekly tournament. And on the front porch of a charming two-flat on Eugenie Street, the Red Door Jazz Band could be heard playing nightly from 5 to 7.
Article continued...
Feature Articles both continued underneath Lincoln Yards Update
LCA's list of incumbent and newly nominated Directors and links to their bios can be found below.
Larry Sachs
Paul Shea
Tom Siracusa
Jill Thompson
Kelly Dotson
Sally Drucker
Eudice Fogel
David Free
Donna Gallery
Erik Heitman
Kathy Jordan
Lee Merovitz
Nancy Morris
(Bios of re-nominated Board members and those who will be completing 2020 — 2021 terms can be found here.)
Please join us in expressing our sincere appreciation to the following LCA Directors who will be departing from the Board with the election of new Directors this evening.

Joel Merkin (Relocating to suburbs)
Anne Moore (Term Limited)
Jerry Swarzman (Retiring)

Joel, Anne and Jerry have each made significant contributions to our neighborhood and are deserving of our gratitude.
Pursuant to LCA's bylaws, the officers each year are selected by a vote of the Board of Directors for that year. This year, LCA's Nominating Committee, chaired by Kathy Jordan, has recommended the election of the following officers for 2021:

President — Sally Drucker
Vice President — Erik Heitman
Treasurer — David Free
Secretary — Nancy Morris
2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins and Sheffield Neighborhood Association (SNA) held a virtual public meeting regarding Lincoln Yards on Thursday evening, January 7th, taking questions from neighborhood residents about the status of the controversial development along the North Branch of the Chicago River.

Read more about the January 7th meeting which was moderated by Brian Comer, President of SNA.
Lincoln Yards
Friday, January 29th | 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM | 1684 N. Throop Street
Lincoln Yards developer Sterling Bay, in association with Meridian Health, the Christian Health Family Center, the Illinois Department of Public Health Free and 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins, will be hosting a drive-through/walk-up Covid-19 testing center on the Lincoln Yards property site this Friday from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM.

The testing center will also offer free HIV testing and free facemark and PPE giveaways.

Email for additional details.

For additional Covid-19 resources, see Alderman Smith's most recent newsletter
For additional Covid-19 resources, see Alderman Smith's most recent newsletter.
To help support Geja’s employees, the Lawlers decided to offer raffle tickets through their “GoFundMe” page—with the winner receiving the painting. Raffle tickets were priced at $55 each, an homage to the 55th anniversary of Geja's.

The restaurant's month-long anniversary celebration was held in August (normally held in June, but the pandemic stepped in) and featured a sauce contest and a cheese fondue contest.

“On the final day of the celebration, Josh came and pulled the winning ticket.” said Lawler. Fittingly, the ticket belonged to the wife of the former owner of Geja's, John Davis.
Josh Moulton & Jeff Lawler
According to Lawler. the raffle raised approximately $5,000 bring the total funds raised through the “GoFundMe” page to $20,000—all of it going to the staff. “We were able to bring some staff back to work,” Lawler says, “but we were unable to support all of the staff, some of whom have been with us for 30 years.” Hopefully, that will begin to change as indoor dining resumes."

As for Moulton, he has continued painting local businesses, including Twin Anchors, River Shannon, and RJ Grunts. A link to photos of restaurants and bars he has done is available here.

“I felt good about the raffle,” Moulton said, adding “When you do nice things, it comes back to you.” 
“I have been amazed at the resilience and creativity of Chicagoans who have found new ways to connect from a safe social distance,” says 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins. “I’ve heard numerous stories of residents who’ve made new friends or met their neighbors for the first time because of socially-distant outdoor activities like drive-in movies, outdoor art classes, yoga in the park, and street cafes.”
Happy Hour at Home
Outdoor group exercise, for even the youngest children, popped up in our parks. Lincoln Common, partnered with retailer Play2Day to kickoff outdoor events for children in mid July and proved so popular they were extended through and expanded from one to three times weekly. Activities included musical performances, sing-a-longs, kiddie fitness and yoga.

For adults, Lincoln Common partnered with its Equinox retailer, hosting an outdoor bootcamp five times per week. Attendance is limited to 20, for safety reasons, and the class is available only to Lincoln Common residents and Equinox members.

"Residents and neighbors are very pleased with the outdoor programming, the on-going creative activities, and general vibe the plaza brings to the community” says Ali Schwartz, property marketing manager at Lincoln Common. “They appreciate the policy and procedures the property management team put in place to ensure the safety and health of all.”

“Our neighbors and their friends and family have come up with many safe and creative ways to enjoy our beautiful parks and neighborhood amenities,” says 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith. “I encourage people to continue to wear masks and social distance in order to ensure that we do not have another spike in cases. These past few months have demonstrated what happens when a community comes together.” (See Alderman Smith's most recent newsletter for additional information about Covid-19 testing and prevention.)
From the Heart is an award-winning newsletter published by Lincoln Central Association. We welcome your feedback and story ideas.

LCA has received at least one APEX Award for Publication Excellence in each of the last five years and a total of eighteen since 2016. Additionally, From the Heart is the recipient of four consecutive Constant Contact All-Star.

Visit our archive to catch up on past issues. | Send us your feedback and your story ideas.
Winner of Five Consecutive APEX Awards for Publication Excellence
Winner of Four Consecutive Constant Contact All-Star Awards