Three LANE Schools over a Clay Pit

 On January 18, 1930, Paul Gerhardt Sr. the Board of Education architect released plans for three schools to be built in the shadow of Riverview Amusement Park on a former clay pit on the southwest corner of Addison and Western in Chicago.

alb gAll three schools were to be named after Albert Grannis Lane, a renowned educator. There was to be the Lane Junior College, Lane Technical High School and the Lane Trade School. Due to the financial problems caused by the depression, only one building, the Albert G. Lane Technical High School was completed. In 2004 it was renamed to the Lane Technical College Preparatory High School.   

Please read on as we celebrate Albert, the early years of Lane Technical High School and the clay underneath
Continue reading “Three LANE Schools over a Clay Pit”

SHHHSH! This is a Library!


blanesclocktower fixedA Lane Tech graduate once commented that “she had good ears and she would catch you talking, even in a whisper!”

 Her name was Miss Dorothy Schumacher, and was the capable and well-known Lane Technical high school librarian who served students well for at least 30 years.

Read more of her story Continue reading “SHHHSH! This is a Library!”

Children’s Picnic – then Horror

The festive Kinderheim Picnic was held annually at Lake Street and Addison Road in Addison Illinois twenty-eight miles west of Chicago. It was a scene of thousands of happy children and families, music, hymns, games, and a baseball game.

There was also a tour of the German Evangelical-Lutheran Orphan Home Association of Northern Illinois which hosted the event.

huhgfIt was so popular that in 1890, five of Addison’s citizens formed the Addison Railroad Company and made an agreement with the Illinois Central Railroad to maintain the short two mile line connecting Addison to the Illinois Central Railroad that came out of Chicago. The very first train came to Addison for the Orphan Home Picnic on September 21, 1890. The picnic train doubled festival attendance from 5,000 to 10,000.

image008-11After a wonderful outing on that September day, the thousands of children and adults began boarding trains back to Chicago about 5PM. The picnic train was actually four trains, the fourth and last containing eight passenger coaches. About 7PM, that eastbound train was standing at the Kedzie avenue crossing and on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad tracks, only a few feet from the Douglas Park station, warned by semaphore of a danger ahead. About fifteen minutes later as the picnic train was about to proceed, disaster struck. A Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Downer’s Grove express train crashed into the rear car of that fourth section of the picnic train.

Festive had turned to disaster. Read on for the human toll.

Continue reading “Children’s Picnic – then Horror”

This church is a ghost

Many of us think of ghosts to be an apparition of someone who has died. Ghosts are generally described as solitary, human-like essences. The overwhelming consensus of science is that ghosts do not exist but I take no position that they exist or do not.

But what if a church is a ghost?bhgfhj

The German Lutherische Zions Church at 826 W. 19th was built in the Pilsen neighborhood on the lower west side of Chicago, Illinois. The 90-foot-tall bell tower, sturdy wooden doors, worn Chicago brick, and Gothic German script above the entrance celebrate the architecture.

But wait! Something is missing. The wooden doors and façade are still there but the rest of the church is gone and could well be described as a ghost.39783263252_557bee0023_b

Read on to find out what all is not there. Continue reading “This church is a ghost”