Dedication slated for Esdohr House
by BRIAN NADIG
The removal of lead paint on the exterior of the 130-year-old Esdohr House, 4820 N. Long Ave., is expected to be completed in time for a dedication ceremony and historical re-enactment which will be held on the site at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10.
The house, which is on the east side of Jefferson Park, has been closed to the public for about 15 years. It previously served a fieldhouse, a library and the park’s craft shop.
Jefferson Park Advisory Council president Lionel Rabb said that the building has not been available for park programs in recent years because of concerns about the lead paint, which is being scraped off and replaced with new paint. The council and the Northwest Chicago Historical Society have called for the building to be re-opened for public use.
The first owners of the house were Henry and Kate Esdohr. Henry Esdohr held several prominent positions in the community, including postmaster and school board treasurer.
The ceremony will include the dedication of a historical marker which the historical society is installing in front of the house, which originally was located on Higgins Avenue before being moved to Long. The marker features a plaque that includes a rendering of the house and of Henry Esdohr by local artist Cyd Smillie.
Also at the event, actress Betsey Means will portray Kate Esdohr and discuss the history of the neighborhood.
The dedication ceremony is the first of a series of events that the advisory council plans to hold over the summer, including several movies in the park and "Water War" events featuring a 25-foot-tall water slide. A "Welcome Back Summer" party with free food, a petting zoo, face painting, bouncy houses, pony rides and a performance by the Beatles tribute band American English will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 17.
The council also will sponsor a "Family Art Party: Paschke in the Park" event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 22. The tribute to the late Chicago artist will correspond with the June 22 opening of the Ed Paschke Art Center at 5415 W. Higgins Ave.
The council will discuss its summer series at its meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, in the park fieldhouse, 4822 N. Long Ave. For more information or to register for an event, call 773-234-7275 or visit www.jmpac.org.