Piano may be displayed in front of Esdohr House
by BRIAN NADIG
The porch of the 130-year-old Esdohr House at the Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N. Long Ave., may be home to a piano this summer that would entertain park visitors.
It was reported at the April 1 meeting of the Jefferson Memorial Park Advisory Council that the piano, which has 12 broken keys, is beyond repair and that as a last hurrah the community would be able to play it before it is discarded. A standard piano has 88 keys.
Park supervisor Andrea Woppel said that the idea of putting the piano outside stems from the popularity of a piano that the Six Corners Association had placed on the public way in the 4000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in the past.
Woppel reported that the Chicago Park District is expected to condemn the piano and eventually have it removed from the park, so that any additional damage that it could sustain by being outside would not matter. She added that the overhang of the porch would help protect the piano from some weather elements.
The Esdohr House was relocated around 1930 from Higgins Avenue to its current location at 4820 N. Long Ave., to accommodate the park’s creation. The building has been primarily used for storage in recent years, but was once home to the park’s craft shop and was transformed into Santa’s village in December.
It also was reported that the condition of another piano in the park’s fieldhouse is far from ideal and that efforts are being made to have a piano which is in better shape donated to the park.
Also at the meeting, council president Lionel Rabb said that the installation of air conditioning in the auditorium and a new walking path are among the infrastructure improvements that have been suggested for the park.
Rabb said that commuters cut through the park as a shortcut to the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave., creating a makeshift pathway that becomes muddy after it rains. The use of gravel or a permeable material as part of a designated route would help with drainage, he said.
Concerns about standing water at the nearby Roberts Square Park, 5230 W. Argyle St., also were raised at the meeting.