Dancing lights to bring holiday cheer to 140-year-old Esdohr House at Jefferson Park starting Dec. 7
by BRIAN NADIG
The 140-year-old Esdohr House on the grounds of Jefferson Memorial Park at Long and Higgins avenues will be decorated with dancing lights for the holidays.
The lights will be synchronized to 20 holiday carols and songs, including Christmas-themed rock music, according to Jefferson Memorial Park Advisory Council chairman Lionel Rabb. Also on display will be a sleigh, a community art project and cardboard cutouts of holiday images, including Santa.
In the past the council has had holiday events with Santa visits, actual reindeer, a holiday market and one year the interior of the Esdohr House was decorated like Santa’s workshop, but this year social distancing guidelines won’t permit those activities.
The display will allow families to visit the park over a couple of weeks and to take photographs without worrying about crowds, Rabb said. The lights and music are scheduled to be activated nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. starting Monday, Dec. 7.
Co-sponsoring the display with the advisory council are the Chicago Park District, Jefferson Park Forward, Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association, Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce and Alderman James Gardiner (45th).
The Esdohr House, originally located at 5425 W. Higgins Ave., was acquired by the park’s governing board in 1921 and moved to 4820 N. Long Ave., serving as the park’s first fieldhouse and later a library, according to the Northwest Chicago Historical Society. In more recent years it housed the park’s Craft Shop, but nowadays the two-story building is used mostly for storage.
The Esdohr House was part of a residential subdivision that was replaced by the park, whose current fieldhouse was constructed in 1930. Henry Esdohr served as the community’s postmaster and in the early 1880s was elected city clerk of the Town of Jefferson, which was later incorporated into the City of Chicago.