The history of our neighborhoods needs to be chronicled by those who’ve been eyewitnesses to it. Creating oral and written accounts for all to access and honor needs to be addressed.
Being able to make its history part of any neighborhood walking tour, or into a teachable lesson plan, takes many people and much dedication to showcase the values of how so many sacrificed so much to offer so many so much.
The uniqueness of LHI model for preserving and presenting the facts and contexts of how we “came to be” is by those who rewalk the roads of time and place in today’s ways will be able to have resources of the Sitz-im-Leben (“setting in life”).
One LHI project on how our historic and significant people, homes, businesses and places of our South Chicago and beyond will teach others TODAY is a planned Sound and Light Historical Narrative Show that could allow attendees to sit and watch a story telling of the region as projected on local buildings. An example of such has been done in Ottawa, Canada (presentation / web page info).
As a block-club teaching model for others, options could be to host it in the St. Michael the Archangel church parking lot (its former high school) located at the northwest corner of 83rd St and Brandon Ave. For sister cities web patrons being part of this the presentation would be viewable as an on-line representative model.
The history of the community and our future challenges would be symbolically depicted and showcased on the following buildings-in-a-round. Presented here, and going counter-clockwise when viewed from the parking lot, its due-west-view start location and following building narrative options could be:
- Michael the Archangel church/school (appx 3140 E 83rd St)
- former Kuznar Funeral Home; now Morning Star Ch. (8301 S. South Shore Dr)
- Access Brandon Family Health Center, est. by Mirza Jesani (8300 S. Brandon Ave)
- Dental practice of Stewart G. Willoughby & Assoc. (8301 S. Brandon Ave)
- former Gwizdalski Pharmacy; now LHI’s Bench W vets bldg (8261 S. Brandon Ave)
- a three sister/brother combo of homes-of-old (centered at 8253 S. Brandon Ave)
- US Steel – South Works (appx 8229 S. Brandon Ave, north of east-west alley, rep by 8240 east tree)
- Rainbow Beach/Russell Square Park (rep. by west tree at former convent/lot at 8240 S. Brandon Ave)
These building would artistically be made to be in conversation with each other over how SE Chicago came to be, and what we are striving to be. It would teach those seated in the parking lot what, from their building’s first person perspective character, it was like “growing up” in So. Chicago in 1890, 1930, 1970, 2010… 3010! Like the former E 83rd street rail trolley of the past it could be a Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood’s Trolley and lesson history to the “Land of Make Believe” where new ideas and ways could be developed.
In having current and past residents write the production script for it is an opportunity for yearly collaborative efforts on how we are reinventing, repurposing our neighborhoods for meeting today’s challenges and opportunities.