When people look at old images of the building, they usually comment that it looks so picturesque "just like a castle." Another frequent response: "What a shame we were not more architecturally sensitive" in the early 1960s when "that lovely, massive Romanesque structure fell to the wrecking ball." They are referring to the stately, elegant structure known as the Scoville Institute, Oak Park's first library.
This year's Pleasant Home Fall House Tour will include entry to seven private Oak Park residences as well as Pleasant Home. From Tudor Revival to Queen Anne to Stick, a wide range of architectural styles are represented by the homes on Clinton and Home avenues.
Frankly, I feel a little weird writing about my new book, Legendary Locals of Oak Park, just released by Arcadia Publications. Chatting about my work in these pages is obviously self-serving, but it wasn't my idea.
When Sophie Gardner, now 17, was attending second grade at Hatch Elementary School in Oak Park, her physical education teacher, Sandra Noel, wanted her students to understand that buying and eating locally grown food from farmers was healthy and a more sustainable lifestyle choice.
Pour two tablespoons of vegetable oil in the bottom of a dutch oven or cast iron casserole over medium-low heat. Now add the onion, stirring to coat it with oil, then add 1 tablespoon of water, season with a little salt, and cover the pot. Cook the onions gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft but not brown.