Is Colt building’s demise at hand?

According to a legal notice in today’s Wednesday Journal, the Village of Oak Park will receive sealed proposals at the Office of the Village Engineer until 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 8, for “demolishing up to three two-story commercial buildings; installing sheet piling to allow for removal of the majority of foundations and floors; backfilling site with clean fill; paving the surface with asphalt; installing temporary lighting; and all appurtenant work thereto.”

That would include the Colt building and the 1145 Westgate building.

A pre-bid walk-through of the buildings will be conducted on Thursday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m., beginning at 1145 Westgate.

Pastor Pope?

Recently we received a press release for Brotherly Love M.B. Church’s 2nd Annual Love Fest in North Lawndale. We were taken aback to see the release came from “Pastor David Pope, Kingdom Seekers International Ministries, Inc.”

You don’t suppose our village president is moonlighting, do you? Certainly the ministry’s motto, “Leading people to a better quality of life!” fits President Pope’s M.O.

100 Best for Young People

Oak Park has been named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise (, which draws attention to “community-wide efforts that improve the well-being of youth.” Colin Powell reportedly founded the non-profit, which says kids need “five promises” in order to succeed (caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to help others).

The Oak Park Volunteer Center brought together 19 local organizations to support the application. To celebrate, they’re planning an “America’s Promise Kid’s Day” on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in Scoville Park. Call 386-3393 for more information.

Prairie-style gas station?

Yes, according to a July 25 Chicago Tribune post. Frank Lloyd Wright’s only gas station just turned 50. Located in Cloquet, Minn., “The station’s cantilevered canopy, which is out of Wright’s Usonian period, is the telltale sign of the master’s hand,” according to the Trib’s architecture critic Blair Kamin.

The problem is you have to pay for the gas to get there.

On the culture beat

The following first appeared in Ken Trainor’s blog, “Just Wandering”:

If you get to Austin Gardens one of these golden late-summer evenings (there are only three left) to see Dancing at Lughnasa, a fine, affecting, “small” play about the Irish experience, you’ll find a highly detailed set with plenty of artifacts, creating the Mundy family kitchen. According to an insert in the program, you can thank Anne and Jim August of the Irish Shop on Oak Park Avenue for providing many of the props. Anne is a native of Belfast.

Recently, Festival hosted two “guest” productions of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm at Austin Gardens. This was a stationary version of the Theatre-Hikes production that played earlier this summer at Morton Arboretum. One of the actors was none other than Festival Theatre’s longtime board president Joyce Porter, who landed a role. Turns out, in addition to being a fierce advocate for the arts (and a full-fledged performing arts center supporter), she’s also a thespian herself.

Meanwhile, the Dominican University Performing Arts Center has announced its 2008-09 season, and it includes An Evening with Judy Collins on Oct. 18. That will bring back a few memories for people of a certain age. And speaking of a certain age, Collins turns 70 next year. Who knows where the time goes?

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