Wednesday Journal reported last week that development team UrbanStreet Group and North American Properties plans to build an eight-story, mixed-use apartment building at 1000 Lake St. 

The two-story office building there now was originally built in 1956 as a Lytton’s department store. That structure will have to be torn down to make room for the new building, but it won’t be the first time the site was repurposed, according to our friends at the Oak Park Historical Society. 

In 1855, it was the site of the first wooden school house in Oak Park. That building was later renamed Temperance Hall, “because churches and the later anti-liquor group had services and meetings there,” historical society Executive Director Frank Lipo said in an email.

The Austin family, which owned the property, removed the building in 1910, and the land remained part of the Austin estate until 1935, when the Austins sold their Lake Street frontage to make room for the Lake Theater and moved their house to the back of the lot, which is now Austin Gardens Park, Lipo said. 

Join the discussion on social media!