New Art Studio Coming to Roosevelt Square

firehouse interior1My husband and I have walked past the old Roosevelt Road firehouse so many times, wondering what such a cool old building could be turned into by the right people.  When we saw the flyers around the neighborhood last fall announcing that a community oriented arts studio was planning on breathing some new life into the former station, we just couldn’t have been happier.  It seems that the rumors are true and the good news is starting to spread.  A friend recently sent me an article detailing plans for the opening of Firehouse Art Studio by Jay Nowak sometime later this spring or in early summer.

The studio plans to offer ceramics, glass blowing and other arts classes to all ages in the renovated and restored fire station.  I wonder if any of the firefighters from the neighborhood will be signing up and getting a chance to check out the all new take on their old home?  I personally can’t wait to take my kids to a class or two.

The firehouse at 1123 W. Roosevelt Road is Chicago’s oldest, built in 1873. It used to house Engine 18, which moved south to 1360 S. Blue Island Ave. in 2008.

Holy Family Catholic Church

holy family interiorEven though my own family will be visiting out of town relatives for the holiday this year, I wanted to share some information about our church, Holy Family Catholic Church.  Since moving to the neighborhood, it’s been a place which has welcomed us with open arms and helped me meet more neighbors in Roosevelt Square.  My daughters both actually enjoy going to mass here because the soulful gospel choir is so fantastic and it is literally the friendliest place I’ve ever worshiped.

For those unfamiliar with Catholic services, there’s a part in each mass where everyone shakes hands and wishes each other peace.  Normally, this is done with your family who came to church with you and those folks sitting nearby in your immediate area.  At Holy Family though, this part of service has taken on a life of its own, as people walk up and down the aisles, greeting friends and strangers alike.  It is a truly marvelous scene and always makes me so thankful to live where I do.

The pastor (and my next door neighbor here in Roosevelt Square), Father Jeremiah Boland, has been at Holy Family for eleven years now.  Like me, he loves the diversity of our neighborhood and roots for the Cubs despite the fact that the Comisky’s of White Sox fame were founding members of Holy Family Church back in 1857.  There’s some truly amazing stories in the church’s 155 years and I highly recommend checking out the history section of its website (

The church gave out over 400 turkeys this past Thanksgiving and donated chickens for Christmas, as well as hosting over 400 local kids for their annual Christmas party.  Holy Family’s two beloved nuns, Sisters Marion Murphy and Otilie Sana teach free GED classes and volunteers are always welcome at the food pantry and other local events.    If you are looking for a place to worship, I know you would be welcome here.

Holy Family Church is located at 1080 W. Roosevelt road and schedule of holiday masses is posted below:

December 24
Mass 5 pm Vigil of the Nativity, Organ and Brass Christmas Carols 9:30
Mass 10 pm Solemn Liturgy of the Nativity Gospel Choir

December 25
Christmas Day Mass 9:45

December 30
Mass of the Holy Family
9:45 Reception following in Damen Hall

December 31
New Year’s Eve Mass 5 pm

January 1
New Year’s Day Mass 9:45

January 6
Feast of the Epiphany Mass at 9:45 and 5 pm

New Green Space and Police Station to Open Soon

police stationI’ve been watching the new 12th district police station go up brick by brick for a while now.  More recently I’ve been wondering just what the new park across the street from it would look like too.  Well both are near complete and scheduled to open this January.  The combined opening ceremony should be quite an event.  The new field just south of Fosco Park Recreational Center has a half mile running trail and the rest of the park will be open green space for picnics and play.  The new grass is in and taking root.  I can’t wait to try it out.    grass1

Karen Trine – Roosevelt Square Area Team Leader

Karen Trine and her husband moved into Roosevelt Square in 2007 and her family has since grown to include daughters Amina and Hazel.  She’s a high school chemistry teacher at Lane Tech College Prep and would love to see a similar caliber public high school available in the community soon.  Her initial teaching and community outreach experience came during her first tour of service with the US Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, West Africa.  While in Burkina, she met and married her husband Mathew before traveling together to China together to complete a second tour with the US Peace Corps in the western province of Sichuan.

Since moving back to Chicago, Karen’s enjoyed living in the neighborhood because of the diverse collection of people and activities.  Whether it’s rooting on the Flames at a UIC softball game, singing songs with Miss Jenna at library kids classes, petting iguanas at Reptile Fest or checking out the latest new restaurant on Taylor Street, there’s always something fun to do close to home.

Of the neighbors that Karen is now fortunate enough to call friends, most have been met either in the parks with her children or at Holy Family Church.  She’s looking forward to broadening her circle of friends in the neighborhood and hopes to hear from many different voices in the community as C4C’s Roosevelt Square blogger.

Take a tour of the new police station – 12/15/12

Now that our neighborhood’s brand new, LEED Gold certified, environmentally responsible police station is all finished, come take a free tour!  The 12th district of Chicago’s finest will be opening its doors to the public this Saturday, December 15th from 10:45 am – 2:00 pm.  I’ve been so curious to see what it looks like inside.  It’s got a turbine generator heat recovery system, special environmentally friendly pavement and half of the roof is a green roof.  Come and meet some of your neighbors as we all finally get to check it out.

New 12th District Police Station Open House

Saturday, December 15

10:45 am – 2:00 pm

1412 S. Blue Island Avenue