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Petition Aimed to Preserve Lake View History at LGBT Senior Home

Before becoming a police station, the soon-to-be LGBT senior home in Boystown was Lake View's Town Hall. Now one man is rallying to preserve the neighborhood's memories in the renovated building.

While the historical façade of the upcoming LGBT-focused senior housing facility is currently being updated, one man is hoping officials won’t forget about one more historical detail of the building.

Located on the corner of North Halsted and West Addison streets, the more than 100-year-old vacant building is undergoing the transformation from police department to affordable housing center catering to LGBT seniors. However, the building was once used for something else, too.

Garry Albrecht, a Lake View historian and manager of Lake View Historical, says the building was once the Lake View Town Hall. And in the spirit of remembering the old, Albrecht is hoping to gather enough signatures to reserve a space in the building to tell the story of Lake View.

“Lake View began as a township in 1857 and has survived as a vibrant neighborhood within the City of Chicago,” Albrecht wrote on the cause’s Change.org petition. “The Old Town Hall was the symbolic center of the township. That journey from township to neighborhood should be remembered for general public to view.”

Albrecht is hoping for 500 signatures before turning in the petition to both Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), the Center on Halsted and Heartland Housing, the three parties most involved with the upcoming affordable housing facility.

And this isn’t the first time the building’s historical significance has come into play.

Preserving a large portion of the historical façade has always been a plan, according to the Center on Halsted’s former Director of Public Affairs, Brian Richardson. Because the space was once a police station, housing LGBT and LGBT-friendly seniors there has a deeper meaning.

“That is the same building where some of our seniors were once arrested and held for being gay,” Richardson said. “Now they’ll be living in an LGBT home that’s sprouted from that very police station. That is a fantastic metaphor.”

With Albrecht’s petition just recently launched, he still needs close to 500 signatures to reach his goal in hopes of recognizing “Old Town Hall.”

Read the Full Story on Patch:

  • "Groundbreaking Planned for 1 of America's First LGBT Senior Homes"

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Carter O'Brien January 09, 2013 at 02:30 PM
psst - Lake View goes to 1857 not 1957! : )
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) January 09, 2013 at 03:57 PM
On it! Thanks for the quick correction. Done and done. :)
garry albrecht January 09, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Thanks LakeviewPatch (Andy) for this article. I have devoted the last 3 years collecting information about historical LakeView on my blog and highlighting pieces of it into a narrative on my Facebook Fan page. While almost everything can be found online these days not everyone has private access to a computer or wish to register on social media sites such as Blogspot or Facebook. I hope Brian Richardson and other involved parties will join me in this project. The collection: http://lakeviewchronicles.blogspot.com The narratives: https://www.facebook.com/LakeViewHistorical Thanks for your support on this one!
garry albrecht January 09, 2013 at 05:54 PM
I am adding two photos to this article of the original Old TownHall that was built in 1873 and replaced with the old police station in 1907.
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) January 09, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Hey, nice! I'll feature your photos instead. Thanks for adding those to the story.

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