Homewood murals to get repairs, touch-ups


The commentary below represents the ideas, observations and opinions of the author.

When Thomas Melvin was painting the most recent Richard Haas-designed mural in 2014 — the 4th of July parade depiction on the south wall of Mama & Me Pizzeria at 18219 Dixie Highway — he told me the special paint he used would last at least 20 years.
  A section of the mural 
  on the east side of 
  GoodSpeed Cycles on 
  183rd Street shows 
  the effects of brick and 
  mortar deterioration in 
  this May 26 photo.
  by Eric Crump/H-F 
As it happens, some of the Homewood murals are a bit older than that, and more importantly, their brickwork “canvases” are much older. In some spots, the brick and mortar are crumbling.
It’s time for some maintenance work, even for some of the more recent murals.
At the village board meeting on May 22, trustees approved a bid of $35,106 for tuckpointing on seven of the mural walls. Repairs have begun or been done on several of the murals.
  Repairs to the  same section
  of the Goodspeed mural 
  can be seen in this photo 
  taken June 13.

After the brick repair is done, the murals will be touched up by Melvin’s company. Most of the work will be done on the Cycling Through the Years mural on the east side of the Goodspeed Cycle building at 2125 183rd St., but touch-ups will also be done on:
  •  CN Rail Yard, 1940 Ridge Road.
  •  Sweets Shop, behind 2053 Ridge Road.
  •  Art Deco, behind 2059 Ridge Road.
  •  Gottschalk House depiction, behind 2011 Ridge Road.  
  •  Dixie Diner, northeast corner of 187th and Dixie Highway.
  •  Service Station, northwest corner of 187th and Dixie Highway.
Homewood’s 15 Haas murals capture the village’s history and character, add color to the downtown environment and have earned the village some attention from the rest of the world. Keeping them looking good will continue their contribution to the village.
A parking boost
Homewood’s Southgate shopping area will get a welcome addition to its parking area after Franciscan Alliance donated a lot immediately east of Cilantro Cochina Mexicana restaurant, 18755 Dixie Highway.
The lot was once used by a clinic operated by Franciscan across Terrace Road to the south. That facility was demolished in December 2014. Soon after the building came down, Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld approached Franciscan officials about the possibility of the village acquiring the lot.
That effort finally paid off.
At the village board meeting on May 22, trustees accepted the property and Hofeld thanked Franciscan for making the donation. He said the village will look for opportunities to make improvements to the lot, including drainage, lighting, pavement marking and pedestrian access from the north. 
Reviving the Flossmoor Veterans memorial
At the meeting April 5 of the Flossmoor History Project, long-time Flossmoor resident Richard Condon spoke about one of his local history missions, to create a new veterans memorial in the village.
Condon said for many years there was a memorial honoring World War II veterans on the island where Sterling Avenue, Park Drive and Central Avenue come together in downtown Flossmoor. At some point, the memorial was temporarily removed. Unfortunately, “temporarily” became “permanently.”
“It’s gone. It vanished,” he said.
Condon said his father was the commander of the local American Legion post when the memorial was installed in 1945. He has photos of the memorial, which had 125 names on it. He has since gathered more names of World War II veterans from the village.
“Five of them were killed,” he said. “I knew three of them. At that time, the village was about 1,000 people, so the percentage of service was really high.”
If anyone else is interested in helping with the memorial project, Condon can be found at the Homewood Historical Society’s Dorband-Howe House, 2035 W. 183rd St., most Saturday afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m. He has been the inventory chairman for the historical society since 2002.
“I think there should be something that could be done to put in a permanent one somewhere in town,” he said.
Temple Anshe Sholom celebrates anniversary
Temple Anshe Sholom a Beth Torah of Olympia Fields recently celebrated the congregation’s 75th anniversary, combining the observance with a farewell party for Rabbi Paul Caplan on April 21.
The state charter for the temple was actually granted in November 1942, according to a history provided by congregation member Sue Kluger.
The first home for the congregation was in Chicago Heights, but in 1959 the board decided to construct a new building in Olympia Fields just north of U.S. 30. In 1974, Beth Torah, a congregation from the Beverly neighborhood, joined Temple Anshe Sholom, adding its name and its people to the temple.
The history concludes with a tribute to the people who made the temple possible.
“We cannot forget the countless men and women who donated their time, money and talents to make the congregation what it is today. We are grateful for the foresight of our charter members; for the energetic efforts of lay leaders, for the loyalty and diligence of our membership which rose to new heights through activities and accomplishments; and for the inspired spiritual leadership of our rabbis and cantors.”
Congratulations to the congregation for 75 years of worship, community service and education. 
May there be many more years to come.

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