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$5 US VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3 SEPTEMBER 2020

Hidden Gems in Downers Grove

BROOKERIDGE AIRPARK FLIES UNDER THE RADAR HISTORY VAULT: THE TIVOLI HOTEL HOME & DESIGN: THE GLASS HOUSE PUBLISHER PROFILE: KOHA DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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LETTER from THE ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

WE MADE IT A year and half ago, I told my husband that I wanted to help launch a magazine for the community of Downers Grove. In short, he thought I was bit crazy. “Why not?” I declared. Based on my personal experience of living here for 13 years, I believe our town is one that deserves to be celebrated and storied. Publishing a magazine is easier said than done—especially during a global pandemic, not knowing what the future holds. But we have done it. We are here, and are not going to disappear anytime soon. Our goal from the beginning has been to highlight unique personalities, businesses and organizations that are the foundation of our town. Hopefully, we have delivered. Thanks to our readers, who have supported us the last four issues, as well as our advertising partners, who continue to invest their time and energy into the magazine. In our first edition last fall, I commented that Downers Grove is a “hidden gem.” And that leads us to this issue as we come full circle. We are proud to feature some “hidden gems” that we uncovered around town. When editing this issue, even I learned some new fun facts; and we hope you do too.

all stories. Can we publish each story as soon as the idea is brought to our attention? No. As a quarterly publication, we continue to build our potential story pipeline on an ongoing basis. Every issue, I mention it: if you have a story that needs to be shared, please e-mail me at anne@hinsdalemag.com. We would love to hear from you. After all, this publication is about you, your neighbors, your businesses and more. $5 US VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3 SEPTEMBER 2020

Thank you for a great first year. We sincerely hope that you appreciate our efforts to bring you interesting—and uplifting—content that we all need right now.

Sincerely, Hidden Gems in Downers Grove

BROOKRIDGE AIRPARK FLIES UNDER THE RADAR HISTORY VAULT: THE TIVOLI HOTEL HOME & DESIGN: THE GLASS HOUSE PUBLISHER PROFILE: KOHA DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

From an airpark found within a unique neighborhood to a local gardening club that has been part of the community for 50 years, there are plenty of secrets revealed. For history buffs, we have an in-depth look at the Tivoli Hotel. Additionally, the cemetery on Main Street is well-known, but how about a few other spots with a local claim to fame? We also had the chance to catch up with the homeowners who call Pierce Downer and family his neighbor. My favorite quote is, “They’re very quiet, and they never complain.” A personal highlight for me in this issue?—our feature on a stunning glass house designed by a (then) local architect nestled in the woods in northwest Downers Grove. I finally had to drive by and see this gem for myself. Many have asked how we create the theme—like “hidden gems”—for each issue, or how stories are determined. The short answer is, you. We are open to taking a look at any and

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Anne Healy Associate Publisher anne@hinsdalemag.com

To guarantee delivery of each issue of Downers Grove Magazine to your home, please subscribe to the print edition by visiting www.downersgrovemag. com.

We apologize for our error in the July issue. The following photo should have accompanied Downers Grove Orthodontics Partner Profile.

DOWNERS GROVE ORTHODONTICS

Go to: http://www.hinsdalemagazinegroup.com/dgm-physical-sub

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DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


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CONTENTS |

September 2020

14 InstaGROVE 20 PUBLISHER'S PROFILE KOHA

22 #WeAreDG

Downers Grove Organic Gerdeners

34 SPOTLIGHT

Downers Grove Christian School

28 HOME GROWN Hibi-Hut

34 COVER STORY

Downers Grove’s Brookeridge Neighborhood Flies Under the Radar

38 FEATURE STORY

34

The Grave Next Door

41 DENTAL PROFILES 49 GIVING BACK

Hope’s Front Door

50 SPOTLIGHT

56

Darvin Furniture-Century of Service

54 HISTORY VAULT

Tivoli Hotel

56 HOME & DESIGN

22

Glass House

60 NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Butterfield Country Club Celebrates 100 Years

64 AROUND TOWN

Hidden Treasures

ON THE COVER: Pilot Rick Sparke of Brookeridge Neighborhood Photograph by Carolina Menapace

FOR THE LATEST NEWS, HAPPENINGS AND PHOTOS, VISIT @DOWNERSGROVEMAGAZINE 10

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


be your brightest self

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At Shine Pediatric Dentistry, we are deeply committed to the safety and well-being of our community. Our CDC-based protocols will ensure your visit is safe and enjoyable. As a Downers Grove mother myself, I’m personally invested in our children. As a board-certified pediatric dentist with privileges at Lurie Children’s Hospital, we offer highly specialized care to help every one of our patients discover their healthiest and brightest smiles.

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DOWNERS GROVE

MAGAZINE

DOWNERS GROVE

MAGAZINE FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Scott Jonlich sjonlich@hinsdalemag.com

LIKE US

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Anne Healy anne@hinsdalemag.com

THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT AND TRUST, AS WE CONTINUE TO GROW AND SERVE DOWNERS GROVE!

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Maureen Callahan Mike Ellis Val Hardy Julie Jonlich CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Heather Prince Emma Wolf CREATIVE DEPARTMENT

Marco Nunez Julia Sinogeikina Dennis Stromberg FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Carolina Menapace ADVERTISING SALES

Larry Atseff Renee Lawrence advertise@HinsdaleMag.com

WE INVITE YOU TO Hinsdale Magazine Group

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

3 Grant Square, #201 Hinsdale, IL 60521 630-655-3400 www.DownersGroveMag.com

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No person, organization or publication can copy or re-produce the content in this magazine or any part of this publication without a written consent from the publisher. The publisher, authors, contributors and designers reserve their rights with regards to copyright of their work. Downers Grove Magazine assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information. The information contained about each individual, event or organization has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organization. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Downers Grove Magazine. Comments are welcome, but they should be on-topic and well-expressed. Copyright ©2019 Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved.

DOWNERSGROVEMAGAZINE

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DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


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There’s no place like home! Helping you get there, one family at a time.


InstaGROVE CoronaPets

The Alikpala Family Here’s our pup, King Louie! We got him in early July and our girls have never been happier! Follow him on IG at @kinglouiefloofs.

The Baldwin Family We have fostered 12 puppies since the start of quarantine. Fostering puppies during this pandemic is allowing my girls the opportunity to practice patience and responsibilities while providing these fosters a loving start to life.

The Brezina Family We have certainly enjoyed the love and entertainment Athena has added to our family!

The Buehler Family We’ve got a lot of love here for this guy. He is just such a sweet, smart and handsome boy. We adopted Bo from the Hinsdale Humane Society after our West Suburban rescue, Callie, passed away at the beginning of May.

The Hake Family Our sweet little puppy has brought our family so much joy in 2020!

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DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


The popularity of pet ownership has increased over the last few months. As reported in our July issue, the West Suburban Humane Society saw adoptions double this past spring! Downers Grove Magazine asked readers to submit photos of any “new additions” to local families.

The Hamilton Family We got Heidi our black lab mix puppy from Wright Way Rescue on Mother’s Day, May 10th. She is a wonderful addition to our family. Here is Heidi showing her patriotic side.

The Hirthe Family The highlight of this weird summer has been welcoming new pup Little Frida into our family. Watching the kids with her has been joyful...and we loved taking her on the kayak!

The Jackson Family Mom finally caved to the quarantine puppy campaign and Koda joined the family in May!

The Klacko Family We got our pup for Katelyn’s 10th birthday. If only we could bottle up the love in our puppy, Kingston, and spread it all over the world! All he knows is love.

The Magnusson Family Pepper is approximately two years old. We think. She was a stray in Alabama with her six puppies and now calls Downers Grove home. DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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The Maly Family We had no idea how much joy Cooper would bring to our family and to everyone who meets him!

The McNulty Family We brought Lucy home on July 5,2020.Lucy has been a great addition to the family and has helped bring our girls so many smiles, during a difficult and different year.

The Neustadt Family LeeRoy was adopted from Fetching Tails Rescue Foundation. He is a Great Dane Mix who enjoys counter surfing and long walks on the beach.

The Patten Family As a family with severe pet allergies we never planned on getting a dog. But our friends got a puppy during quarantine, and it made our kids so happy. We knew we had to bring our kids that kind of joy that’s so hard to find these days. Talk about love at first sight! Meet Bailey!

Mary Ellen Podmokly

Here is Poe. As far as Poe’s name goes, I am an English teacher...but quarantine has in some ways been a “midnight dreary” and like many people, I have had to fight against the weakness and weariness of this experience. With his energy, exuberance, and unconditional love, Poe has certainly helped to alleviate the gloom of quarantine! 16

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The Reichl Family Kona, our beloved Bernedoodle, needed a friend during quarantine. And let’s be honest. My husband and three kids broke me down, and I finally said yes. I am still up at 6:00a.m. every morning. Gotta love Griffey.

The Ryan Family This is Clyde, our new best friend. He is three years old from Just Giants Rescue. He came to them as an owner surrender along with three other female Danes from a family from Indiana that lost their farm. He is the sweetest big boy ever.

The Roth Family During the pandemic my husband told me I could get a Peloton or puppy. Obviously I picked Ace, our French Bulldog. Best decision I’ve made all year!

The Szopko Family We rescued Charlie from 4 Paws 4 You 4 Ever upon the recommendation of our friend in April. He has been the absolute best thing to come out of Quarantine!

The Walsh Family Rizzo Walsh is happy to have a new best friend, Lily Lee, a corona pup who moved in across the street! DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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Downers Grove Magazine | Publisher's Profile

A

nne Healy had the opportunity to interview Janet Alikpala, CEO and co-founder of KOHA, regarding a unique and cost-effective fundraising platform that provides year-round fundraising. Simply put, organizations receive a generous percentage donated back from KOHA local business partners in the area. With COVID-19 imposing certain limitations on fundraising events, KOHA is a potential outlet for many schools and organizations in the community to continue their vital fundraising efforts.

What was the catalyst to start KOHA? Many of the small businesses I would solicit for donations when working in non-profit would share their frustrations about not being able to always participate, and wished there was a better way to give donations and get more customers in the door. A friend and business partner that also owned a small business in Downers Grove felt bad for not being able to give to every single organization that would request a donation, and didn’t like when they couldn’t give back. Our team saw a need to help local businesses connect with schools and nonprofits better, and started KOHA.

How does KOHA work?

the community stays in the community.

It’s simple: Download KOHA in [the] App Store on [an] iPhone, or on Google Play for Android, select a school or non-profit to support, and start shopping. Wherever you shop around town or online, you choose the business you spent with, take a picture of your receipt, and a generous portion goes directly to the school or nonprofit of your choice.

How does a business become a partner?

Is KOHA specific to schools, or can other organizations utilize for fundraising? KOHA can be used with other organizations besides schools. We love supporting non-profit organizations, as long as they are registered 501c(3), and signing them up is free.

Are there any success stories you can share? We have many. Not only have we had success on-boarding over 50 local businesses to our app, we’ve helped generate over $150,000 in sales to local businesses and over $10,000 in donations back to schools and non-profits in our first year.—And we’re just getting started. We love encouraging people to shop local more often, because the money spent in 20

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

Any business or service can join KOHA. Simply e-mail us at more@koha.life, and we send a quick checklist of what we need to get businesses signed up within one to two business days. It’s a great way to extend local businesses directly to more families and supporters in the community, and it’s a great way to track donations with KOHA.

What does KOHA signify? KOHA means gift, contribution or donation in a mutually-beneficial way— that’s why we love what it stands for!

What are the next steps for KOHA? What does the future hold? Our team is in the process of updating the app with new features to include more push notifications to our users and more ways to communicate school and nonprofit goals on the app, so there is more user interaction. We’re excited to help grow the KOHA network so anyone can use the app and give back wherever they are across the country.


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Downers Grove Magazine | #WeAreDG

JOHN MENSIK HOSTED A GARDEN VISIT IN AUGUST WITH THE CLUB

Downers Grove Organic Gardeners GARDENING AND SHARING FOR 50 YEARS

H

ow does your garden grow? If you’re passionate about vegetables and herbs, interested in natives and curious about sustainable gardening, meet the Downers Grove Organic Gardeners. Beginning in 1970, the same year as Earth Day, the Downers Grove Organic Gardeners have been promoting and utilizing organic gardening practices for 50 years. Meeting monthly on the third Wednesday evening at the Downers Grove Library, this group of veteran and beginner gardeners loves to get their hands dirty, and enjoy the bounty of their gardens. “We are dedicated to educating the community, and welcoming people

BY HEATHER PRINCE

to organic gardening and sustainable living practices—two things that go nicely together,” board member Carol Kania Morency said. “We focus on

to educate folks on the importance of roots of native plants and how they hold soil and filter rain. Our goal is not to use commercial pesticides to treat any problem that comes up, which is not to say always use compost. We want to educate people and make them aware there are other solutions.”

“We are dedicated to educating the community and welcoming people to organic gardening and sustainable living practices.” — CAROL MORENCY

organic gardening for edibles and the idea of using native plants to solve a problem like less maintenance or rainwater management. We’re trying 22

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

Meetings are where members and guests connect.

“We usually have a speaker each month,” Morency said. “We’ve had a wide range of speakers from the University of Illinois Extension Service, to someone who runs a local farm that employs veterans, to GardenWorks, [which builds] gardens for those who can’t build them themselves. Our topics are wide-ranging,


but related to organic gardening, like composting, container gardening and winter sowing.” Morency said there’s also time for members just to chat. “At meetings, sharing solutions and information is a big part of the group,” she said.

she said. “We provide seed money, advice, plants, etc. We really want people to get as excited about gardening as we are.” The Downers Grove Organic Gardeners host their signature Plant

The Downers Grove Organic Gardeners are also active in our community.

“School gardens can be a particular challenge, as the kids grow up and move on,” Morency said. “It’s really nice to see it become self-sustaining. Morency said the organic gardeners are also working on a small edible garden located within Lyman Woods, and is open to additional new projects. “We’ve helped when people usually come to us and want to start a garden.,”

“Members are a wide range of people,” Morency said. “There are veteran organic gardeners and some brand-new to it. We have some younger folks, and would love more, but people in their 30s and 40s are so busy. There’s a lot of interest there, but it can be tough for them to get to meetings.” As new homeowners move into Downers Grove and embrace gardening, the club is here to help.

“Puffer School is one of our recent garden projects,” Morency said. “The Brownie troop with Puffer wanted to do a garden as a service project, and the Downers Grove Organic Gardeners have helped get it started.” According to Morency, the garden is now in its third or fourth year, and was designed by a former member. The organic gardeners donated plants and assisted the troop with planting, until it became more comfortable conducting the work on its own.

Benefits of membership include private garden visits, field-trips and special events.

“Families have bought their house; they have some land; they want to embrace the farm-to-table lifestyle,” Morency said. “It can get overwhelming. It’s a challenge to keep new gardeners encouraged. You have to get to know your site, your sun, soil, water and all its idiosyncrasies.”

CAROL MORENCY

Sale the first weekend of May in Hummer Park. “We sell vegetables, herbs and perennial natives,” Morency said. “It’s usually a great sale, because we are one of the few that sells organically grown plants. This year, we had to restrict the plant sale to members, due to social distancing. It went well, and we ended up donating extra plants.” Although club meetings are open to the public, memberships are available at $20 for individuals and $30 for families.

GARDEN AT THE HOME OF JOHN MENSIK DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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Morency said joining a garden club can offer support and encouragement. “What I want to tell people is, you can do it,” she said. ... Just keep at it; keep figuring out what works for you. The learning will come with practice and time.” To learn more, check out the Downers Grove Organic Gardeners on Facebook and their blog at dgorganicgardeners.blogspot.com.


Downers Grove Magazine | Spotlight

Rising to the occasion while hiding in plain sight Open and serving students, Downers Grove Christian School celebrates 50 years BY MAUREEN CALLAHAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINA MENAPACE (Author’s Note: The following article is indicative of a typical school-year. Due to the pandemic, daily activities and methods of learning described here are subject to special conditions prioritizing a safe and sanitary environment. Many of the activities and programs in the following narrative are suspended until further notice. Detailed plans, including face-masks, face-shields and physical distancing are in place.)

W

ith the recent announcement that District 58 will be E-learning this fall, the pandemic has affected the way Downers Grove students will spend their days. Not surprisingly, area private schools planning to be in the classroom daily are seeing enrollment increases for the coming school-year. One such school, Downers Grove Christian School (DGCS), is a hidden

gem located just southeast of the central business district at the corner of Maple Ave. and Washington Street. Gratefully celebrating 50 years of unique, Christcentered opportunities to area students, the doors of the Colonial-style red-brick building opened to students—this year in masks and face shields—on Aug. 26, after a nearly six-month hiatus. A pioneer, DGCS was founded in 1970 as a preschool; at the time, there were few in the area. It quickly grew to accommodate older students as well. Today, the school, representing a wide range of Christian denominations as well as communities, serves approximately 160 students, from 2-year-old preschool through eighth grade. 24

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

DGCS has transformed over the years through additions, renovations and updates, including a spacious, modern gymnasium. Among the school’s best attributes are bright, spacious classrooms with small class-sizes, allowing for a low student-to-


certified-teacher ratio with plenty of space to learn. Classes are limited to 22 students, but average between 12 and 18. Two years ago, the entire building was carpeted and painted, and each classroom outfitted with state-of-the-art Steelcase desks and furniture. Alternative balance ball chairs and wobble cushions to aid with sensory issues are also available. Principal Shari Peterson greets the students on the way into the building each day. Having first come to DGCS as a thirdgrade teacher in 1986, she has been at the helm the last six years. After raising her five children—all DGCS alumni—one of her main goals is that school families see this community as an extension of their home. “Each child is welcomed here, and loved by God and their teachers,” Peterson said. “In turn, the children learn to love one another.” While most students live in Downers Grove, some travel from Lockport, Naperville, Westchester, Lemont and other surrounding towns. School families find it well worth the drive. Danielle Mbadu drives her son, Jaden, from Glen Ellyn. While it

“There was never a question of sending him elsewhere,” mother Julie Hamrin said of her firstgrader Jack. “Jack loves DGCS as much as I did as a student.” A few of the teachers are back for round two as well. Teacher and alumna Brittany Schwarzkopf is excited to pass on her great experience at DGCS to her first-graders. “As a teacher, I am excited to give my students the benefit of a faith-based classroom environment,” she said. A curriculum filtered through a Biblical lens is what makes DGCS unique. In

“Each child is welcomed here, and loved by God and their teachers. In turn, the children learn to love one another.” -SHARI PETERSON addition to daily instruction in the usual reading, writing and arithmetic, DGCS students also study the Bible, Spanish, computer science, art and music, with daily physical education. A high bar is set, heavily tempered with encouragement. “Each child is a gift from God,” kindergarten teacher Jessica Crehan said. “They all learn differently, and in their own time, but it’s our responsibility to figure out how each one learns best.”

takes some time in morning traffic, Mbadu said “we would come from any distance.” “The love Jaden receives from his teachers, staff and friends make it all worthwhile,” she said. “I trust the message delivered at DGCS. Every day, he learns to be a better student, child and Christian.” Some come and never leave; there are several families in which one or both parents are graduates of DGCS, back for a second generation.

First- through eighth-graders are invited to participate in scholastic competitions in science, math, reading and geography. A wide variety of clubs, ranging from chess to coding and engineering, offer academic enrichment in an enjoyable environment, while cooking, drawing, Karate, band and creative arts round out after-school fun. Each September, DGCS students and their families gather around the flagpole on the front lawn outside the school for “See You at the Pole,” a national prayer event observed by millions of students in institutions of faith across the world. Every October, pastors of dozens of churches with whom school families are affiliated are DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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welcomed for a pastor appreciation lunch. The students have also hosted firefighter and police officer appreciation chapels over the years to personally thank Downers Grove’s civil servants. One of the perks of a small school is the ability to spend more time on each child. The May graduation ceremony is indicative of this advantage. The parents of each graduate stand up and read a letter written to their eighth-grader, reflecting on the child’s life and successes, followed by a slideshow of the highlights of each individual student’s accomplishments. As longtime teacher Sharon Nese says, “It really showcases the family-feel of our school. We can do these things, because we’re small.” Peterson feels that DGCS does not just instruct students, but also instills in them characteristics that will benefit them in the world as children, and prepare them to be faithful, resourceful and responsible adults. Dorothy Law Nolte, author of Children Learn What They Live, opines that “if a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he/she learns to find love in the world.”—Downers Grove Christian School is a shining example of where to find that love.


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Downers Grove Magazine | Home Grown

Hibi-Hut

MALARIE IVERSEN, FOUNDER OF HIBI HUT, AND HER FOUR CHILDREN

The fruitful yield of hibiscus flowers BY: MAUREEN CALLAHAN PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF HIBI HUT

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N

ot all those who wander are lost, author J.R.R Tolkien reminds us. In fact, sometimes a detour from the beaten path is just the antidote needed to spark an idea. And in the case of former Downers Grove residents Greg and Malarie Iversen, a great idea evolved into a successful business; an unexpected wander evolved into Hibi Hut, a tasty and fruitful juice business.

We drink it hot in the morning instead of coffee.” So, which is it, tea or juice? “That’s a good question,” Iversen said. “I brew the flowers, which makes it tea; but then I add fruit, which implies more of a juice.” Whichever you decide, the health benefits of hibiscus are unquestionable. Certain

two and six days. They are then chopped or cold-pressed, and brewed for anywhere from a few hours to three days. Fruits and spices are added to create different variations. The end result depends on the variety of flowers processed. One batch of tea rendered from the same flower results in dozens of variations. The top sellers are strawberry mint, “brasberry” (blueberry/ raspberry) and CGC (cinnamon, ginger,

“We go away for the holidays every year,” Malarie said. “We were in Jamaica once, where I tried a hibiscus drink. I loved it!” On a different trip a few years later, the family met Nora, a local resident of a quiet fishing village south of Cancun. “We somehow started talking about how much I love aguai de Jamaica (hibiscus tea),” Iversen said. A couple days later, Iversen and her children found themselves in Nora’s kitchen for a hands-on demonstration of how to make this culturally-significant tea. “It was nostalgic for her, and we learned so much from the experience,” she said. Upon returning home, Iversen and the kids began experimenting with different variations of the refreshing hibiscus tea. There are many hibiscus drinks on the market, but most are heavily sweetened. Some contain only a sugared-down version of hibiscus syrup. “There are so many unhealthy options out there—soda, juice-boxes, even oversweetened iced tea—that I wanted to create something beneficial for my kids to drink on a daily basis,” she said. Hibi Hut’s juice is strictly fruit, flowers and spices—nothing else added, nothing artificial—and the idea caught on. “Soon, friends and family were asking for it to serve at their kids’ birthday parties,” Iversen said. “It’s a very versatile drink for occasions like that, as it’s also a refreshing mixer for martinis, sangria or seltzer water.

MALARIE IVERSEN AND THE SECRET INGREDIENT TO HIBI HUT

parts of the world use hibiscus in place of pharmaceuticals, and the Mayo Clinic has endorsed its benefits to avoid high blood pressure and cholesterol. Hibiscus also helps the body process and digest sugar, instead of converting it to fat. The process of making the juice can be lengthy. Iversen grows her own hibiscus garden, so the first step of picking and drying them out typically takes between

clove). The leftover ground flowers often end up in the family’s homemade weekend pancakes, scones and cupcakes. How does Iversen come up with new recipes? “I research and experiment with different flavor combinations at home,” she said. “Amelia, Emmaline and Jameson (my kids) are an honest tasting panel.” Continued on next page.

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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Downers Grove Magazine | Home Grown It will be a little while until Oliver (eight months) can weigh in. Until last year, products were all available through Hibi Hut’s Saturday morning Downtown Downers Grove Market booth. Since the Iversens recently moved to Newport Beach, Calif., they are working on efficient ways to export their products.

“For us, it’s all about the integrity of the juice,” Malarie Iversen said. “We’re working on ways to send our wholesome products without adding any preservatives. ... “Positive changes to your health can bring huge changes to your life. Hibiscus can help do that.”

You can follow the Iversens’ journey and read FAQs and client testimonials at hibihut.com. Follow their upcoming plans to make hibiscus drinks easily available to your home on social media. Find their most recent updates and information on Instagram, @hibihut, and like them on Facebook. Contact them at hibihut@ gmail.com.

Some of Hibi Hut’s Best Sellers Go Go Guava Hibi Melon Watermelon Basil Lychee Lime Wild Citrus Lavender Thyme Prickly Pear Pumpkin Lemon Basil Orange Mango Lemonade Hibi Palmer Apple Ginger Hibi Cacao 30

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


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Downers Grove Magazine | Cover Story

Birdseye view

Downers Grove’s Brookeridge neighborhood flies under the radar BY MAUREEN CALLAHAN

|

PHOTOGRAPH BY CAROLINA MENAPACE, ALBERT MIRANDA AND RICK SPARKE 34

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


I

f you’re looking for Rick Sparke, try looking up. Rick, a seasoned Southwest Airlines pilot, and his family are residents of Brookeridge, Downers Grove’s fly-in community. Walk through his garage/hangar, past his airplane, and you’ll find yourself on the runway— literally. As I sat down to interview Sparke on his deck, a yellow Aeronca Champion landed and taxied 60 yards behind us. In clear weather, one may expect eight or ten takeoffs and landings a day. The airstrip, initially owned and operated by an air cargo business, was here before the fly-in community. By the mid-1960s, increasing air traffic and noise from the cargo flying was becoming a community concern. A group of 16 residents approached the business owner and acquired the land, forming the Brookeridge Homeowner’s Association. By the mid-1970s, the airport and fly-in community were established. The neighborhood is closeknit, annually holding an Easter egg hunt, summer picnics, a Halloween party and Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. Neighbors often congregate in a hangar for Friday night happy hours. The Brookeridge Airport Association (BAA)—separate from the homeowner’s association—allows members access to the airstrip. There are 26 shareholders, most of whom live in the community. Membership fees include upkeep, i.e. sealcoating, paving, snow-plowing and law-mowing of the runway, in addition to access to the fuel-pump. Most of the houses with runway access are owned by pilots, but you need not fly to live here. Surprisingly, only a handful of residents are active airline pilots, with a few retired ones as well. Most fly for a hobby; a few are cargo pilots. This area is unique to Downers Grove. Actually, it’s unique to anywhere. “There are fly-in communities around the U.S.,” Sparke said, “but they’re mostly in much less populated areas. It’s uncommon to find something like this so relatively close to a couple of major airports.” So, how did Rick’s career take flight?

PHOTO BY CAROLINA MENAPACE

“I always wanted to be a pilot,” he said. “As a kid, I loved Superman, because he could fly.”

Robert Burns, a retired Naval flight surgeon. He had an office right in his hangar. It’s how I discovered this area.”

Growing up, Sparke’s family mostly drove. His first time on an airplane was at 11 years old, when his family flew to a wedding in Texas.

The neighborhood wasn’t a tough sell for Sparke’s wife Michele either. Every September, Brookeridge hosts a fly-in: a chance for small-aircraft pilots to visit the community for a “$100 burger.” Guest pilots fly their planes here and stay for a barbeque at a homeowner’s hangar.

“When we touched down, I told my

“Today, the winds are out of the east, so everyone is using runway No. 9.” -RICK SPARKE mom I wanted to fly,” he said. “She said it would be over her dead body. But I never got over that flight.” The realization of his childhood dream began as a flight instructor after graduating from Comair Aviation Academy in Florida. From there, Sparke worked a few years for Delta connection Comair, before being hired by Southwest more than a decade ago. While Brookeridge seems an obvious choice for the Sparke family home, he said he “honestly didn’t know this neighborhood was here when we moved to Downers Grove.” “Pilots are required to have a physical every six months,” Sparke said. “Shortly after moving to town, I found Dr. DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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“The donation is usually around $100, which covers the cost of refueling your airplane,” Sparke said. A random postcard sent to all the pilots in Illinois led to the Sparkes’ attendance at the 2015 fly-in. “My wife loved the neighborhood,” he said. “An off-duty realtor showed us a couple houses that day. By December, we were moving in. So, it’s not a place we went looking for, but it’s a place we love.” Acquisition of the Piper Cherokee, Sparke’s airplane, followed the next year. It’s a six-seater, six-cylinder that he calls “the mini-van of the air.” In nice weather, the family is up in the air at least once a week. Sunday afternoons often find the Sparkes flying to Lake Geneva or Bloomington for lunch, or going for hundred-dollar-burgers in Rochelle. The Sparke “flight crew”— Emily, Andy and Charlotte—love flying Continued on next page.


Downers Grove Magazine | Cover Story to see relatives as close as Peoria and as far as Birmingham, Ala. The plane cruises at about 150 m.p.h, so flights typically take about 35 to 40 percent of the time it would take to reach the same destination if driving. Like Brookeridge, most flyin communities are classified as uncontrolled airports, meaning there is no airport building or control tower. Safety is maintained solely amongst pilots themselves to coordinate takeoffs and landings, using a system called Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). Pilots start broadcasting their intentions for landing about five miles out on the frequency by identifying the airplane tail number and where they intend to land. Other flying aircrafts in the area then make their intentions and locations known over CTAF. All runways, even ones at major airports, are numbered based on magnetic north, which is 360 degrees. The zero is omitted from the number of degrees, starting with 360, to determine the runway number. Brookeridge

Airport is runway No. 9 to the east and No. 27 to the west, indicating it is 90 degrees to the east and 270 degrees to the west. “You usually want to take off and land into the wind,” Sparke said. “Today, the winds are out of the east, so everyone is using runway No. 9.” For safety reasons, the BAA approves residents’ planes, mindfully considering proposals from the standpoints of safety and noise level. In general, the size of the airstrip dictates the type of aircraft allowed. Obviously, you won’t see any Airbus A380s here. Currently, the biggest plane in the community is a turbine-powered Piper Mirage 350. A monthly fee provides residents a key to the fuel tank at one end of the airstrip. “Most of the planes you see here have engines like a car,” Sparke said. “My plane runs on 100-octane unleaded fuel.”

pilots can come and go as they like. It’s an instrument approach, meaning the pilot gets electronic lateral and vertical signals, so he or she knows when to start the descent. The signals keep the plane above any obstacles and terrain, and center it above the midline of the runway for a safe landing. “If you’re in contact with air-traffic control, they can vector you onto the approach,” Sparke said. “Weather and conditions don’t play a huge role in whether or not a flight happens.” The public is welcome to attend the annual fly-in to see some airplanes up close, and spend an afternoon in this niche community. Unfortunately, this September’s fly-in has been canceled. It usually takes place on the Saturday after Labor Day, so next year’s event will likely be held on Sept. 11. Watch the BAA website for details, http://www.ll22.org/fly-in/.

The primary runway is 2,813 feet long, with paved parallel taxiways on either side. It is illuminated at night, so

36

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

PHOTO BY RICK SPARKE


Brookeridge by the Numbers • 2,813 feet – the length of Brookeridge runway 9/27 • 80 – number of houses in the community • 75 – percentage of run way-access houses owned by pilots • 14 – number of years Rick has flown for Southwest • 30 to 40 – number of non residents that usually attend the annual fly-in • 6 – number of cylinders (and seats) in Rick’s Piper Cherokee • 100 – number of octanes the Piper Cherokee runs on • 747 – an airplane you’ll never see on this runway PHOTO BY ALBERT MIRANDA


Downers Grove Magazine | Feature Story

The grave next door Dig into the unburied history of Downers Grove’s neighborhood cemeteries and what it’s like to live among the dead BY VALERIE HARDY PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINA MENAPACE

S

Cemeteries of Downers Grove Township, which were established in 1836 and are located between Maple and Howard Aves. off of Glenview Ave. in what is currently the Bending Oaks subdivision.

Among those buried in the cemetery are Curtiss himself, as well as Sgt. Isrel Blackburn—a slave turned freedman—who served in the Union Army during the Civil War, before settling in Downers Grove and farming land given to him by Curtiss. Main Street Cemetery operated through 1939, when Emma Foster Miller was the last individual interred there.

Oak Hill, the older of the two adjoining cemeteries, was originally part of a large plot of land purchased in 1835 by Dexter Stanley, the patriarch of the first complete family to settle in Downers Grove. Just a year after Stanley, his wife and their nine children moved from Pennsylvania to the land near what is now the intersection of Belmont and Maple Aves., Stanley’s son-inlaw Luther Farrar died unexpectedly.

Despite being the most prominently located local cemetery, the Main Street Cemetery is not the resting place of the most prominent Downers Grove villagers, nor is it the oldest graveyard in town. Instead, this claim goes to the Oak Hill and Oak Crest

Director of general assistance for Downers Grove Township Gary Ostrowski oversees the two adjacent cemeteries, and explained that Farrar’s death and his subsequent burial on the highest point of the Stanley property was “how it started

ituated in the heart of downtown Downers Grove—north of Emmett’s, south of Cellar Door and across the street from Ballydoyle—is the historic Main Street Cemetery, one of only a few American cemeteries located in a main business district. Established in 1856, when early Downers Grove settler Samuel Curtiss donated land from his sheep pasture for a burial ground, the Main Street Cemetery contains the graves of nearly 100 members of the village’s first families.

Beth McNeeley, a homeowner in the Bending Oaks neighborhood and board member of the Oak Hill/Oak Crest Cemeteries Foundation, said that while the Main Street Cemetery “gets all the notice,” Oak Hill and Oak Crest are “every bit as historical.”

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DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

with Oak Hill.” Oak Hill was originally called the Stanley Cemetery, and then later the West Side Cemetery, based on its location in relation to downtown Downers Grove. Foundation board member Ron Cuchna explained that “people were primarily buried in Main Street Cemetery [in the latter half of the 1800s], but there were frequent flooding and ice problems with the St. Joseph Creek” that runs through the center of town. This made it virtually impossible to transport deceased from west of the creek to the Main Street Cemetery. “People asked Stanley to use his farmland, which already had his son-in-law buried there,” Cuchna said.


Today, Oak Hill is the site of more than 1,200 graves, including those of many notable families from Downers Grove and surrounding suburbs, such as the Blodgetts, Maerckers and Puffers. Cuchna noted that George Downer, the grandson of village founder Pierce Downer, and Captain T. S. Rogers, a Civil War veteran and the first village president of Downers Grove, are also buried in Oak Hill, as is the family of famed opera singer Sherrill Milnes, a Downers Grove native. Located right next to Oak Hill is Oak Crest Cemetery, previously styled Blodgett Cemetery after William Blodgett, who sold lots in Oak Crest, but never actually owned the land. Oak Crest was originally privately owned, and the land passed through a series of property owners, before most recently being purchased by Oak Hill landowners Fred and Mae Marvin in 1960, Cuchna explained, adding that “Mae Marvin taught in Downers Grove, and she kept a card catalogue” of those buried in the cemeteries. “When I took this over from the prior administration, everything we received from the Marvins were on 3-inch by 5-inch cards,” Ostrowski said. “I have those, but I put everything in the computer as much as I could [to preserve the identities of those buried at the cemeteries, even those with unmarked graves.] A lot of people buried there during the [Great] Depression don’t have gravestones. There is a whole section in Oak Crest that doesn’t have graves, but we have a list of names.” Many graves in Oak Crest Cemetery are

marked, however, including those of 30year Downers Grove District 58 Board of Education member William Herrick, for whom Herrick Middle School is named, six-term Illinois legislator Guy Bush, who was in the first graduating class of Downers

named.

“A lot of people buried there during the [Great] Depression don’t have gravestones.”

While Oak Hill Cemetery no longer has gravesites available, Oak Crest is only at about half-capacity. Those interested in purchasing plots can contact Ostrowski through the township office. According to Ostrowski, plots are $1,900, “including perpetual care for the graves and, naturally, an opening and closing cost.”

-GARY OSTROWSKI Grove High School, and Illinois’ first Congresswoman, Lottie Holman O’Neill, after whom O’Neill Middle School is

McNeeley, who can see the cemeteries from her yard, said, “Lottie O’Neill’s grave is probably my favorite. Having taught at O’Neill, I didn’t even know she was [buried right] there.”

So in which of the cemeteries is Pierce Downer, the village’s founder and namesake, buried? Despite planning to be interred in the Main Street Cemetery along with many of Downers Grove’s other early prominent citizens, he was not laid to rest there or in Oak Hill or Oak Crest, due to the swelling of the St. Joseph Creek. Rather, Downer—along with his wife Lucy Ann (Wilson), who died one day before Downer, and a handful of other family members—is buried at the site where he camped the first night he staked his claim to the area back in 1832. A sign in front of the home of Tom and Lois Sale at 4524 Linscott Ave. marks the entrance to the Downer burial grounds. According to Tom Sale, who heard this sliver of historical legend from his home’s previous owner, 81-year-old Pierce “was so distraught when Lucy passed away… he dug her a grave, and died the next day from grief and exhaustion.” Continued on next page.

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

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Downers Grove Magazine | Feature Story Factually confirmed or not, Sale considers the romantic tidbit about the Downers’ passing to be a “favorite anecdote,” and considers it an honor to pass on some local history. While some might consider living near a cemetery undesirable, that is not the case at all for Sale, who has lived next to the Pierce Downer burial site since 1994. He called the small cemetery “a historical gem tucked back in a neighborhood” and joked about the dearly departed who are, in essence, buried in his yard. “They’re my favorite kind of neighbor,” Sale said. “They’re very quiet, and they never complain.” Perhaps Sale is untroubled living in such close proximity to the Downer family graves, because he is no stranger to cemeteries. A transplant from the east coast, Sale’s

summer job was cutting grass at Arlington National Cemetery. He worked at Arlington beyond the summer one year, and on a cold, windy, gray day, he even decided to take refuge from the elements by “camping out in a dug grave,” and when he emerged, he scared the living daylights out of his more superstitious co-workers. “Death and dying is a little daunting, but being in cemeteries allows for a greater appreciation for someone’s life and legacy, and dying becomes less dark,” Sale said. McNeeley is likewise unfazed by having a graveyard visible from her own yard. “I’ve always been fascinated by cemeteries,” she said. “They’re just such a big piece of history.” Her husband takes their grandkids on walks through Oak Hill and Oak Crest, and she said “they put flowers on the graves of

the children who are buried there.” While McNeeley, Cuchna and Sale all live within a stone’s throw of historic gravestones, none of them reported feeling scared or having any encounters with the supernatural. However, McNeeley “would have loved to have” seen ghosts in the neighborhood graveyard, and did report that her granddaughter, “when she was small, would talk to people in my house. I like to think it was visitors from the cemetery.” Haunted or otherwise, McNeeley encourages others to explore the cemeteries for their historical value and beauty. “We have in the cemetery so many old war veterans, dating back to the War of 1812… and the township has done a great job of cleaning it up,” she said. “It looks really nice now.” Lois Sterba of the Downers Grove Historical Society described the local cemeteries as being “like an outdoor museum,” and Ostrowski reiterated that the local cemeteries are open to the public, inviting the community to “go take a look at them…bring the kids in to look at the stones and the history of them.” He added that to access Oak Hill, “just walk in the gate dead-center” (no pun intended) at the intersection of Glenview and Howard. Sale, whose driveway is actually an easement owned by the Downers Grove Park District which leads up to the Pierce Downer burial site, “really enjoy[s] having people come see it.” In fact, he has given himself the moniker “the de facto docent,” and will gladly give visitors an informational tour if he happens to be outside when they stop by. For an enhanced visit to the Downer burial site, Sale recommends stopping by on Memorial Day when the American Legion holds a brief ceremony there, including a gun salute and trumpeter playing “Taps.” For an unrelated but added bonus, visitors may also want to look up at the Sales’ garage, located just to the south of the Downer family gravesite, to see the Sale’s demonstration “green roof.”

Tax-deductible donations towards the preservation of the Oak Hill and Oak Crest Cemeteries may be sent to: Oak Hill/Oak Crest Cemeteries Foundation 4340 Prince Street Downers Grove, IL 60515 40

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


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Downers Grove Magazine | Partner Profiles

Chawla Orthodontics DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE DENTAL PROFILE

Chawla Orthodontics/Smile Savvy Dental Specialists

519 N Cass Ave Suite 401 Westmont, IL 60559 Ph 630.914.6060 www.chawlaortho.com

Sumit Chawla DMD, MBA

What drew you to your profession? Growing up in Oak Brook, my interest in orthodontics was sparked by my father, who is also a doctor in the practice. My father had practices in Oak Brook and Glen Ellyn, and I got to see what he did. Today, we work together with a team of general dentists and dental specialists serving the Western Suburbs including Downers Grove. I decided to return home to this community I love after attending Loyola University Chicago, studying dentistry at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts—and then completing a residency in Orthodontics at Roseman University in Henderson, Nevada. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to continue my father’s journey and work with local families. What do you love most about your work? We love when people leave our offices happy. We’re creating a brand of happiness. If we can impact one person a day throughout the year that’s really big for us. Family is also at the center. With patients ranging in age from 1 to 101, we see them from when they’re babies to when they get married and beyond through different life stages. I love seeing my patients grow up, when they come back to see me and they’re taller than me, and go from being babies to grown adults. Many of your patients are children being fitted with braces and Invisalign. What have you learned from them? I get a special spark from spending time with them. In orthodontics you get to work and interact a lot with kids. You get to see kids at their peak of growth and watch them go from introverts to extroverts. I learn a lot from them, they are the future of our world and they are so amazing to learn from. How does Chawla Orthodontics make a commitment to the community? Commitment to community runs in our DNA, including offering summer internships at the practice to high school students during which they can learn more about orthodontics and consider potential career choices. We contribute to the community in other ways as well by offering local sports teams mouth guards and providing free education to elementary school children about how to take better care of their teeth. What is your philosophy on access to care? I keep an open door policy to the community. I want people from the community to come in and see what their options are. It’s very important to us. If potential patients feel like they can’t afford orthodontic services, my door remains open. I want to provide access to care and provide the highest level of care to everybody. We can work with you if you’re on a budget. The most important thing is building relationships, building up the community. We want to give back as much as we can.


S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Downers Grove Orthodontics DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE DENTAL PROFILE

Cover picture: Dr. Meena Balakrishan, DMD, MS and staff

Downers Grove Orthodontics

1330 Ogden Avenue Downers Grove, IL 60515 630-515-2727 Info@dgortho.com downersgroveorthodontics.com

THESE DOCTORS ARE AMONG

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Each doctor is a member of Excellence in Orthodontics, an experienced and trusted resource who’s mission is to help you make informed decisions when selecting an orthodontist for your family. We include only one orthodontist per geographic area, and each is carefully vetted to ensure compliance with the highest standards of clinical care and patient service.

CALIFORNIA Brian Bergh, DDS, MS Bergh Orthodontics 1111 N Brand Blvd #201, Glendale, CA 91202 818.659.5382 berghorthodontics.com

ILLINOIS Meena Balakrishnan, DMD, MS Downers Grove Orthodontics 1330 Ogden Ave Downers Grove, IL 60515 630.216.4739 downersgroveorthodontics.com

NEW JERSEY David Caggiano, DMD

Caggiano Orthodontics 316 Parsippany Rd Parsippany, NJ 070545 973.240.9473 morriscountybraces.com

NEVADA Victoria Chen, DMD, MS Significance Orthodontics 2777 W. Craig Rd. #101 North Las Vegas, NV 89032 702.647.8114 significanceorthodontics.com

UTAH Chase Dansie, DDS

Dansie Orthodontics 11996 Anthem Park Blvd #100, Herriman, UT 84096 801.829.9680 dansieorthodontics.com

Dr. Meena Balakrishnan, DMD, MS

www.excellenceinorthodontics.org

Dr. Meena Balakrishnan has been dedicated to the Downers Grove community for over 13 years. The family has deep roots in our community. Her husband Dr. Balu  Natarajan is a Downers Grove North alumnus! Dr. Balakrishnan has been giving her patients a reason to smile by providing braces and aligners to thousands of children and adults in our community since 2007. Dr. Balakrishnan was awarded the “Master Carver Award” on Clinic and Research Day at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001. She received the merit award for Periodontology in 2003 from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, where she was also class valedictorian. Other accomplishments while at the University of Pennsylvania include being inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Society, and earning second place in Clinical Research on Clinical and Research Day. While attending Bangalore University in India, she earned her Indian Dental Association Merit Certificate as valedictorian of the class of 1996, and received gold medals for her work in Orthodontics, Restorative Dentistry and Endodontics, Periodontology, and Prosthodontics. She also earned the Merit Award for Periodontology from the Indian Society of Periodontology in Mumbai, India. Dr. Balakrishnan is a member of Excellence in Orthodontics (EIO), which is a prestigious program in which only ONE orthodontist per geographic area is selected, and each is carefully vetted to ensure compliance with the highest standards of clinical care and patient services. Only orthodontists who meet the highest standards and quality are considered to be a part of the program. She was also elected as “One of the Best Orthodontists in America” by Excellence in Orthodontics. Visit them at https://www.excellenceinorthodontics.org/dr-balakrishnan/ Dr. Balakrishnan has taught the dental students at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry since 2003 while she was an Orthodontic resident. She continues to teach dental students and orthodontic residents at UIC. The topic that interests her most is “Non-surgical orthodontic expansion in adults and children”. Her research was recently published in “Orthodontics and Craniofacial Research”. You can read her paper here - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/ abs/10.1111/ocr.12359 Dr. Balakrishnan supports many causes that are close to her heart. Downers Grove Orthodontics sponsored “Noah’s Hope” for several years. Her practice also sponsors several District 58 events and local sports clubs. They are involved in the Wellness Fairs held at the Downers Grove North and South High Schools, educating students about the importance of dental and orthodontic health. Downers Grove Orthodontics is a supporter of “Climb Higher at Highland”, a project to raise money to build a playground that is safe and accessible for the students. Dr. Balakrishnan’s passion to educate patients and parents about orthodontics led her to author her first book – “Grin and Wear It”. Her book is available on Amazon.com. Visit her book site at https://www.drmeenasmiles.com/. Dr. Balakrishnan has also been featured in Parents Magazine and Family Fun magazine. You can learn about orthodontics by reading her book, Grin and Wear It, or you can meet this expert right here, at Downers Grove Orthodontics, 1330 Ogden Avenue!


S RE E SP PE EC C II A A LL A AD DV VE ER RT T II S S II N NG G F FE EA AT TU UR

Downers Grove Magazine | Partner Profiles

DOWNERS DOWNERS GROVE GROVE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE DENTAL DENTAL PROFILE PROFILE

Chawla Orthodontics Esplanade Associates

Standing from left to right: Alyssa Stylski, DMD, Sherif Albert, DDS, Christine Snow, DMD.

Chawla Orthodontics/Smile Savvy Dental Specialists

519 N Cass Ave Suite 401 Westmont, IL 60559 Ph 630.914.6060 www.chawlaortho.com Esplanade Dental Care

2001 Butterfield Rd Suite 140 Downers Grove, IL 60515 630.493.0914 630.493.0917 www.esplanade-dental.com

Atrium Family Dental 1938 E Lincoln Hwy Suite 104 New Lenox, IL 60451 815.462.9990 815.462.9991 www.atriumfamilydental.com

What is Esplanade Dental Care’s goal? At Esplanade Dental Care, we understand that enjoying a happy, healthy smile takes a lifetime commitment, and Dr. Sherif Albert, Dr. Christine Snow, Dr Alyssa Stylski, and the rest of our team want to partner with patients every step of the way in the pursuit of this important goal. Going to the dentist’s office doesn’t have to be a dreaded experience – patient comfort is an important priority for us, and we also enjoy forming lasting friendships with the people we treat. Whether you’re seeking a six-month checkup or advanced restorative care for extensive tooth loss, we have the time-tested skills and genuine passion needed to leave you smiling again and again. Sumit Chawla DMD, MBA

What sets our team apart?

What drew you totoyour profession? A patient deserves feel relaxed and at ease at the dentist’s office, and our excellent team goes a long way towards helping them Our hygienists,was assistants, and are not only Growing up in Oak Brook, myachieve interestthis. in orthodontics sparked bycoordinators my father, who is also highly knowledgeable and great at their had jobs,practices but also extremely friendlyand at every of and treatment. a doctor in the practice. My father in Oak Brook Glenstage Ellyn, I got They’ll that Today, your questions always answered and of thatgeneral any concerns areand addressed to see make what sure he did. we workare together with a team dentists dental to your liking. Additionally, you can see that a vast majority of our online reviews to compliment our specialists serving the Western Suburbs including Downers Grove. I decided return home to this community I love attending Loyola University Chicago, studying dentistry at dynamic staff and their abilityafter to help our patients. Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts—and then completing a residency in Orthodontics at Roseman University in Henderson, Nevada. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to Is going to the dentist convenient for busy schedules? continue my father’s journey and work with local families. Far too often, patients struggle to find a good time for important dental care because of their busy

What do youorlove most about your work, school, family schedules. That’s work? why Esplanade Dental Care offers extended hours several

dayslove a week. instance, we our open at 7:20am onWe’re Wednesdays stay open until 7:00pm on We whenFor people leave offices happy. creatingand a brand of happiness. If we Thursdays. being able to accommodate you achieve youratbest, can impactWe oneenjoy person a day throughout the yearyour that’sneeds reallyand big help for us. Family is also the brightestWith smilepatients without ranging unnecessary strain. center. in age from 1 to 101, we see them from when they’re babies to when they get married and beyond through different life stages. I love seeing my patients grow up, when they come back to see me and they’re taller than me, and go from being What is the office’s take on technology? babies to grown The dental field isadults. constantly in motion, developing better techniques and technologies that will benefitof patients. At Esplanade Dental Care, we fitted strive to staybraces right at and the forefront of this growth. We Many your patients are children being with Invisalign. believehave that our of thefrom art technology What youstate learned them? gives us the ability to treat patients more conservatively while avoiding more invasive and expensive procedures because we are able to detect problems

I get a special spark from spending time with them. In orthodontics you get to work and earlier than wewith werekids. withYou traditional past. and Our watch office features interact a lot get to diagnostic see kids attools theirused peakinofthe growth them goseveral from modern touches that help to improve every stage of dental including X-rays, introverts to extroverts. I learn a lot from them, they are thetreatment, future of our world digital and they are intraoral cameras, andfrom. even a state-of-the-art 3D Cone Beam technology for exceptional preciseness. so amazing to learn How does Chawla Orthodontics make a commitment to the community? What precautions are you taking during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Commitment to community runs in staff our very DNA, including offering internships at as the We take the safety of our patients and seriously. Prior to safelysummer reopening in late May, a practice to high school which they can learn aboutguidelines orthodontics and team it was our goal to students go aboveduring and beyond the IDPH, CDC more and ADA required. consider career choices. We more contribute to the community in other ways assafety well by Therefore,potential we sat down to come up with advanced protocols and procedures for the of offering local sports guards andyou providing free education to elementary our patients and team.teams Some mouth of the key changes will notice when visiting our office are: school children about how • Virtual waiting roomto take better care of their teeth. • Patient screenings prior to entering our office • Doctor and patient flow changes to minimize traffic and person to person proximity I• keep an open policy thetrue community. I want people the community to come Installation of airdoor purifiers withtoH13 HEPA filters in every patientfrom room in and see what options are. It’s very important to us.aerosols If potential patients feel like they • Specialized hightheir vacuum suction equipment to capture during aerosol generating can’t afford orthodontic services, my door remains open. I want to provide access to care and procedures provide theofhighest of caresuch to everybody. We can with youmore if you’re on a budget. • Utilization digital level technology as text and email to work communicate effectively with our The most as important thing is building patients well as improvements to ourrelationships, billing process building up the community. We want to

What is your philosophy on access to care?

give back as much as we can.


S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Jackson Family Dentistry DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE DENTAL PROFILE

Cover picture: Dr. Eric G. Jackson, DDS, MAGD.

Jackson Family Dentistry changed forever 11-years ago when Dr. Eric Jackson joined the practice in an effort to lead it into the 21st century. Bringing along his penchant for diagnosis, problem-solving, and whole-patient care that helps every single patient feel supported, cared for, and informed throughout the process, the previously named “Oral Health Care Professionals” firm has come a long way since then. Jackson Family Dentistry

2033 Ogden Avenue, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515 630-963-6750 Mail@OralHealthCareProfessionals.com OralHealthCareProfessionals.com

With a new name, expanded clientele, and even more cutting-edge dental equipment manned by a staff of qualified, passionate, and educated individuals, Jackson Family Dentistry is known for its well-informed patient approach you just can’t find anywhere else today. In fact, Dr. Jackson teaches and explains the science of dentistry to each and every patient, helping to assess their unique needs while working towards long-term, positive oral health results. Dr. Jackson knew from childhood he wanted to follow in his father and great-grandfather’s footsteps by joining the world of dentistry. Growing up under his father, a Chicagoland Orthodontist for his entire career, Dr. Jackson was able to explore his patient approach and commitment to the client before attending school. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Biology and then attended and graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry as a DDS and with is BS in Dentistry. Going beyond education, Dr. Jackson began to devote his time to giving back and advancing his skillset. He has multiple fellowships with dental academies and a mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry. (Fellowship and Mastership programs in dentistry are periods of additional dental training completed by dentists to further their knowledge and skills). Dr. Jackson is also an active member of the American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society, Chicago Dental Society, and Academy of General Dentistry. At the same time, Dr. Jackson volunteers at the CDS Foundation Clinic in Wheaton, Illinois. The clinic provides dental care to low-income individuals in DuPage, Cook, and Lake Counties. In 2021, Dr. Jackson is also volunteering again at the ISDS Mission of Mercy. The annual event provides $1 million in free dental care to 2,000 patients in two days. Dr. Jackson is a frequent event attendee and provider. As 2021 progresses, Dr. Jackson and his staff are partnering with Wheaton-Warrenville Early Childhood Collaborative and Metropolitan Family Services DuPage to host the third annual Little YOUth Dental Day. Dr. Jackson and company educate social workers with the skills they need to help parents and children understand the importance of oral health from an early age. And provide dental screens and resources to those with small children. Crediting all of his success to the hard-working team that shows up every day to serve the community, Dr. Jackson provides the highest quality care to all of his dental patients.


S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Shine Pediatric Dentistry DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE DENTAL PROFILE

Be Your Brightest Self

Cover picture: Lynse J Briney, DDS, MS.

Shine Pediatric Dentistry 950 Ogden Ave, Downers Grove, IL 60515 630-743-6700 www.shinekidsdg.com

Shine Pediatric Dentistry I have been practicing dentistry for over 14 years, serving various communities throughout the Chicagoland area. Now I am excited to serve the community that my family lives in! While I grew up in Central Illinois, my husband, Brent Widler grew up in Downers Grove. Our elementary aged children, Lucas and Zack will be 4th generation Trojan’s at Downers Grove North! We look forward to being active in the community and helping make children’s oral and overall health the best and brightest they can be.

Why Pediatric Dentistry? Pediatric Dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on children from birth to teenage years, including children with special health care needs. After practicing general dentistry for three years, I found that I loved working with kids the most. I love when a positive experience can change a child’s perspective of “not liking the dentist.” I get such joy and fulfillment when a patient arrives fearful and nervous, and leaves giving high fi ves and smiling, it is the best feeling ever! As a board-certified Pediatric Dentist through the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry it’s important to me to stay up-to-date with all of the latest techniques available. I have advanced training to provide tooth colored crowns as well as newer treatments that may help prevent cavities from advancing.

Why Shine Pediatric Dentistry? We want to provide you and your child a refreshing, personalized dental experience that supports each of us in becoming our “brightest” selves. We are committed to making your child feel cared for, respected, and part of the team that helps keep them happy and healthy. We value educating patients on the importance of oral health, how to take care of their teeth, and want everyone to take pride in their smile! And should your child ever have a challenging experience, we want to be the team that helps overcome it!

Shine With Us Shine Pediatric Dentistry is located at 950 Ogden Ave in Downers Grove. We would love the opportunity to meet you and your little ones! Please check out our website: shinekidsdg.com, follow us on Facebook @shinepediatricdentistry or on Instagram @shinekidsdg.


S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Woodlake Family Dental DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE DENTAL PROFILE

Dr. Amit Sud Dr. Amit Sud was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He attended University of Washington for his undergraduate education where he obtained his BSC in cellular and molecular biology and attended New York University for his dental degree. Dr. Sud continued his education at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he obtained a certificate in the executive management program for dentists. He is also a member of the international congress of oral implantologists and has trained extensively on implant placement and restorations. Dr. Sud’s hobbies include biking and watching football and hockey. He is a big fan of the Bears and the Toronto Maple leafs. Dr. Sud and Dr. Verma opened Woodlake Family Dental in 2007.

Dr. Anita Verma Woodlake Family Dental

2309 63rd Street Woodridge, IL 60517 (630) 753-9955 www.woodlakefamilydental.com woodlakedental@gmail.com

Dr. Anita Verma was born in New York City and raised just outside of Princeton, New Jersey. She attended New York University in an accelerated BA-DDS program where she obtained her undergraduate and graduate education. After graduating from NYU, she completed a general practice residency at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Verma moved to the Chicagoland area in 2006 with her husband, Dr. Sud. Dr. Verma and Dr. Sud have three children and a recent addition to her family−a puppy named Chewy. She enjoys reading, baking and crafting in her spare time. Dr. Verma has continued her education by taking courses through Spear Education, Cosmedent, and Illinois State Dental Society. Dr. Verma’s practice philosophy is based upon creating a healthy and beautiful smile in a comfortable and safe setting.

Affiliations American Dental Association Chicago Dental Society Illinois State Dental Society.


P U T Y O U R H E A LT H I N YO U R H A N D S When it comes to your health, there is so much confusion out there. At Edward-Elmhurst Health we’re here to be a trusted voice. So if you need care, COVID or otherwise, please don’t hesitate to schedule an in-person appointment or video visit with the MyEEHealth app today. We’re here to help, and we’ve taken every precaution for your wellbeing and ours.

DOWNLOAD THE APP TODAY!


Downers Grove Magazine | Giving Back

Celebrating 20 years in the community Hope’s Front Door continues to provide much needed relief for those in need

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BY JANELL ROBINSON OF HOPE’S FRONT DOOR

uring a time of uncertainty, Hope’s Front Door (HFD) is providing a lifeline to those impacted by COVID-19, and providing resources that will help them through this crisis.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has driven unemployment rates higher than at any point during the two years of the Great Recession,” executive director Janell Robinson said. “The implications on lives of area families and children are profound. People are scared, and dealing with high levels of anxiety. We are happy to be here to provide basic-need items, but when a client tells a staff member ‘you made my day,’ we know are also making an emotional connection so needed during this troubling time.” HFD temporarily shut its doors to inperson services in March and April to retool programs to adhere to social distancing. Since HFD’s reopening, more than 300 households have been assisted with food, transportation, hygiene, school supplies and toiletry items, resulting in 700 adults and children benefiting from the financial assistance provided. Currently, HFD is concentrating on offering immediate, emergency assistance through phone intake and curbside distribution of basic need items.

“Since we have reopened, clients have been very grateful for the resources,” program director Kathy Nazzarini said. “It is not only for the help we provide, but the empathy and care in which we provide it. We have redesigned how we offer our services to ensure the safety of not only our clients, but volunteers as well. But we also had to think about how we could maintain the link with our clients. Our one-on-one service is a hallmark of our organization, and we didn’t want that to go away. That is why our phone intake conversations are so important: we get to connect with our clients.” This has resulted in unexpected cost for the organization, leading it to purchase virtual meeting services for future education programs and PPE. Most pressing was expanding the number of phone lines in the office to help with client intake, as the number of calls for help continues to climb as people lose government benefits and safety-net services. As more area families are impacted financially by COVID-19, HFD conservatively projects a 30 to 35 percent increase in the numbers for food and health assistance. During the next 12 to 18 months, the organization expects to help 45 new families per month made newly financially insecure because of loss of employment and insurance. HFD serves children and adults

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who cannot wait during this time-period for desperately needed items to address health concerns like asthma and diabetes. These are also underlying issues that make them more at risk for more severe illness from COVID-19. In this challenging year, HFD is also celebrating 20 years of service, moving from an in-person gala to an interactive Prohibition-themed fundraiser on Oct. 24. “It is certainly not how we envisioned celebrating this occasion, but we still hope to have fun with music, competitions, games, swing-dance lessons and more,” Robinsons said. “We are an integral part of the fabric of the community, and I am so proud and honored to be part of an organization that does this type of heartfelt work. While the theme of the fundraiser is ‘Roaring ‘20s Prohibition,’ community members are not prohibited from giving, because we truly need them during this time. Our mission is to help people weather these types of storms, so it seems as if we are in the right place during a critical time. As heightened food insecurity continues to impact our community, we are grateful for support from residents. It feels like neighbors our looking out for each other.”


Downers Grove Magazine | Spotlight

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Century of service

How and why Darvin Furniture & Mattress is celebrating 100 years in business

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BY SCOTT JONLICH | HINSDALE MAGAZINE

he century mark is an impressive achievement, whether you are a person, an entity like a community or a business—especially a furniture business—especially in these times.

Think of all the furniture stores that have come and gone over the past 100 years. And, of course, we’re in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the worst health calamities to affect the entire world since the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.

After all, furniture and furnishings are not something you buy every day, like groceries. In fact, over time, in a typical family life-cycle, it may buy only one or two sets of living-room, dining-room or bedroom furniture for mom and dad and the kids.

So, how has Darvin not only lasted but grown and prospered to the point where over 300 employees are serving customers every day in its 200,000-square-foot showroom location in Orland Park?

Add to that the fact that Darvin Furniture has only one location.

Hinsdale Magazine met with Will Harris, president of Darvin Furniture since January. Harris joined Darvin,

because he saw parallels with his experience in his family furniture business in New Hampshire. He directs all day-to-day operations in sales and marketing and the distribution center in Mokena, and he works closely with Steve and Marty Darvin, who are still very active in the business daily. According to Harris, there are five reasons for the success of Darvin Furniture: first, the way the company’s founder Louis Darvin served customers from his first days in Chicago; second, keeping ownership and management within the family, from founder Louis to his son Continued on next page

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Downers Grove Magazine | Spotlight Continued from the previous page

David and David’s sons Marty and Steve; third, continually surrounding management with extremely knowledgeable staff; fourth, an unbeatable combination of highquality furniture, many brands to choose from, low prices and attractive finance; and fifth, a loyal following of customers and their families who have come to love the “Darvin experience.”

thing has always remained constant: our commitment to running Darvin Furniture has always been anchored by a heightened focus on integrity. Earning our customers’ business each time they come into our showroom has helped create generations of loyal customers.”

door using catalog pictures,” Harris said, adding that over time, the word spread, and Darvin became known as a furniture expert, offering highquality furniture and low prices. And the customer base began to grow. As soon as he was old enough, son David became Louis’s business partner, and they opened their first store in Chicago in the early 1940s.

“We have always been focused on our family-owned principles. To earn the trust and confidence of our customers, we have a longstanding tradition that includes providing a highly-trained staff.”

“We have always been focused on our familyowned principles,” Steve Darvin said. “To earn the trust and confidence of our customers, we have a longstanding tradition that includes providing a highly-trained staff. While we have experienced many changes in ten decades, including five different locations during those 100 years, one

Harris understands and respects the meaning of hard work and dedication to customers is priority number one.

According to Harris, in the 1970s, David's sons Steve and Marty also joined the family business. After David's passing in 2005, Steve and Marty continued their father's and grandfather's tradition of selling quality furniture at low prices, along with exceptional service to their valued customers.

“Louis Darvin began the business in 1920 by selling furniture door to

“Our professional staff of over 300 associates are attentive, knowledgeable

- STEVE DARVIN

STEVE & MARTY DARVIN 52

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and value their customer's business,” Harris said. “There are 75 sales consultants who are experts in their field and always ready to assist customers.”

Canadel, Bernhardt, Daniel’s Amish, Stanley, England and Michael Amini, affording them a one-stop furniture shopping experience in a 200,000-square-foot showroom.

Marty Darvin has been there during all the employee hires over the years.

“On top of that, we have a 35,000 square-foot clearance and outlet center right in the building,” Harris said. “Add to that, our Darvin Mattress Store features all the brands like Simmons Beautyrest, Sealy Posturpedic, Serta Perfect Sleeper, i-Comfort, Restonic, Aireloom and Tempur-Pedic mattresses. When it’s all in one place, there’s no need to go from store to store.”

“Our employees are part of our family,” he said. “It has always been that way, and we know that to ensure a true Darvin experience, we have to have employees who care enough to provide that effort every day in the

The Darvins have learned from history when it comes to doing right by the customers and business partners. “Our relationship with our vendors and business partners has always played a huge part in our ability to offer the quality and value Darvin is known for,” Steve Darvin said, adding that right after World War II, there were

LOUIS DARVIN

showroom and behind the scenes in the office.” Steve said that having a presence in the store was important to him and Marty. “On most days, you could find one or both of us on the showroom floor, where we could meet our customers and reassure our employees that our commitment to the business was not just words,” he said. Darvin Furniture also offers free design services when making a purchase. “Our team of design specialists can help customers plan or coordinate customer’s furnishing needs in the store or home," Harris said. "I will stack them up with any group in the furniture business anywhere, not just in Chicago, but anywhere in the country." Customers can find all the highprofile brands like Trisha Yearwood, Century, Lane, Flexsteel, Bassett,

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governmental limits and restrictions put on the availability of merchandise. However, these didn’t hit customers too hard, because Darvin always paid bills on time, and accordingly received full access to merchandise due to its commitment to vendors. Today, Harris guides Darvin in the same tradition. The company’s attention to service starts the moment our customers walk in and make their selection. They can pick up their items at Darvin's distribution center in Mokena, just 15 minutes from the Orland Park location on U.S. Rte. 45. “Our father taught us to run the business with unwavering attention to providing our customers with a great shopping experience,” Steve Darvin said, “and to always remain close to our family of employees.”


Downers Grove Magazine | History Vault

HISTORIC HOTEL BY VALERIE HARDY PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINA MENAPACE

The inside scoop on downtown Downers Grove’s landmark Tivoli Hotel Hotel, Tivoli Bowling Lanes and Tivoli Theatre (which developed into the Classic Cinemas collection of historic theatres), among other real estate holdings. The Tivoli Hotel, located at 936 Warren Ave., opened in 1929, one year after the Tivoli Theatre, with the intention of “making Downers Grove a tourist attraction,” Johnson said. Johnson added that it featured the first elevator in the village, and was “reported to have had a really nice restaurant on the second floor.” But the hotel restaurant closed in 1950, and the large space it vacated went on to become the Downers Grove grade- and high-school board of education office for the next 18 years. The school board “built a vault to keep records in; they would roll the cart of records into the vault each night,” Johnson said. Ultimately, the board of education moved out of the second floor of the Tivoli Hotel, and it became home to a beauty school and salon, followed by a karate school, before Johnson and his second wife Shirley “took space that was originally the restaurant to turn into an apartment for ourselves.”

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hen Downers Grove native Willis Johnson was going through a divorce in the early 1970s, he needed a place to live, and happened upon the residential Tivoli Hotel. At $32 per week for a fully-furnished room with maid service six days per week, and located just across the tracks from the printing company he co-owned with his brother, Johnson

could not beat the price or commute. Johnson lived in one of the 39 singleoccupancy rooms at the hotel for more than three years prior to remarrying, and during that time, he said he became good friends with the hotel’s owner, Daniel Montesano. This friendship led to Johnson purchasing the Tivoli building in 1976. Soon thereafter, he was serving as president of what is now Tivoli Enterprises, Inc., comprised of Downers Grove’s Tivoli 54

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Johnson explained that they renovated the former site of the hotel dining room into a 2,000-square-foot, seven-room modern apartment ripe for entertaining. While considered non-traditional suburban living by some who wondered “how you could live like that, in reality, it was an easy way to live,” Johnson said. The couple enjoyed the amenities their hotel apartment provided: a 24-hour telephone switchboard, front desk security, a housekeeping service, delivery receiving, a storage room in the theater converted into a one-car garage for them to park, and the convenience of literally living in Downers Grove’s entertainment hub.


Ten Tidbits about the Tivoli (and its Owner) 1. The Tivoli was formerly named the Bunge Building, and where Aurelio’s is currently located was the Bunge Pharmacy. Far before he came to own the building, Johnson was friends at school with Fred Bunge, one of the Bunge Building’s owner’s grandsons. 2. Original access to the Tivoli Bowling Alley was through the lobby of the hotel. There was no direct entrance from the street. 3. Adams-Winterfield Funeral Home was once located in the Tivoli Building (where the beauty salon is today). 4. There has always been a beauty shop at some location of the Tivoli Building. 5. Western Union had a switching room in the Tivoli (where the laundry facility for guests is currently located). Johnson reported hearing “a lot of clicking as the gears shifted” when Western Union was still there. 6. The Tivoli Hotel no longer runs ads because they are nearly always at no vacancy status.

WILLIS JOHNSON AND THE ORIGINAL SWITCHBOARD

After close to two decades living in the hotel, Johnson said they moved into a bungalow-style home in town, because Shirley “really wanted a yard with flowers.” If not for his wife’s desire for green space, he said he would “probably still be there.”

years. Johnson believed this resident to be Gus Buben, a retired postal worker.

7. There are current residents of the Tivoli Hotel who have lived there for over 20 years.

While the “hotel” in the Tivoli’s name may confuse some passersby, Johnson said “we just tell people it’s weekly and one person per room.”

Johnson decided to convert the large apartment into more individual rooms in the single-room-occupancy (SRO) building. The hotel currently leases 54 rooms for a one-week minimum stay at a base weekly rate of $190. Johnson guests must pay each week advance up front, and “we only do cash.”

However, while the SRO guideline is fairly stringent, he said they do have overnight guests, “but there is a charge for that: $15 per night.”

8. The Tivoli Hotel was home to a Downers Grove postmaster and his family before it was solely SRO. Kitty Reuther, a schoolteacher at Downers Grove High School, and her mother had a pair of rooms at the hotel for about 30 years. Reuther’s estate left the Downers Grove school system $500,000 to endow college scholarships to local students. Harold Goff of Southern Illinois had a room at the Tivoli for many years, but according to Johnson, he was never there!

“We don’t want to have to chase somebody for checks, but we will accept social security checks,” he. Johnson noted that a number of the Tivoli residents are retirees, and many do not have or need cars due to the proximity to downtown and to the train and bus lines. “It’s a real mix of people, all different kinds,” he said of the resident demographics, adding that the majority of lodgers are male, “but we do have female guests as well.” Johnson’s son Chris, who is also heavily involved in Tivoli Enterprises, Inc., recently analyzed the length of guest residency, and found that the average Tivoli Hotel stay is 3.2 years. According to the hotel’s website, one gentleman lived at the hotel for 43

There is also a $15 weekly fee for airconditioned rooms. Guests may have refrigerators, but onsite cooking is not permitted. “When the hotel was built, there was not the capacity of electricity needed for [cooking] devices,” Johnson said. “[Plus, the] ventilation system brings in fresh air, but if you cook, everybody knows what you’re cooking.” The hotel is staffed with a 24-hour desk clerk. All residents must turn in their keys at the front desk each time they leave the building. The Tivoli now has video surveillance also, because, Johnson said, “We have to be concerned with everyone’s safety.”

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9. The Tivoli Enterprises, Inc. offices used to be located where the Tivoli Bowl’s pool tables and arcade area are now. 10. Willis Johnson was born in 1937. With the exception of four years of college in Kalamazoo and six or seven years during his term in the Army, he has lived in Downers Grove. He’s lived in a historic Sears Home and a historic Montgomery Ward Home. He attended Washington School, Lincoln School, and Downers Grove High School. Married 42 years to Shirley, with four children, two stepchildren, and 13 grandchildren, Johnson said, “Downers Grove has been a good place to live.”


Downers Grove Magazine | Home & Design

THE GLASS HOUSE-DESIGNED AND BUILT BY RICHARD MARKER

No place like home Architect Richard Marker reflects on designing and building his family home—the Glass House—in Downers Grove.

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BY EMMA WOLF PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK GUTIERREZ WITH VHT

s Dorothy Gale famously declared in The Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.” Cliché or not, this saying has proven to be true for architect Richard Marker, as he reflected on his experience of creating the Downers Grove home that is known as the “Glass House.” Boasting floor-to-ceiling glass walls and windows, bright skylights and newlyrefinished white-oak hardwood floors, this hidden gem is nestled among a heavily-forested piece of land on a familyfriendly street. Marker, a Downers Grove native, designed and built the modernist steel and glass house in 1973 as his family home. He resided in it with his wife and

three children from 1973 to 1988, before moving to Naperville. “It was a fun place to live, and it was special to us,” Marker said. “We truly enjoyed everything about the house.” Marker’s goal when designing and building the house was to create a sleek, modernist home that was inspired by the elements of nature that surround it. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Marker became a licensed architect at age 25. In 1972, he started his own architectural and building firm, Marker, Inc., which originally began in Downers Grove, then moved to Naperville, and is now based in Yorkville. The firm specializes in all areas, ranging from land acquisition to home 56

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construction. It also manages construction projects for outside sources. After building its first house in October 1972, Marker, Inc. went on to build the subdivision Woodland Estates in Downers Grove the next year, before building the Glass House. The firm has built other subdivisions in Downers Grove, Naperville, Westmont, Woodridge and Yorkville, and it has built ten custom homes in Oak Brook. Marker, Inc. has been in business for 49 years, and has built more than 200 houses in the western suburbs, ranging in price from $200,000 to $2,000,000. However, the Glass House is by far Marker’s most distinctive Modernist-style work. The eye-catching house sits far back from the street, making it difficult to spot,


but impossible to forget. It took nine to ten months to build, and was modeled after the Farnsworth House, an internationalstyle Modernist house built by renowned German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945 and 1951. The Farnsworth House is now utilized as a museum that both licensed architects and architecture students visit for education and building or design inspiration. The house is a National Historic Landmark site, and has a visitor center and a guided tour option. Marker’s Glass House contains many of the same qualities as the Farnsworth House. Sitting at 4918 Wallbank Ave., the Glass House is 2,016 square feet, and made with one-inch insulated glass panels that are six feet wide and nine feet tall. The mirrored glass (think privacy) and steel-bar joints are what make the house one of the most unique homes in town. This one-of-a-kind house also happens to be on the market. Listed for $850,000, the home includes four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a 2.5-car garage. The original floor plan that Marker himself designed is largely unchanged. One of the four bedrooms features an entire wall of bookshelves, and there is a glass-enclosed sunroom that is perfect for anyone seeking to be at one with nature. “It’s definitely a versatile house, meaning that the home office can be converted into a laundry room or even a yoga area, which I think makes it appealing,” Elaine Pagels Group real estate agent Brita Pagels said. Located in the Downers Grove North neighborhood, the Glass House is the perfect combination of original architectural design and modern renovation.

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Stacey Keeler, RN Program Coordinator, Cardiac Innovations & Structural Heart Center®

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Downers Grove Magazine | Neighborhood News

C ENT E N N I A L COM M EMO R AT I O N STORY BY

MIKE ELLIS

Photo Marcello Rodarte

B

After 100 years, Butterfield Country Club flourishes with a modernized golf course and freshly-renovated facilities

utterfield Country Club (BCC) is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, will be forestalling its celebratory festivities until the summer of 2021.

A century ago, the western suburbs looked quite different than they do today. What is now developed subdivisions or neighborhood blocks was formerly in many places acres of farmland and open fields. Around 1920, a group of affluent Oak Park and River Forest residents were seeking a country club. Although they resided near Oak Park Country Club, according to writer Tim Cronin, they were prohibited from joining the club due to their Roman-Catholic beliefs. Accordingly, this intrepid group of Catholics collaborated and stumbled upon roughly 195 acres of farmland along Midwest Road north of 31st Street in what is now Oak Brook. At the time, the area was virtually uninhabited. The group established Butterfield Country Club in 1920, hiring accomplished golf architect William B. Langford to design a golf course. “The first address for Butterfield was Hinsdale—it was the closest town,” said Cronin, who is working on Butterfield’s centennial book, which will be published next year. ... “Everything has changed, except that the golf course is still there 100 years later.” 60

BCC opened its first nine holes in 1921, and progressed to a full 18 the following spring. By 1930, the club unveiled the last nine of its 27 holes, which are combined alternately to form several distinct sets of 18s. “Typically, [we] have an official 18 [holes] that we deem for that day, that week,” Butterfield member Brian Mazzocchi said. “And then the odd-9 is always open.” While we observe a number of enduring private golf clubs in the region, such as Hinsdale Golf Club, Ruth Lake Country Club and La Grange Country Club, Cronin said Butterfield has fared better than many of its contemporary clubs. “The fact that they have been able to last this long is impressive,” he said. “There are many clubs that opened in the ‘20s that didn’t make it to the ‘30s.” Cronin said one such club was Mill Road Farm, located just south of Conway Farms Golf Club in north suburban Lake Forest, which he described as “harder than Medinah No. 3,”

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

Butterfield pool 1953

Photo courtesy Butterfield Country Club


Clubhouse ground-breaking circa 1920

yet failed to survive the second World War.

Butterfield Invitational In 1951, BCC member Ted Wooley, a golf pro who was born in England and owned a golf equipment company based in Chicago, began the Butterfield Invitational, which has continued for nearly seven decades, attracting some of the top amateur golfers in the region. “It remains a huge event,” Cronin said. “Usually, it’s a four-day [event], with three days of team play.” The annual invitational concludes with a fireworks display. “It’s very much anticipated to those who play in it,” Cronin said. “That’s really the competition angle that Butterfield hangs its hat on.”

Course and facility renovations By the mid-2000s, Butterfield prepared to undertake a course renovation like many clubs across the country, in light of improved golf equipment and technology. An architect worked on a comprehensive renovation of the existing course in 2009 and 2010, removing dozens of trees to create a more open setting. “A lot of these courses have tree-line, and you really don’t see the rest of the course,” BCC general manager Scott Azinger said. “I think he did a really nice job.” Azinger described the new course as a “championship-quality track,” adding that Butterfield was approached by the PGA in 2016 for the opportunity to host a senior major championship in 2018. “We just didn’t feel like it was the right fit,” he said. According to Azinger and Mazzocchi, when a club hosts a professional tournament, it essentially turns its golf course over from the membership to the PGA for a considerable period of time. In 2013, BCC followed up its golf course redesign by redoing its pro shop, and then added a platform tennis facility the next year, joining many private clubs in the region that have embraced the popular winter sport. “It’s a nice building where a lot of our members have birthday parties,” Azinger said. “It’s really different than the clubhouse. It was meant to be a really casual lodge experience.” Mazzocchi said paddle has “become huge” at Butterfield. BCC constructed a new pool and snack bar in 2015, concurrently finishing off a basement with three golf simulators, a fitness facility, pool cafe and tennis pro shop.

Photo courtesy Butterfield Country Club

Centennial celebration Butterfield’s centennial celebration, which has been in the works for at least five years, was originally scheduled for Aug. 15, but as a result of the pandemic limiting large gatherings, it was shifted to Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. “We had a full day, and we thought we’d probably have between 800 and 1,000 people here that evening,” Azinger said. Mazzocchi said the club had an “awesome” night planned, including fireworks and musicians such as professional singer John Vincent and the band Your Generation, who would play music spanning the decades of BCC’s existence. Butterfield had also prepared a centennial golf event for the same morning, and was considering a flyover to capture images at different times of the day. While all of the festivities will be put on hold until next summer, the club will be able to carry over its newly-fashioned centennial logo—an amalgamation of current and previous BCC designs—to 2021. “It’s kind of like a hybrid from a few of our logos,” Mazzocchi said. Even after 100 years, Azinger said Butterfield is “very healthy,” with full membership and a waiting list. “It’s a desirable place to be,” he said. Mazzocchi said one of the reasons the club has continued to flourish is its generational line of members. “That’s the beauty of Butterfield Country Club,” he said. Mazzocchi’s in-laws joined Butterfield when she was 2 years old, and today, they are watching their own kids grow up at the club. Cronin said BCC “hasn’t changed much over the years, and that is, I think, partly by design.”

“It was really an upgrade that was needed,” Azinger said. Lastly, the club most recently completed a three-phase renovation of its clubhouse, highlighted by the addition of a pristine pub that exudes a formal restaurant atmosphere, while making one feel as if they are dining on a golf course through the employment of floor-to-ceiling windows. “It’s a bar that’s in the middle of a nice, casual area that looks like it would be [in] downtown Chicago,” Azinger said. Altogether, Azinger said Butterfield spent approximately $12.5 million on facility improvements over the last five to six years. “That’s good to have behind us when we hit the pandemic,” he said. ... “All of this was trying to target to have everything ready for the centennial.” DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

Photo courtesy BSB Design 61


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Downers Grove Magazine | Around Town

Hidden Treasures Featuring parks and activities for the entire family to enjoy

PARKS Belmont Prairie

The Belmont Prairie, located west of the Downers Grove Golf Course at Haddow Avenue and Cross Street, is one of the last original prairies in Illinois. Maintained by the Downers Grove Park District, the Prairie contains a wide variety of quadra-seasonal grasses and other plants in an undisturbed setting. Walk the grounds on the nature trail and you might see fox, raccoons, meadow voles and, occasionally, coyote and white-tailed deer. Photo courtesy of The Downers Grove Park District

Hoopers Hollow Park

Hooper’s Hollow is a large park tucked neatly at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Cornell Avenue. Generally a quiet neighborhood park, it has a walk path and features new playground structures for the young and old. The park rises steeply from south to north and a wooden bridge spans over the creek providing pedestrian access to the northern half of the park. Photo courtesy of The Downers Grove Park District

West DuPage Woods

Located in West Chicago, this forest preserve offers great birding at its Elsen’s Hill and spectacular fall color displays. Visitors can choose to explore the high ground showcasing an impressive display of spring wildflowers. Or, they can choose the low-lying areas, where they’ll find the wetlands and the banks of the West Branch DuPage River. Photo Courtesy of The DuPage Forest Preserve

Oldfield Oaks in Darien

Oldfield Oaks features an off-leash dog area and two miles of trails through mature woodland, natural wetland and restored prairie. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy spring wildflower such as trout lilies, jack-in-the-pulpits, spring beauties, trillium and May apples, but also puts on a spectacular show of color in the fall. Photo Courtesy of The DuPage Forest Preserve

Lester Community Playground

Lester Community Playground opened in August and features two inclusive playgrounds that provide equipment that is accessible to children of all abilities and developmental levels. An ongoing effort the last four years by the Lester Community Playground Committee, the group raised $425,000 through fundraising efforts and individual donors. Lester Elementary School is located at the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Indianapolis Avenue.

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DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE


TREASURE HUNTS “Geocaching” in Downers Grove

Looking to search for “treasure” in Downers Grove? “Geocaches” abound in Downers Grove and surrounding areas, hidden in parks and public areas. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure-hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Simply navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates, and then attempt to find the geocache (typically a container) hidden at that location. Then simply sign the logbook, and return it to its original location. Register for free for a basic membership at www.geocaching.com to get started. Visit www.geocaching.com for more information.

DG Rocks

This Facebook group formed over the summer with one simple goal: “Create a rock, hide a rock, find a rock. Get out and get moving!” Now at nearly 500 members, DG Rocks continues to grow and spread love and kindness in the community. The rules are simple: hide painted rocks in a safe area on public property, such as parks, schools or downtown Downers Grove; find the rocks, hide them again in a new spot or keep them. Happy hunting! Visit www.facebook. com, and search “DG Rocks” for more information.

DOWNERS GROVE MAGAZINE

65


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Downers Grove Magazine September 2020  

Hidden Gems in Downers Grove: Brookeridge Airpark Flies Under the Radar, History Vault: The Tivoli Hotel, Home & Design: The Glass House, Pu...

Downers Grove Magazine September 2020  

Hidden Gems in Downers Grove: Brookeridge Airpark Flies Under the Radar, History Vault: The Tivoli Hotel, Home & Design: The Glass House, Pu...

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