Local News

A change in Homewood’s landscape as old Ridge Road building comes down

Buildings come and go, and as they do, our landscape changes. The 1700 block of Ridge Road changed this past week as two long-standing buildings were razed.

Also: South Suburban Humane Society’s Pets on Parade statue makes its debut at the Homewood Indoor Farmers Market | eating pancakes is good for local organizations | Green Thumb Saturdays returns this weekend | Flossmoor teen to perform at IPO showcase | Irish music at the Homewood library on Sunday | Flossmoor rain barrels arriving | Ross store opens and makes donation to Friends of Homewood Public Library.


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

  Demolition begins Thursday, March 2, on the old 
  Triumph meat market building and, behind it, the 
  former Esposito Glass building. 
(Photos by Eric 
  Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Demolition of the buildings at 1744-1748 Ridge Road began Thursday, March 3, and continued the next day. A couple of walls and piles of rubble were all that remained by Saturday morning as workers sorted out salvagable material from the wreckage.

  The old Esposito Glass building 
  at 1748 Ridge Road crumbles 
  as demolition begins on 
  Thursday, March 2.


The buildings have been vacant for a number of years. The one on the west side, 1748 Ridge Road, most recently was home to Esposito Glass, and the adjacent building to the east is remembered by many long-time residents as the Triumph meat market. 

The buildings had deteriorated significantly. Mayor Richard Hofeld said on Saturday that if the owners had not demolished the buildings the village eventually would have needed to do the job because the structures had become a hazard.

  The former Esposito Glass 
  building seen in mid-January.

Village officials hope the site will be redeveloped as a transit-oriented project, which typically includes mixed residential and commercial uses, although Village Manager Jim Marino said no specific project has been brought forward yet. 

The site was included in a request for proposals issued by the village late in 2015 seeking to attract developers for TOD projects.

One firm that responded to the RFP, Third Coast Development of Grand Rapids, Mich., has a contract to purchase another Triumph building, the one at 2033 Ridge Road. The company plans to demolish the building and an adjacent building to make way for a mixed-use residential-commercial building.

Related stories:
Homewood takes steps to pave way for downtown redevelopment
Homewood agrees to buy Ridge Road building — briefly
Homewood hires consultant to help with development projects

Green thumb Saturday returns
Gardening season will start soon, and one of the best resources for local gardeners seeking advice and ideas is Green Thumb Saturdays, a free monthly program sponsored by the  Homewood Tree Committee and the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Program.

The first session will be 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Saturday, March 11, in the board room in the lower level of Village Hall, 2020 Chestnut Road. The subject will be pruning.

Other subjects this summer will include tree selection on April 8, watershed management on May 13, herbs on June 10, a watershed demonstration on July 14, the Deep Tunnel and Reservoir Plan on Aug. 12 and bulbs on Sept. 9.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/GreenThumbSaturday.

Pets on Parade on display

  Dog-lover Eleanor Greep grins 
  as she poses by Buddy, the 

  SSHS Pets on Parade statue.

South Suburban Humane Society (SSHS) volunteers were at the Homewood Indoor Farmers Market to promote the organization’s Pets on Parade fundraiser. The program provides six pet statues that organizations or individuals can adopt for a fee and decorate as they like. The statues will be on display in downtown Homewood this summer and will be auctioned off at Fall Fest in September. 

At the Farmers Market, SSHS’s statue, “Buddy,” was on display, freshly decorated by volunteers.

Statues must be ordered by March 15. For more information, visit www.southsuburbanhumanesociety.org/petsonparade.

Pancakes for singers

  Singers provide entertainment 
  on Feb. 25 durin the H-F Choral 
  Music Pancake Breakfast.

Organizer Stephanie Wright said more than 50 volunteers pitched in on the “I ♥ H-F Choir” pancake breakfast fundraiser on Feb. 18. 

“It’s a team effort,” she said, noting that choir students and their parents made up most of the volunteers. Choir students sang throughout the morning to entertain patrons.

Wright gave a special shout-out to Fred Vaughn, manager of the Homewood-Flossmoor High School cafeteria, and his staff for their support and advice.

  Caroline Koranda, center, and 
  Aileen Straley serve pancakes 
  at the H-F Choral Music 

  Pancake Breakfast.

Wright said the goal was to raise $1,000 at the event. 

Michael Rugen, director of choral activities at H-F, said the money from the event would pay for equipment and scholarships to help students attend summer choir camps.

Pancakes for Scouts
The next opportunity to indulge in a delicious pancake breakfast for a good cause will be from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at St. Paul Community Church, 18200 Dixie Highway.

That’s when Homewood Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will hold their 63rd annual pancake breakfast. Tickets are $5 and the proceeds help scouts attend summer camp and other events. 

Related story:
A good deed indeed: Local Scouts serve up piles of pancakes

Flossmoor musician to participate in IPO Rising Star Showcase 

  Parker Junior High violinist 
  Kate Nelson will perform in 
  the upcoming Illinois 
  Philharmonic Orchestra 

Parker Junior High School student Kate Nelson is slated to perform as part of the annual lllinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s Rising Star Showcase on Sunday, March 19. 
The event, sponsored by Friends of IPO, will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Flossmoor Community Church, 2218 Hutchison Road in Flossmoor. 

Nelson, a violinist, is the only student from the H-F community to be invited to perform this year. She will join six students from area high schools and middle schools and one homeschooled student at the concert. 

Tickets are $10. Students are free.

Related story:
Flossmoor teen wins talent contest with an heirloom fiddle and two old tunes

Irish music at HPL
Homewood Public Library will help patrons get in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish music session from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. 
The featured musician will be Seán Cleland, an Irish fiddle player and teacher. He founded the Irish Music School of Chicago and serves as the organization’s executive director. The school teaches traditional Irish music, language, song and dance.

More information:

Rain barrels arriving in Flossmoor
Flossmoor residents who ordered rain barrels through the village’s participation in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District give-away program should get their barrels soon. Flossmoor officials report that delivery has begun.  

Anyone who ordered rain barrels should contact Laura Brennan-Levy at 708-798-2300 or  [email protected] if they have not received their barrels by the end of March.

Ross opens with donation to library organization

  Homewood Mayor Richard 
  Hofeld, right, cuts the ribbon 
  marking the opening of the 
  Ross Dress for Less store at 
  17910 Halsted St.


Ross Dress for Less store opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony early Saturday, March 4, presided over by Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld and store manager Nate Fritz. 

  Homewood Public Library 
  Board of Trustees President 
  Murray Barr and Friends of 
  the Library President Amy 
  Eagle leave the store 
  opening with a “big check” 
  for $2,500 from Ross 
  to benefit the friends 

Village officials, store employees and customers were on hand. Friends of the Homewood Public Library President Amy Eagle and Homewood Public Library trustees were there, too, to receive a $2,500 donation from the store to the Friends of the Homewood Public Library.

The store opened in the space previously occupied by Bed, Bath & Beyond, 17910 Halsted St., that closed in the fall of 2015.


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