Oak Park Apartments | Blogs & Articles

25th Anniversary Contest – Find Out About the Featured Charities: Part II

Here are some more mission statements from the featured charities that OakParkApartments.com’s anniversary contest is promoting.  All of the charities are truly a vital part of our community and are organizations that Oak Park Apartments and its’ owners have been committed to throughout their 25 years in business.

Hephzibah Children’s Association: Hephzibah is Oak Park’s oldest charity—founded in 1897 when Mary Wessels opened her home to children from a nearby orphanage that had been destroyed by fire. Responding to a need in the community, Mary continued to welcome youngsters into her home and made it her mission to “care for society’s most vulnerable children.”

Today, Hephzibah’s services are many and they are continually developing new innovative programs while staying true to their mission and meeting the needs of the community.

Historical Society of Oak Park & River Forest: To bring together people who are interested in Oak Park and River Forest, to study and provide means and facilities for the study of the history of Oak Park and River Forest, to acquire, collect, preserve and display materials and literature relevant to the history of the Oak Park and River Forest areas, to assist in the designation and preservation of buildings, monuments, and other sites significant to the history of the area, to publish and disseminate materials and information relative to the history of the area,  and to operate an archive, library and museum for future generations.

L’Arche Chicago: L’Arche is an international federation of intentional communities in which people with and without intellectual disabilities live, work, play and pray together, creating home. Core members – persons with disabilities – make up the heart of our communities. Those who live and share life with them are called assistants. Each L’Arche community is unique and autonomous but internationally federated. We all share a common vision of the basic dignity of each human person and the centrality of mutual relationship between God and each person and between persons of all races, religions, cultures and abilities. We seek to create home and provide meaningful work for all our community members and to witness to a way of life where everyone is recognized as being of equal and infinite value.

Literacy Volunteers Western Cook County: LVWCC is a not-for-profit agency that provides free tutoring services and literacy programs to adults in western Chicago and suburban Cook County through its network of trained volunteers. Established in 1986, LVWCC currently serves approximately 200 students per year.

Oak Leyden Developmental Services: Helping people with developmental disabilities meet life’s challenges and reach their highest potential. To accomplish this mission, Oak-Leyden has developed seven core values and will consistently: Recognize the dignity of each individual, support personal choices whenever possible and safe, promote the inclusion of each individual served within the larger community, facilitate and encourage family involvement and participation in support of the individual served, strive to discover new and innovative programs to enhance the lives of people with disabilities, provide individually-designed programs that empower individuals served, use resources in a manner that provides the maximum benefit for individuals served.

Oak Park Area Arts Council: Believes art is intrinsic to the quality of life in the community, the Oak Park Area Arts Council celebrates, supports and promotes artists and arts organizations in Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park. By raising funds for the arts, and advocating for policies that promote the arts, they enhance the social, economic, and cultural foundations of the its’ communities.

25th Anniversary Contest – Find Out About the Featured Charities: Part I


OakParkApartments.com’s 25th anniversary charity contest goes live April 1st. Below are the mission statements of 5 of the Charities on the list. Tomorrow and Wednesday we will feature more of the charities that will be a part of the contest. Remember, just because your charity may not be on our list you are still able to vote for another charity of your choice – just write it in when you vote!

Animal Care League: Nonprofit organization serving Oak Park. Finding homes for stray and abandoned cats and dogs and providing humane education programs.

Collaboration for Early Childhood Care and Education: At the Collaboration for Early Childhood Care
& Education, we provide the resources and
connections vital to every child’s opportunity for
success in learning and in life. Work with us to
create a bright future for our community.

Community Chest of Oak Park and River Forest: From educational achievement to healthcare access to affordable housing to financial stability to crisis support United Way continues to find the best solutions to meet our community’s greatest needs.

Farther Foundation: Farther Foundation partners with schools and community organizations to identify students who demonstrate commitment to success through academic achievement, participation in support programs and a willingness to take a bold step beyond the familiar. We provide opportunities for students to travel worldwide and interact with individuals who have diverse backgrounds and experiences. They participate in programs which enable them to become immersed in new cultures and experiences, learn and develop skills, provide service, cultivate leadership potential and attain personal growth.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust: Their mission is to engage, educate and inspire the public through architecture, design and the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, and to preserve the Trust’s historic sites and collections.

Vote for the charity of your choice…. coming soon!

OakParkApartments.com is celebrating its 25th anniversary by donating $2,025 to one charity each month in the Oak Park area for six months.  The vote for the first month will begin April 1st and ends April 30th…. tell you friends and get ready to vote for your favorite charity!

  • Animal Care League
  • Collaboration for Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Community Chest of Oak Park and River Forest
  • Farther Foundation
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
  • Hephzibah Children’s Association
  • Historical Society of Oak Park & River Forest
  • L’Arche Chicago
  • Literacy Volunteers Western Cook County
  • Oak Leyden Developmental Services
  • Oak Park Area Arts Council
  • Oak Park Food Pantry
  • Opportunity Knocks
  • Parenthesis Parent Child Center
  • Rotary Club of Oak Park River Forest
  • Seven Generations Ahead
  • The Children’s Clinic
  • Wonder Works Children’s Museum

Oak Park Apartments Celebrates 25th Anniversary by Donating to Oak Park Charities

Vote for your favorite charity in Oak Park each month; the charity with the most votes each month will receive a $2,025 donation

Oak Park Apartments, which rents more than 1,000 Chicago suburban apartments in the Oak Park area, announced today it will celebrate its 25th Anniversary by donating $2,025 to one charity each month in the Oak Park area for six months. Visitors to the Oak Park Apartments web site can vote for their favorite local charity. The competition opens April 1 with the first charity winner announced early May.

For 25 years, Oak Park Apartments has breathed life into old buildings and made the Oak Park area a destination for younger residents. “We grew up here and we have always worked to provide great space for people to live and a strong community to be part of. Oak Park is home for us, and we want everyone who rents from us to feel the same way,” says Oak Park Apartments’ Owner Bill Planek. “With our charity giveaway, we want to give those residents and the rest of the community a voice to decide what charities we support.”

The list of charities includes social service agencies, cultural institutions, and more, including Hephzibah Children’s Association, Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, Wonder Works Children’s Museum and the Oak Park Food Pantry. Once a charity has won, it will not be eligible to win a second time. Visitors of Oak Park Apartments web site will also have the opportunity to write in charities they would like to support when voting opens on Friday, April 1.

“These charities are a big part of what makes Oak Park and Forest Park such successful communities,” says Co-owner Bob Planek. “Throughout our 25 years, we have grown substantially and feel that we should do our part in supporting these organizations.”

Oak Park Apartments is the largest renter of apartments in Oak Park and Forest Park and also manages many local condominium associations. Twenty years ago Oak Park Apartments began using compact fluorescent light bulbs and since then has continued to “green” its properties. Working with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a leader in creating more livable and sustainable communities, Oak Park Apartments also performs energy audits on its buildings and has reduced energy and water consumption by 20 percent in just four years. Oak Park Apartments also runs 18 Chicago Avenue, an indoor sports facility, which is home to various sports teams from the community and is open to business. For more information on Oak Park Apartments or to vote for your favorite charity, visit www.oakparkapartments.com beginning April 1.

Earth Hour 2011: OakParkApartments.com – going beyond the hour for over 25 years.

At 8:30 PM on Saturday 26th March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour.

OakParkApartments.com, for 25 years, has been committed to energy conservation.  We have used compact fluorescent light bulbs for over 20 years, installed new energy efficient windows, perform energy audits which have resulted in a 20% reduction of energy and water usage, upgraded electrical and plumbing systems building-wide as well as in individual apartments while taking great care in preserving the vintage charm of our apartment buildings.  As a company there is an ongoing commitment to maintaining and improving our properties that provides a better quality apartment while also helping our environment!

Find out more about Earth Hour at: http://www.earthhour.org/

Spend Your Weekend on Harrison Street

Calling all artists!

Wanted to let people in on the events going on on Harrison street tonight and tomorrow. Tonight is the gallery walk – the galleries stay open late, you can enjoy a great meal at one of the many great restaurants & then shop all the unique artisan shops while enjoying a night out.

Saturday Ella Gill is performing live at the Eastgate Cafe from 6 – 10.  Enjoy music and home cooking – I love their lobster bisque!



Oak Park Festival Theatre Celebrates St. Patrick's Day

The Oak Park Festival Theatre will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this Thursday, March 17, at 7:00 p.m. with a toe stepping, buzz inducing, Irish Ceilidhe (say “kay-lee”).

With music, food and cash bar this Spring blow out will pull the green out of a rock. Live Irish music performances by Brian Friel’s Faith Healer as well as Oak Park favorites, Beth Ann O’Reilly Amandes and Paul Amandes will have you pining for the old country.

All the fun is included in the regular price of a ticket to the show; Just $25 or $20 for students and seniors.

Check it out!

Why Live In Oak Park, Illinois? Frank Lloyd Wright – That's Why!

There are many positives to living in Oak Park, Illinois.  The most obvious is the rich, historic flavor of Oak Park.  Being home to the word’s largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW, as we fondly refer to him) is a plus.  You can explore many of Oak Park’s neighborhoods and take in the cutting edge prairie school designs on your own or join a walking tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District and hear a bit of the tawdry goings on of our friend Frank!

FYI: Guided/self-guided tours are offered through the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, 951 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park, IL or go to the Oak Park Visitors Center and get a free visitor’s guide and get walking!

Find out more about Frank and Oak Park’s architecture at: http://www.gowright.org/

or visit http://www.visitoakpark.com/

Living history in The Heart of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Home Haven

Located at the center of the Prarie School Historic district, 301 N. Oak Park Avenue isn’t just a great place to live; it’s a gateway to architectural history. Just a stone’s throw away from Frank Lloyd Wright’s own home at 951 Chicago Ave., tourists are frequently seen taking in the beautiful architecture and scenery of the Oak Park Village. Jealous visitors understand that when you live in Oak Park, you’re living history.

APA names Oak Park’s Historic District to top 10 in the nation

Oak Park’s Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie School of Architecture Historic District has been designated one of country’s 10 Great Neighborhoods by the American Planning Association (APA), an independent, not-for-profit educational organization.

In a statement released last week, the APA said the district was singled out for having the world’s single greatest concentration of residences designed by architects representing the Prairie School style and as a model of smart growth and transit-oriented development.

“On behalf of the citizens of Oak Park, I wish to thank the American Planning Association for recognizing our Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District as one of the top 10 great neighborhoods in the nation,” said Oak Park Village President David Pope. “We Oak Parkers and the tens of thousands of visitors who come here each year to marvel at the architecture in the district have long known we had something special. Recognition by an organization as prestigious as the APA makes it official.

“The Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District has long served as a model for smart growth, sustainability and livability with its connected street grid with alleys and sidewalks, and its transit-oriented design, which were ahead of their time when the neighborhood was first laid out. Since then, creative adaptive use has preserved the historic character of the neighborhood and has helped to keep the area vibrant, attractive and livable for residents, tourists, commuters, bicyclists and motorists alike.”

Since APA began Great Places in America in 2007, 40 neighborhoods, 40 streets and 30 public spaces have been designated in 47 states and the District of Columbia.

“We’re very excited to name Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District as one of this year’s Great Neighborhoods,” APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer, FAICP, said in a written statement. “With nearly 2,000 historic properties including the home of Wright himself, the neighborhood is world famous. Equally important is its compact design. Residents don’t have to rely on automobiles to get around given the host of public transportation systems serving the neighborhood.”

Oak Park incorporated in 1902 and developed its first plan in 1925. A Village-wide architectural survey completed in 1970 formed the basis for many community plans and Village actions, including the 558-acre neighborhood’s designation as a local historic district in 1972 and a national historic district a year later.

Wright, who was 21 when he moved to Oak Park in 1889, lived there until 1913. The neighborhood contains 23 buildings he designed or remodeled. Characterized by their horizontal form, low-pitched roof lines, restrained ornamentation and open floor plan, the Prairie-style homes in Oak Park are among more than 1,700 residential and commercial properties that contribute to the area’s designation as a local and national historic district.

The compact neighborhood is served by several train and commuter rail lines and buses, and a multi-modal transportation center is located along the neighborhood’s western edge between Marion Street and Harlem Avenue. A bicycle plan adopted in 2008 envisions every Oak Park resident and destination being within two blocks of a bikeway.

Through Great Places in America, APA recognizes unique and authentic characteristics found in three essential components of all communities – streets, neighborhoods and public spaces. The APA says its Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live, and are defined by many things including planning, architectural styles, accessibility and community involvement.