The doors to Chicago’s finest places and spaces don’t unlock themselves. We'd like to introduce you to the passionate, enthusiastic people helping us put together #OHC2015.
Julia S. Bachrach is the historian and preservationist for the Chicago Park District. She helps document, landmark and interpret all of Chicago’s historic parks. Several of those parks have amazing buildings, including Garfield Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Conservatory, South Shore Cultural Center and the Indian Boundary Park Cultural Center. But as an Edgewater resident, Julia is especially fond of the two historic mansions in Berger Park.
What is your favorite part about this site? Why should people see it?
Although beautifully-designed mansions once lined Sheridan Road, most of them were demolished and replaced by high rises. Visiting the Berger Park mansions, it’s easy to imagine what it must have been like as a resident of this great stretch of lakefront in the early 20th century. Also, both of the houses have great historic and architectural features that are still intact.
What was your favorite OHC experience?
My favorite experience was when there was a wedding in the south mansion on one of the OHC afternoons, and that part of the site had to close. The Park District had to post a staff member in the front of the closed site. Visitors kept trying to peek into windows to see the house; they really weren’t trying to crash the wedding!
What is the most common question you get asked by OHC visitors?
Most of the visitors are interested in better understanding which features of the houses are original. Some of them are especially interested in hearing about the female ghost who is sometimes seen gazing out the window of the south mansion.