A MURAL OF SCHAUMBURG’S HISTORY

I’ve seen this booklet before in our collection but never really stopped to examine it closely. When I did, I was amazed at the art work and local history detail that went into creating this publication.

Designed with the intent to introduce Schaumburg to potential businesses, the publication was created in 1985 by Laura Carey and Dave Ogorzaly who were village employees. As Public Relations Coordinator, Ms. Carey designed and wrote the content. Mr. Ogorzaly was the artist who tracked the history of Schaumburg from its Native American origins to the present day. They included so much of the detail that I write about on this blog.

In communicating with Mr. Ogorzaly–who still works for the village–he said the mural was created as colored pencil drawings. He and Ms. Carey had discussions about which scenes and buildings to include, starting with the obvious choices “like the old and new Village Hall, police station, high school etc. We could not leave out the historical landmarks, the Tollway, Woodfield Mall and the larger business developments. Besides these, I kind of went for the newer ones with the most architectural integrity, as well as adding those that featured new services to the Village.”

I also asked how he put it together so that all of those angles of our history were represented. He said he did it through “research, old photos that were available at the time and with help from people like Pastor John Sternberg [of St. Peter Lutheran Church], who were keeping the history alive.”

So, let’s take a look at the history that is represented. It begins with this page.

If you start at the left, the mural begins with Native Americans during pre-settlement days, fishing and hunting along the banks of, what I have to imagine, is Salt Creek. This segues into Horace P. Williams, an early settler who is known to have driven a flock of sheep from Ohio to Illinois in the early 1840s.  We then see the German farmers who also began settling the area at this time. This is followed by the iconic St. Peter Lutheran Church of 1863 and its cemetery. Also tucked in is the 1848 small, frame, original church.

The bubble at the top illustrates the infamous meeting where Friedrich Nerge, after much debate in putting a name to our township, shouted, “Schaumburg schall et heiten!” or “Schaumburg shall it be.” This is also where the village eventually got its name. (Many do not realize the township came before the village.)

We then move to Schaumburg Center at the corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road. The Fenz general store that stood on the southwest corner is in the middle, the Buttery is featured at the bottom, the one-room, Schaumburg Center School is tucked in at the edge with the old Schaumburg Bank building that stood on the northeast corner below it.

We can also note that the township’s first fire company from 1890 is added as is the term Easy Street. The area–and the Pub–were called Easy Street, not only because some of the wealthier commercial people of the township lived here, but because some farmers built new homes in the center part of the township once they retired.

This second panel of the booklet begins with the incorporation of the village of Schaumburg in 1956. Three buildings that were originally the O.D. Jennings property and later became part of Weathersfield are first, starting with the white Barn of Schaumburg which served as the early village hall. Directly below that is the building that today serves as the offices for the Schaumburg Athletic Association. The Jennings house is to the right of the caretaker’s house. At the bottom are the early homes of Weathersfield.

We then move to the Schaumburg Airpark off of Irving Park Road and Fire Station #1 that was on West Schaumburg Road, close to the intersection with Springinsguth. To the right of the Airpark is the front facade of the Schaumburg Township District Library when it was at 32 W. Library Lane. Below it is the Village’s logo and a representation of Schaumburg’s current Village Hall.

The roads are I-90 and Meacham Road. Notice the south side of I-90 is represented by the water tower that remains on Wiley Road and buildings that are part of the Schaumburg Industrial Park. North of the tollway is the Motorola complex, centered by the tower that is now one of the locations of Motorola Solutions.

The collection of three buildings in the center of the photo represent International Village apartments which was one of the first apartment complexes built in Schaumburg.

The bucolic water and tree scene represents Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary with the bicyclists making their way down one of the many bike lanes in Schaumburg.

Of course, it is impossible not to recognize Woodfield Mall with its anchors that included Marshall Fields, J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor and Sears. Note that the Woodfield water tower was still painted with its iconic brown and gold colors.

Directly below the water tower is the brick monolith of Schaumburg High School to the left, and the Public Safety Building to the right–exactly as you see them today.

This last panel shows much of Schaumburg’s business history with a few governmental representations sprinkled throughout. From the far left we begin with the Community Recreation Center (CRC) that opened in 1979 at the corner of Bode and Springinsguth. Below it is the Pure Oil campus at Golf and Meacham with its distinctive, circular parking lots.

The blue and white bus is part of the Dial-A-Ride Transportation that the village helped to support and above it is the atrium lobby of the Schaumburg Corporate Center. The next two white buildings at the top are Woodfield Lakes One and Two that are on Woodfield Road. Below Woodfield Lakes One is the brown, Brutalist-style structure that originally opened as Woodfield Bank in 1981 and is now Chase Bank.

In the middle is the Olde Schaumburg Centre Park that was created in 1983 on the northeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road. The red truck towing the float represents the village’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1981.

The bubble at the top begins with the small, brown Schaumburg Metra Station that opened the following year in 1982 and the red brick Commuter Rail Facility that is currently on the north side of the tracks. The two structures in the middle are the Northwest Community Hospital Treatment Center on Roselle Road and the La Quinta Motor Inn on Higgins Road. At the top is the Hyatt Regency Woodfield Hotel and the multi-layered Tishman Building that is now Centennial Center on Golf Road.

The final stretch of the panel off to the right begins clockwise with the Marriott Hotel that opened in 1983, Prudential One and Two that are along Martingale Road, the first Zurich American Insurance building that is now Woodfield Pointe Corporate Center, the First United Richport Center which is the set of shops and offices on the northeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road, the Embassy Suites Hotel and, lastly, the Annex Shopping Center on Golf Road.

It was obvious from the dates attached to the buildings that many of the corporate office buildings went up in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This view of that landscape is also from the brochure. Can you pick out some of the buildings/structures that were featured?

Today, it is clear that, despite the fact the village was almost 30 years old, it was still the beginning of commercial development. The village knew it and put this attractive brochure together as enticement for other potential businesses to come to the area. Judging by today’s landscape, it is obvious they succeeded.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

 

One Response to “A MURAL OF SCHAUMBURG’S HISTORY”

  1. Shirley Le Beau Says:

    Thank you for sharing! It’s nice to see the history of Schaumburg captured in such a well thought out and beautiful way. With being longtime residents in the earlier days of Schaumburg, and being involved in the village, my husband and I truly loved to see that the history of the village is being kept “up front” for the generations to come. Keep up the good work …. well done!

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