Archive for the ‘Art’ Category


October 14, 2018

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



July 3, 2016

Festival of Arts Cookbook 1

This book landed in the Donations at the library and made its way to my desk.  In addition to browsing the book and the recipes, I was intrigued with the organization on the cover–Schaumburg Festival of Arts.  That was new to me.

In doing a bit of research, I discovered that the Schaumburg Festival of Arts was organized in 1970 with two main objectives.  The first objective was to find ways that allowed both Schaumburg and area residents to express themselves artistically.  The second was to finance a Schaumburg Civic Center that would serve as a location for various cultural events and entertainment.

In early January 1971, it was announced by Chairman Sonja Leraas and Honorary Chairman Mayor Robert Atcher, that a grand festival would be held on the weekend of June 19 & 20.  Most events would be held at Schaumburg High School.

There was quite an ambitious agenda that kicked off with a parade on Saturday morning that would end at the school.  Other events included:

  • Artistic creations would be on exhibit in the parking lot for both days with some available for sale and others available for show.  The works would include paintings, water colors, ceramics, sculptures and crewel work.  Michael Madden, director of the Schaumburg Township Public Library, served as exhibition committee chairman.
  • A children’s play would be presented by the Schaumburg Park District
  • A magic show would be presented by Joe Vyleta of Mount Prospect and billed as Young People’s Theater production and held in the school cafeteria.  Paul Derda served as the committee chairman.
  • Talent ’71, a talent contest for persons aged 14 to 19 was also held in the cafeteria.  Winners would receive prizes.
  • Also on Saturday evening, three, one-act plays would be shown in the cafeteria.
  • The following day, music from 1961-1971, A Swinging Decade, would be featured and dancing would definitely be encouraged.
  • A poetry contest would be held in local elementary schools with the winning poem being printed on the back of the festival’s program.  Winning poems from each school would be given a free ticket to all events with the grand prize winner also receiving $10.
  • A poster contest for junior high students would be used to promote the event in local, cooperating stores.  Winners would also receive free tickets to the events.
  • An “Evening of Plays” was also scheduled.  Raoul Johnson, an assistant professor at Loyola University and the director of the plays, eventually chose two plays to be performed.  The first was “The Brick and the Rose” written by Lewis John Carlino. Ten actors portraying 46 characters would sit on stools using only their voices and facial expressions to act their parts.  The other play was “Next” written by Terrence McNally and featured only two actors.

Some events were free and others, like the dance and “Evening of Plays,” charged a fee.  At the end of the weekend, nearly $1000 in profit was accumulated.  Unfortunately, most of the money raised came from the food sold at the refreshment stand–and the funds raised from the cookbook you see featured here.

“Evening of Plays” proved to be the most well-attended event and word-of-mouth spread so fast that the second night sold more tickets than anticipated.  The actors received a 3-minute standing ovation on Sunday night.  Response was so good that they put on an encore performance the following month at the newly formed Schaumburg Festival Theater.

Unfortunately, the Festival Theater and the Festival of Arts were in existence for only one year.  While the desire was there, the attendance was too low to continue.  Someone, though, liked the cookbook and, in particular, either the Swedish Spritz Cookies or Anny’s Chocolate Graham Chews.

Festival of Arts Cookbook 2

Given the fact that this organization lasted for only a short period of time, it is fortunate that over 40 years later the library was the recipient of a small part of their agenda.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Articles from The Herald were used to put this blog posting together.  Dates used from 1971 were January 19, April 19, June 24, July 16 and December 17.


April 3, 2016

Happy Birthday Schaumburg!  You turned 60 this year on March 7, 2016 and we’re happy to celebrate with you!

In honor of your birthday year, we’re doing a monthly blog posting based on some of our favorite things about you.

During the month of April we’re asking the readers of this blog to share their favorite piece of public art that has appeared in Schaumburg.  

Maybe it’s one of the pieces in the sculpture garden near the village hall?

Or, maybe you liked one of the big chrome pieces that was in Center Court at Woodfield?

How about the big Weber grill at the restaurant by the same name?

Possibly it was one of the heads that appeared outside of the Chicago Athenaeum on Roselle Road? Big HeadsOr maybe it’s this much loved gentleman that you can find in the foyer of the library.

Library sculpture

Maybe you remember one from the past that has slipped into obscurity or there was one in the school you attended day in and day out.  Whatever the case may be, please share with us!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


April 14, 2013

FistsBig Heads

For a four-year period these two sculptures were outside of the Chicago Athenaeum branch in Schaumburg.  If you can’t quite place the Athenaeum or are new to the area, this is the current Trickster Gallery in Town Square.

The sculptures were large and unusual and a tantalizing place to climb for the kids who visited.  They were  passed on to the group by Nina Levy, the New York artist who designed them, and erected on the Athenaeum grounds in May of 2000.

The formal name of the Heads is Merchandise Mart Heads.  They were completed in 1993 and were cast in resin and steel.  They “are a playful commentary of the 1940’s sculpture at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.”  (This is the famous row of heads of renowned Chicago merchandisers such as Montgomery Ward, Marshall Field and Edward A. Filene that sit on the Chicago River side of the Mart.)  Each of the heads shown above is 40 x 38 x 53 and was originally installed at Art Chicago.

Holds is the formal name of the clenched Fists.  It is made from bronze powder, resin and steel.  Each fist is a separate part of the sculpture and together they are 60 x 44 x 40 in size.  It was originally installed at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

When the Chicago Athenaeum vacated the premises in 2004, the sculptures went with them.  Larry Rowan of Town Square’s Coldwell Banker passed on the photos to me and asked, “What happened to the heads and fists?”

The answer is that they are currently ensconced at the Chicago Athenaeum’s Galena museum.  The Heads can be found on the outside of the museum and the Fists can be found inside.  You may visit their website at to see other views.   Mystery solved!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library