In March 2015 a group came together in what had been a patient dining hall at the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium to commemorate the centennial of the opening of the institution. After spending about four years researching the history of the MTS on my own, it was thrilling to have an opportunity to share my interest with the public and to gain deeper insight into the context from the other speakers. The event was written up in the Chicago Tribune. Below is the announcement and program speakers. I deeply appreciate their participation, thank the staff of the North Park Village Nature Center for their support and efforts to make this event so successful.
One hundred years ago, in March 1915, the city of Chicago opened its first public tuberculosis sanitarium on a 160-acre site bound by Bryn Mawr, Pulaski, Peterson and Central Park avenues. The 650-bed, 32-building facility was founded to provide treatment and long-term care at no cost to patients suffering from this highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease.
It was a remarkable accomplishment for the city to build a world-class public sanitarium–the first to have a maternity ward. It is equally remarkable that the beautiful buildings and grounds of the former Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium, renamed North Park Village and Peterson Park, continue to serve the public.
On Saturday, April 25, North Park Village Nature Center will host an afternoon of talks and tours to commemorate the founding of the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium and the continued use of the site. This event is free, but reservations are required. Call the North Park Village Nature Center to reserve your spot: 312-744-5472. We hope you can join us in remembering this Chicago public health landmark and in celebrating the site’s preservation and continued use.
The speaker program will run from 1 pm – 4 pm, and guided tours follow between 4 – 5 pm. This event is suitable for ages 16 and older. Note that parking is very limited within the North Park Village grounds. Street parking is available on Bryn Mawr beween Central Park and Pulaski.
The Opening of Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis
Sanitarium: A Journey Back to the Beginning? Mindy Schwartz, M.D., University of Chicago
A Healthful Environment: Architecture and Landscape of Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium Julia S. Bachrach, Chicago Park District historian and preservationist
History of the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium Frances Archer, local historian and blogger
Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium Superintendent Martin R. Lynn—A 1920s Family Scrapbook Kathleen Schnier, great-granddaughter of MTS Superintendent Lynn
The Powerhouse: A Brief Technical Review of Its Decay
and Restoration Methods for Its Future Christen Sundquist &
Kelsey Shipton, both speakers have backgrounds in architecture and historic preservation
SAIC Student Design Proposals for Reusing the Power Building Tannys Langdon, architect and SAIC instructor (student design proposals will be on display)
45-minute guided walking tours of the grounds