Maine Township Town Hall Featured on Smartphone Audio Tour
The Kalo Foundation will launch Ten Hot Spots—Plus One, a smartphone audio tour, that will feature Maine Township Town Hall later this spring. Developed in cooperation with the State of Illinois Department of Tourism, the tour highlights eleven locations in Park Ridge that have been historically and artistically significant and gives a short audio description of each site. Printable copies of the tour will also be available. At our location, this is what people will hear:
The Town Hall at 1700 Ballard Road is the home of Maine Township, one of 30 townships in Cook County. Founded in 1850, the township is the oldest unit of local government in the area. Since its founding it has seen its surroundings grow from a predominantly rural farming community to a major metropolitan area with some 135,000 residents.
Named after the home state of Joseph Mitchell who felt the need for a formal political organization because careless farmers were letting their cattle roam into his corn, today Maine Township remains the government closest to the people—especially for the 33,000 residents who live in the unincorporated area. In 1983, the township moved to these iconic headquarters designed by Lloyd Wright, son of the world famous Frank Lloyd Wright.
When he designed the building—formerly Good Shepherd Church—Wright said he aimed to lift on high—literally as well as figuratively—the site above the existing flat terrain typifying a sense of elevation inherent in religious purpose and structures. Be sure to notice the prairie garden along the east side of the building with plants dating back to prehistoric times—part of renovations and additions to the building made by the Township to honor the Wright design. And as you leave, take a look at the recently discovered and restored antique road grader which shows up at many local parades.
Other sites include Iannelli Studios Heritage Center, the Pickwick Theatre, the Park Ridge Non-Profit Center, and the site of the filming of "The Blues Brothers." Additional tours are already in the planning stages.