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Ravinia Neighbors Association Blog

Welcome to RNA’s Blog Page which features articles from Ravinia writers. Although articles are chosen in accordance with topics we feel are relevant to Ravinia and of possible interest to our readers, RNA does not necessarily endorse the opinions put forth in the blog posts. If you would like to comment on any articles put forth in the blogs, please use the comment box that follows each post.

Train station kiosk keeps Ravinia community posted

Monday, May 31, 2010

Story and photo by Jeff Stern

Among the first landmarks visitors and residents see when they set foot in Ravinia are the 120-year-old train station and Jens Jensen Park, across from each other along St. Johns Avenue. Both have been painstakingly restored in recent years through the combined efforts of several community groups.

Blending into this historic setting is a relatively new amenity that looks as if it has been there all along -- a kiosk just south of the station, which once stood over in the park. It provides a place for the posting of notices about public and privately sponsored events of interest to area residents and the community at large. In its original form, the kiosk was the gift of the North Shore Garden Club, which the club installed on the Dean Avenue side of the triangular park to commemorate the 80th year of the club's founding in 1916 and to honor landscape architect Jens Jensen, who designed the park and lived for several years just down the street.

By the end of the 20th Century, many of the plantings Jensen created for the park in 1924 had disappeared, and both the park district and a group called the Friends of Jens Jensen Park set out to restore much of the natural beauty that had made the park such a treasure. The renovation was completed in 2007.

With the cooperation of the Garden Club, the Ravinia Neighbors Association (RNA), the park district and the city's Public Works Department, it was determined that the kiosk, with some modifications, would have a more visible and useful function as a community information display site across the street from the park next to the station. Changes included adding a fourth side and an overhanging cupola to protect paper notices on posting boards along two sides of the kiosk. The other sides still carry the North Shore Garden Club's message of dedication to civic beautification, community and horticultural education as well as a profile of Jensen.

What started out as a civic endeavor under the direction of long-time North Shore Garden Club President Harriet Burnstein working together with Pat Shur has become an appropriate addition to Ravinia's historic centerpiece. The RNA contributes its part by keeping current all the notices posted on the kiosk.