President’s Message


70 Years and Counting! To say that the Old Town Triangle Association’s mission, agenda and goals are ROBUST is a colossal understatement! It has been this way since the OTTA’s inception in 1948 when the first meeting of concerned residents took place. Through the years, the level of involvement of the OTTA’s dedicated volunteer members has continued to increase.

Initially, our Association did not have a physical home. Today, unlike most other neighborhood organizations, we own our facility. In managing our space, we allow various neighborhood groups, schools, condo boards, and even our municipality (elections) to use it for very nominal rental rates, if any. We are an employer with two paid staff members. I don’t believe any of the other neighborhood organizations have employees.

While the improvement of education was one component of our stated mission, it wasn’t intended to mean sponsoring and operating an “art school”. Yet, since 1956, we have done just that.

One of our most compelling mission agenda items since 1977 and 1984 has been protecting our Chicago Landmark and National Register designations respectively. Originally, we took a “hard line-hold the line” position on zoning issues. Today, we continue to protect zoning and landmark issues as new ownership arrives in the Triangle.

Finally, all the above is made possible from the funds generated by our primary fundraiser, the Old Town Art Fair. It requires year-round organization which is accomplished by as many as 500 volunteers – an incredible achievement! The net proceeds from the Art Fair are used to carry out OTTA’s important missions and the maintenance and upkeep of our property. The OTTA’s goals and activities are encapsulated within the committees, which are established each February as the new President and Board of Directors are installed.

I like to believe that if each of our members truly understood the depth of effort and commitment required by each volunteer who serves our Association, they, too, would ask themselves how they might best assist us. I know of many people here in the Old Town Triangle who step up to the plate as often as possible to ensure our mission, goals, and beloved Art Fair become a reality…and for that, all of us on your Board thank you.

Karen Pfendler
President, OTTA