As we gear up for the Art Fair, I want to welcome the 250 artists, Old Town residents, guests and neighboring communities to the Triangle. In addition I want to thank all of you for participating, volunteering and supporting all that we do in the Old Town Triangle Association. None of this would be possible without everyone helping out. In addition, I believe this is a perfect time to review and reflect on what our Association and we as OTTA members stand for … our mission and goals. The Old Town Triangle Association is a community-based, not-for-profit, 501(c) 3 organization. It is often helpful to refresh memberships’ understanding of its purpose(s)/mission and goals.
OTTA Purposes (Mission):
“Under the Articles of Incorporation (adopted June 10-12 1952, amended October 20, 1966 and January 21, 1982) for the Old Town Triangle Association, the purpose(s) of the organization are: To improve conditions of life, work, recreation, health and safety; to foster and develop a neighborhood plan; and to aid, assist and sponsor neighborhood activities in the area of the city of Chicago bounded by [the former] Ogden Avenue, North Avenue, and Clark Street.
In limitation of its other purposes as aforesaid, the corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, or the making of distributions to organizations that quality as exempt under section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).”
A) Preserve the architectural and historical integrity of buildings in the Triangle.
- OTTA through its HDPZ Committee reviews plans for what neighbors would like to do with their properties. Many of us have been through this process and we all pretty much know the rules for living in a Landmark District. It would be great if we could all add additional floors and make our properties bigger, but that is not why we moved here. We live in our historic landmark district because of its look, feel, ambiance of our lake and park settings, good food and shopping.
- Preservation is important. The moment we open the floodgate for any type of change everything becomes interpretational. We need to follow the provided guidelines for property rehabbing.
- Since some property owners have not played by the stated historic guideline rules, it has forced the OTTA to establish a legal defense fund with which to fight for the preservation of our historic district thereby supporting property owners who have played by the stated rules.
B) Develop and maintain the physical environment of the Triangle, including improvement of open spaces, green areas, sidewalks, and parkways.
- Throughout the past several years, our Neighborhood Improvement Committee (NIC) has done an incredible job of cataloguing every tree, park, brick sidewalk, brick parkway, and much more. They spray trees, replace them when dead or damaged, plant new ones in available empty tree wells, remove graffiti, and replace brick sidewalks/ parkways as needed.
C) Promote cultural enrichment in the Triangle
- The Triangle Art Center has an art school, classes, yoga, pilates, judo and more. We sponsor book reviews, put on plays, host events, etc.
D) Improve educational opportunities for the children of the Triangle and surrounding neighborhood.
- Grants Committee supports schools and charities for neighborhood children.
- OTTA sponsors our local boy scout troop.
- Provide art exhibits and classes for OTTA youth.
E) Encourage social interaction among neighbors and involvement in the Triangle.
- Premier fund raisers, The Old Town Art Fair and First Sight.
- Events Committee (of which I’m the co-chair) has an annual budget for providing various neighborhood events like our Easter egg hunt, Oktoberfest, Food contests, & Dogarama to cite just a few.
- The Leslie Wolfe Art Gallery provides monthly exhibits & openings by selected artists who apply for the opportunity to display their work.
- Distribute numerous newsletters with information to membership.
- Maintain a website and social media presence for the OTTA.
- Increase membership.
F) Ensure that city services are maintained to the highest standards.
- NIC maintains 9 area garbage receptacles which are emptied 3 times a week.
- Work with the city and George Manning of American Pest Control on methods to abate our rodent issues.
- Watchful eye on sewers, city sidewalk, maintain, report dead street light and irrigate parks.
G) Ensure the safety of residents in the Triangle
- We are currently dealing with some serious crime issues in our area and OTTA has organized a 10 point plan which we are in the process of implementing. See Barb in the Triangle office to get a crime packet.
- Work in conjunction with District 18 Chicago Police and Commander O’Shea.
- Attend CAPS meetings.
H) Provide assistance to organizations and groups that serve the needs and interests of the Triangle residents.
- Grants Committee reviews applications for contributions from 501(c) 3 organizations without conflicts of interest.
I) Maintain a record of OTTA activities, decisions, and events to serve as a history of the Triangle for future generations and a reference for current residents.
- Keep and publish on our website OTTA Board minutes.
- Maintain a historical archive in the OTTA of pictures, art fair materials and more.
- Education & Outreach (E&O) Committee has published on our website historic images for every house we have documented. If you have historic image of your house please, let us know and we will arrange to scan them for these uses.
- E&O created ‘Old Town Triangle Tours’ an incredible app available on IOS and Android for walking tours of our neighborhood and an accurate history for visitors to our neighborhood to download.
See you at the Fair! Thank you for all that you do.
Steve Weiss, President