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Own A Piece Of HERstory With $650K Former Rogers Park Women's Club House

By Linze Rice | June 16, 2015 5:36am
 Members of the Rogers Park Women's Club dedicate the building's first cornerstone during a ceremony in 1916.
Members of the Rogers Park Women's Club dedicate the building's first cornerstone during a ceremony in 1916.
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DNAinfo/Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society

ROGERS PARK — Almost exactly 99 years after its foundation was laid, a significant piece of Chicago history is for sale in Rogers Park at the site of the former Rogers Park Women's Club.

The building at 7077 N. Ashland Ave. was believed to be built around June 14, 1916 — paid for by 27 members of the RPWC who had founded, then maintained, the Nicholas Senn High School lunch room in order to pay off the mortgage, according to the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society.

The 10,000-square-foot building is now being sold by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices by way of KoenigRubloff Realty Group for $650,000.

Its listing touts "amazing original details, huge ballroom" and "soaring ceiling heights".

The description cautions that the inside "needs a complete overhaul, but [is] priced accordingly".

Photos highlight glistening wood floors, chandeliers, crushed red velvet drapery cascading down the ballroom stage and finely detailed archways throughout.

In 1903, $300 was set aside for a fund to build a club house where members could convene and work together, and seven years later the plot was purchased. In 1913, the lunch room was founded.

The club, established in 1891, created public libraries, literacy programs, campaigned for food safety, handed out books while traveling by horse and buggy and took up a number of social, civil and political causes against considerable opposition before the home was even built.

The women's club was also among the first groups to implement the system of using crossing guards with badges near schools.

During both world wars, the RPWC set up a Red Cross station, and between 1943-45 during World War II sold $250,000 in war bonds, earning the club a Citation of Merit.

According to the historical society, the house was sold for the first time in 1983 because of high county real estate taxes, a declining membership and uptick in maintenance costs.

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