Kalo Foundation Set To Acquire Iannelli Studio
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Today is full of good news! After first calling attention to the danger the Iannelli Studios in Park Ridge, IL faced of being lost, PrairieMod received the news today that the Kalo Foundation has made a successful bid to acquire the building and an agreement has been signed! Read the details after the jump... As stated in the Kalo Foundation's press release: Betsy Foxwell, president of the Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge, announced July 13...
Today is full of good news! After first calling attention to the danger the Iannelli Studios in Park Ridge, IL faced of being lost, PrairieMod received the news today that the Kalo Foundation has made a successful bid to acquire the building and an agreement has been signed! Read the details after the jump...As stated in the Kalo Foundation's press release:
Betsy Foxwell, president of the Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge, announced July 13 that Kalo has a signed agreement with the owner’s representatives to purchase the former Alfonso Iannelli Studio at 225 N. Northwest Highway. It served as the home and workplace of the sculptor-designer and many other artists from 1919 until 1966.
Foxwell gave special thanks “to all the people who got behind us with their boot-strap commitment to bettering our extended community. It’s a great example of what America is all about.”
An anonymous donor’s six-month challenge grant was key to the foundation making a successful bid. Fundraising efforts included private contributors locally and across the nation plus local service clubs, the Historical Society and student contests at Field and Roosevelt schools. Now, with a contract in hand, Kalo will send individual Thank You notes to every donor as soon as possible.
Rescuing the property and its historic buildings is of major significance. It is expected to re-energize many facets of Park Ridge. Upon reopening after needed repairs -- and to be named the ‘Iannelli Studios Heritage Center’ -- the facility will be part museum, part tourist & business visitor’s center, part classroom and part working artists’ studio space. Every aspect of the Park Ridge Art Colony, notably including Kalo silversmithing, will be celebrated because the foundation sees that cultural heritage contributing to the community even now as the “shining city on a hill.”
Iannelli is best known locally for his interior design of the Pickwick Theatre, the Camp Fire Girls fountain in Hodges Park and the Guard family monument in the Town of Maine Cemetery. He also designed Sunbeam appliances, created the Midway Gardens sprite statues for Frank Lloyd Wright, sculpted the Rock of Gibraltar at Chicago’s Prudential Building, did twelve bronze Zodiac symbols at the Adler Planetarium, and accomplished highly regarded work nationally. He served on Park Ridge’s first city planning commission to help guide appropriate architectural choices as the city grew quickly during the 1920s.
Kalo expects closing the real estate contract at the end of the summer. Additional fundraising is needed immediately to cover the costs of repairs and renovation of the space. Community volunteers skilled in the building trades are being sought. The studio space itself incorporates an old blacksmith shop, believed to date back to the years when Park Ridge was a brick-making center. Recently the property was known as Audrey’s Calico ‘N Old Lace.
Expert historical and architectural preservationists joined the local efforts to save the complex from destruction this past winter when a developer sought “tear-down” rezoning to replace it with multi-family residential zoning. The Iannellli property was included in this year’s ‘Ten Most Endangered Places’ by respected Landmarks Illinois professionals. The last time a Park Ridge building was put on their list, it did not survive a week. Kalo was determined to give the Iannelli buildings a better chance; it is also working to get them named to the National Register.
Improving community awareness of the artists’ on-going importance to Park Ridge has been a hallmark of Kalo’s efforts since it was organized in 2006. For information about the Kalo Foundation and the Save Iannelli Studios efforts, go online at www.kalofoundation.org.
It's a great step towards preserving this important historic site and PrairieMod readers should be proud that they helped in the cause to save the Iannelli Studios. Your help matters! There's still much work to be done--we'll be sure to continue bringing you news of the progress, but please help the Kalo Foundation raise additional funds to bring the Studio back to life.
Image via Jennifer Johnson, Sun-Times Media.