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Oak Park Arms 90 Years, 2012

Oak Park Arms 90 Years, 2012

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Published by wednesdayjournal
Oak Park Arms 90th Anniversary, Special Section
Oak Park Arms 90th Anniversary, Special Section

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Published by: wednesdayjournal on Mar 06, 2013
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It was the Roaring Twenties - a time of
change. For the rst time, more Americans
lived in cities than on farms. World War
I was over, and people wanted to have agood time despite prohibition. Women hadjust won the vote, and Henry Ford and massproduction made it possible to buy a Ford for$290. In 1925, hemlines went up, way up. Sorevolutionary was this change that theArchbishop of Naples believed
that short skirts were thecause of an Italianearthquake.
Oak Park was still a young suburb in 1920.The budding community would swell toalmost twice its size by the end of the decade.In 1921, city planners gave the go ahead tobuild an elegant hotel/apartment building in
Oak Park at the corner of Washington Blvd.
and Oak Park Ave.The hotel was named the Oak Park Arms,and it became the epitome of style, grace andsophistication.The grand opening took place on aThursday evening in late April, 1922. Menus
for the formal dinner were written in French
on ivory parchment paper with the gold-crusted crest of The Arms.The local paper said,“The beauty of the
luxurious newhotel
was only surpassed by the exquisitely colored evening gowns
and handsome formal attire of the ladies and gentlemen inattendance. Throughout the evening an orchestra furnished
music for dancing and gracious selections by vocalists anddancers were appreciatively applauded.”Many things impressed the guests that evening from theelegant ballroom to the “smartly appointed” smoking roomfor men. The ve-story building had elevators, 94 spaciousapartments and ten community rooms in which guests couldentertain. The new structure featured luxury style livingwith units furnished with full kitchens, dining rooms, privatebathrooms and ample closet space.The accommodations included maid service, dishes, silver-ware and all household linens. It was a perfect place fora long, relaxing visit, or to live permanently, whichmany did.It was only a year later that The Armsbecame a pioneer in radio. WTAY (WirelessTunes Await You) was broadcastfrom the ballroom from 6:15-8:15 p.m., fi ve days a week.
See HISTORY on page 2 
OAK PARK ARMSAT 90 YEARS OLD
You’ve come a long way, baby 
by jill wagner
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
 
36
 
Wednesday Journal, May 2, 2012
 
Special Advertising Section
Individual wellness is the order of theday at the Oak Park Arms. With threelevels of care under one roof, residentsare able to have a well-balanced, activelifestyle. The levels are IndependentLiving, Supportive Options and AssistedLiving.
Independent Living
Supporting residents in an independentlifestyle takes teamwork, and the rentalapartments are designed exclusively forseniors. The Independent Living programutilizes the entire building, and it’s tai-lored for people aged 55 and older.“Living independently has been really
nice,” said John Hefl in. “I get all my
meals in the restaurant, the maids takecare of my linens and clean my apart-ment and nobody bothers me. If I needa ride somewhere, I ask the driver. If I
cannot read ne print on something, I
ask a friend or a staff member for help.If I want to go to a concert, I just godownstairs and enjoy myself.”“I like that someone checks on meevery day,” said resident Sharon Sugrue.“In my house, I had nice neighbors, butI still felt isolated. Now I come and gowhen I like. I drive to see my grand-kids all the time, and I get to help mydaughter around her house.”Since the building was once a hotel,there are many different apartment sizes.People have a variety of choices for the
best fi t for their lifestyle. As part of the
Oak Park Arms social model of care, extraassistance can be put in place for peoplewhen they need a little extra help whilein an Independent Living apartment.
Supportive Options
Supportive Options is a program forindependent residents who need privateand personal assistance within their in-dividual apartments. These care servicescould include shower assistance, medi-cation reminders and more. Frequently,with this support, a resident is able toremain independent.“The Supportive Options program en-ables lots of residents to live securelywithout having to be a part of a moreintensive service program,” said JudyPeterson, Life Enrichment Director.
Assisted Living
Assisted Living at the Oak Park Armsis licensed and is fully credentialed. Thereis frequent training for the care atten-dants and administrators to keep abreastof new trends and techniques.Assisted Living operates on the 2nd
oor. The program offers residents the
comfort of privacy and familiarity ofhome with the peace of mind that supportis nearby. Trained healthcare profession-als are stationed on the premises 24 hoursa day for monitoring, assistance, dailytasks and to handle emergency situations.“Everyone in assisted living has a per-sonal care plan that is created by theindividual receiving services and withthe help of the support staff,” saidEnrichment Coordinator Judy Peterson.“We value the individual spirit and enjoyadapting our offerings to meet each per-son’s needs.”Residents receive contact at least everytwo hours. In addition to wake-up andtuck-in assistance, residents can receive upto four medication reminders daily and apersonal escort to all meals and activities.Assistance in bathing, laundry and house-keeping are part of Assisted Living.Customized packages can be added orcreated to meet individual needs.If additional assistance is needed, resi-dents can call the caregiver from theirhouse phone. For added security allAssisted Living residents wear a discretecall button as a necklace or as a watch inthe event of a more serious problem.
“One of the greatest benefi ts to living
in the Oak Park Arms Assisted Living isthat residents are able to remain activeand social,” Peterson said. “Living withassistance should not change one’s life.People can be escorted to as many activi-ties as they choose, and there is alwayssomething going on.”“Our mission is to enable our residentsto age in a healthy and productive way,”said Executive Director Moses Williams.
THREE LEVELSOF CARE
by jill wagner
Billiards is another way residents are able to remain active and social at the Oak Park Arms.
Courtesy of PETERWAGNER
408 South Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois 60302Call 708.386.4040 to schedule your personal tour,or go to www.oakparkarms.com
EQUALHOUSING
OPPORTUNITY
T
 
he award-winning Oak Par Arms as oerete est service an vaue ininepenent an assisteliving for more than 25 years.
s3UITES3TUDIOS"EDROOM"EDROOM!PTSs&ULL3ERVICE2ESTAURANT s-ONTHLY3OCIAL%VENTSs3HORT4ERM3TAYSs(OUR3TAFF!SSISTANCE s.EWREHABFACILITIESAND7ELLNESS#ENTERN s
)NTHECENTEROF/AK0ARKSURROUNDEDBYSHOPSRESTAURANTSANDCULTURALATTRACTIONS
 
 
30
IT’S ALL AT THE ARMS!
 When your loved onesneed care at home, turn toInterim HealthCare.
 We’ve been providing the highest quality in-home care services for more than 40 years.
Recovering from an accident, illness or injury can be a trying time for individuals and their  families. The goal of Interim HealthCare is to allow patients to recover in their homes and toreach their maximum independence.Developing a successful home rehabilitation program requires a team approach. InterimHealthCare offers a full rehab team of nurses and therapists who work closely with the physiciansand listen carefully to the preferences and unique needs of the family.For more information about our services call us today.Elmhurst, Oak Park, and Oak Lawn
(708) 422-2934
 www.interimhealthcare.com
Trusted.
By 
Patients
and
Their Families.
; .
 
People you can
count 
on; Care you can
trust 
.
H
EALTH
C
 ARE
 
 
Special Advertising Section Wednesday Journal, May 2, 2012
 
35
Windy City Carpet Service, Inc.
7414 W. Belmont Avenue | Chicago, Illinois
(773) 237-4100 • Fax (773) 237-4159www.windycitycarpets.com
Commercial & Residential • Carpet Sales • Expert Installations
Congratulations on
 wonderfulyears!
90
 
90
RADIO
from page 6 
broadcast, although the number of listen-ers is questionable.As radio audiences switched to televi-
sion, radio stations redefi ned themselves.
WOPA offered ethnic programming, be-
coming a more demographically specifi c
ratio station.Gene Doretti, the 30-year veteran fromWGN Radio, hosted a show on WOPAduring the 50’s. It is widely rumoredthat Pat Sajak , of “Wheel of Fortune,”worked at WOPA an engineer as well asEd Curran the Channel 2 weather man.Other radio legends, like Pervis Spann“the Blues Man” also started here withhis 15 minute segment on “McKeNT’s AllNight Round-Up.” Spann would go onto entertain on the radio and promotehundreds of concerts in Chicago and theU.S. Eventually he purchased WON1450 AM, the city’s oldest urban radiostation and the only African Americantalk radio station in Chicago.In the mid 60’s times were a’ chang-ing. The FCC decreed that the simul-cast AM and FM stations would have toseparate programming at least 50
%
of thebroadcast time. It was a perfect timefor WOPA to cater to a younger audi-ence looking for alternative music. Onceagain the Oak Park Arms station was atthe forefront of new trends in rock ’nroll, R
B, jazz and blues music. Almostovernight the station came up with thenecessary separate programing.Some locals may recall the gravelly-voiced Big Bill Hill broadcast his showfrom his blues club – The Howl’n Wolf- on Roosevelt Road on Chicago’s westside. All the Chicago blues legends of theera were featured on this show includingElmo James and Muddy Waters. Also,Big Bill Hill hosted a dance show onWCIU called “The Red Hot and Blues,”and it’s said this was the inspiration for“Soul Train.”Two of the disk jockeys were collegestudents, from the University of Chicagoand University of Illinois, “Ryan in theNight” and Ron Collaro. In additiona mysterious host, dressed in a blackcape, goatee and plastered hair named,“Scorpio,” would spin albums. His showaired underground psychedelic Rock. For
the fi rst time, night time radio waves
played the latest from Moby Grape,the Doors, the Yardbirds, Cream andChicago-style music.It was in 1969 WOPA FM changed itscall letters to WGLD-FM “Solid GoldOldies” or W-Gold. The more progres-sive programming expanded its playingtime until 6 am. During the daytimeLuqui would play Pop hits and Top 40hits. The new popular disc-jockey per-sonalities were rebellious and distinctivelytargeting a younger urban contemporarymarket.Another show during this time wascalled “The Femme Forum” with MorganMoore and Pat Cassidy . This shockingradio program featured everything andanything including the forbidden. Finedfrom the FCC, Sodermeyer was non-plussed and kept the show airing weekafter week. At the time Station EngineerLen Petrulis said he received more in ad-
vertising then from the fi nes and was
instructed to continue to air the riskymaterial. Finally the show was temperedby the FCC when it threatened to pullthe radio station’s license.Just four years later, W-Gold becameso successful that it began broadcastingits programs on the AM side as WBMX-AM (Black Music Experience). Someethic programs remained in the rotation,mainly on weekends.In 1986 the FM band 102.7 WBMX(Black Music experience) was sold andmoved out of the Oak Park Arms. Itbecame today’s V103. The AM station’slicense was transferred to the PolishNational Alliance which received new callletters – WPNA which is the currentstation.WPNA –AM 1490 broadcasts mainly inPolish on weekdays. The Oak Park Armshosts an annual Polka Party with a livebroadcast from the ballroom of the retire-ment community. The station still sup-ports international cast including the Irishmusic hours of the Hagerty Family IrishProgram and the Mike O’Conner Show.
The Isley Brothers visit theWBMX station
Congratulationsto theOak ParkArms
(708) 386-3100

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