Neighboring Von Steuben in Voting Race for Renovation Grant

CHICAGO, IL (September 14, 2007) – Through a partnership between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, North Park University's long-time neighbor, Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, has been selected as one of 25 different Chicago-area historical landmarks "that reflect the diversity, cultural heritage, and vitality of Chicagoland." The Partners in Preservation Chicagoland Initiative has pledged $5 million over a five-year period toward preserving historic sites in the United States, and this year’s focus is on Chicago and its surrounding counties.

Built in 1931, Von Steuben is a public building used by the Chicago Public School system to teach 1,531 high school students from various backgrounds. Designed by architect Paul Gerhard, the building’s brick masonry façades are adorned with unique and elaborate terra cotta bas relief panels with figures illustrating academics, athletics, and students. Numerous failures in the roofing, masonry, and coping have led to water infiltration in the walls of the building. Many of the terra cotta elements and panels have been damaged as a result and must be repaired or replaced.

Any who wish to cast a vote may do so on a daily basis by registering at the Partners in Preservation web site. Voting is open until October 10.

North Park University and Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center have maintained a sense of community that is mutually beneficial and supportive, as University students often have tutored, socialized with, and encouraged students from the high school through the After Hours program, and Von Steuben has sent many of their graduates to North Park.