It’s Official! Exhibits, Events and Dates

September 2012, 5 P.M. Exhibit opening at the Highland Park Historical Society. Marty Hackl will lea

Update – May 14th City Council Meeting

5/6/12 I wanted to post a quick update for those of you who are interested in hearing where we are o

Slide Show

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It’s Official! Exhibits, Events and Dates

June 20, 2012 in uncategorized

September 2012, 5 P.M. Exhibit opening at the Highland Park Historical Society.

Marty Hackl will lead gusts through the exhibit.  There will be a reception afterwards.

A concurrent exhibit will be on display at the Highland Park Public Library

Sunday, October 14th, 2 pm, panel discussion at the Highland Park Public Library.  (Speakers to be announced)

Sunday October 21st from 12-4   Historical Society’s house walk which will begin at Braeside School.  Marty Hackl will greet guests at Braeside as they begin the tour.

There will be brochures and maps available for self guided tours.

Closing of exhibits:  Reception to be announced.

Update – May 14th City Council Meeting

May 6, 2012 in uncategorized


I wanted to post a quick update for those of you who are interested in hearing where we are on our long sojourn!

To date we’ve received dues from Van Bergen homeowners that have joined the John Van Bergen Homeowners Association. The HPC (Historic Preservation Commission) will be presenting a brief explanation of our VB project on May 14th at the City Council meeting. We would like the entire City Council to be familiar with our ambitious project as it’s part of our HPC goals to educate our community about preservation of significant buildings and parks in our community. We feel that we can make strides to this end by offering learning opportunities to residents of HP and surrounding communities.

If you have a few minutes free on the evening of May 14th please show your support by attending the City Council meeting. You can leave immediately following our very quick ‘show and tell’.

Many people have given us wonderful ideas regarding how to promote the month long event. We’re organizing a PR/Communications committee. One homeowner has offered to be our ‘Social Media’ chair and she’s savvy in FB and Twitter!

Please send us your thoughts, ideas, comments, etc. We are thrilled to be working with all of you and your enthusiasm is infectious!

Thanks! Lisa T

Slide Show

March 26, 2012 in uncategorized

Created with flickr slideshow.

Welcome from Marty Hackl

March 23, 2012 in greetings

Welcome to the web site for Highland Park’s celebration of John Van Bergen Month. I hope you will enjoy the site and be able to come to Highland Park during the month of October, 2012 and join us in this celebration.

I am so excited about being asked to be involved with this wonderful event being planned for the city of Highland Park. The event will be to celebrate the heritage and the legacy left by Highland Park’s most prominent and influential architect, John Van Bergen. It will recognize Van Bergen, who was also a long time and active resident, and his architecture — how he helped to change the face of the city, with special emphasis on the public schools he designed in the 1920’s and 30’s, as well as the more than 35 homes which are still standing, the majority of which are recognized as local landmarks.

‘John Van Bergen Month’ is being organized by the Highland Park Historical Society in cooperation with the City of Highland Park, the Highland Park School District 112, the Park District, the Historic Preservation Commission, a diverse group of two dozen or so Van Bergen homeowners, and other residents and people interested in this great architecture.

I want to thank Lisa Temkin who is the chairwoman and organizer for this unique event. Lisa has been the person most responsible for creating the concept for this event, and I know all involved greatly appreciate her leadership. Along with Lisa, this idea would not have seen the light of day without either Rob Rotering, director of the Historical Society, or Jean Sogin of the HPC. The combined visions of the three working together, I am confident, will bring the event to great success.

My role in this will be as the curator of several exhibits around the city, as an adviser, and lecturer, relating to content and other things connected to the month long event. I am very excited about this celebration, and about the rapidly growing enthusiasm among everyone involved.

I look forward to working with all the volunteers and meeting with the many people who will be attending these coming events in October. See you then!

Video interview with Nancy (Van Bergen) Brigham

March 22, 2012 in videos

I did several hours of taped interviews with John Van Bergen’s daughter, Nancy, in 1999 in Santa Barbara.

Here are a couple of excerpts from some video that will be running at the exhibit. In this excert, Nancy is talking about her father’s last meeting with Frank Lloyd Wright:

Other memories of her father:

Here she talks about how nature was so important to her father and his architecure:

I am forever grateful for the friendship of Nancy (Van Bergen) Brigham. Nancy grew up in the house at 234 Cedar in Highland Park. She died in 2008 at the age of 88. Most of the family documents in this collection were donated by her. Those documents, and several hours of recorded oral history formed the foundation on which I re-discovered her father’s outstanding career.I tracked Nancy down with some difficulty — the only evidence I had of her existence was a 1920 newclipping announcing her birth, in an old Oak Park newspaper — and was richly rewarded for my efforts.

I know the process was sometimes challenging, but also know that it was highly rewarding for her. She gave of herself unconditionally and her father’s posterity lives on only because of her.

Thank you Nancy.