Residents vow to rebuild Rogers Park fieldhouse

Indian Boundry Park fieldhouse
Residents of a Rogers Park neighborhood are vowing to rebuild a historic fieldhouse which was damaged by a weekend fire.

Here is a portion of the story from the Chicago Tribune:

Neighbors of Chicago’s Indian Boundary Park vowed to rebuild early Sunday evening after an extra-alarm blaze severely damaged the park’s landmark fieldhouse.

Firefighters were called about 12:06 p.m. Sunday to the fieldhouse, located in the 2400 block of West Lunt Avenue in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

The fire, which appeared to start in the upper level, caused the roof to collapse and sent two firefighters to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston with heat-related injuries, Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said. Both firefighters are in good condition, Langford said. The cause of the fire was under investigation Sunday, but did not appear suspicious, he added. Windows were shattered and interior beams appeared to have crumbled inside the fieldhouse, which was constructed in 1929 and designed by Clarence Hatzfeld.

Seen by many neighbors as the hub of the Chicago Park District’s Indian Boundary Park, the fieldhouse was designated as a landmark in 2005, and hosts a variety of classes and performances. “It’s an example of craftsmanship that you just don’t see anymore,” said Jasmyn Du Bois, 36, who lives in one of the apartment buildings on the park’s eastern border. “Everywhere you went in there, you thought: ‘This is gorgeous.’ ”

Du Bois said she first saw a single plume of smoke, but that single plume quickly turned into thick, billowing black smoke that seemed to engulf the entire park.

By her count, at least eight fire engines were on the scene. Through the thick smoke, she said she saw maybe 15 firefighters enter the building at one point. The smoke started to clear by about 1:30 p.m., Du Bois said, and by 4 p.m., most of the fire crews had left.

Neighbors gathered just outside the taped-off perimeter surrounding the field house, and several talked of the interior’s Native-American motif, an homage to the park’s location as the former territorial boundary between the U.S. government and Pottawattomie Indians.


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