When was the last time you attended a silent movie?  Yes, a movie with no sound! Join the Mount Prospect Historical Society at the museum … [Continue Reading]

Exploring Life as a Prairie Girl & Centennial Girl: Thursday, July 20 “The Science of History” - Waterwheels: Thursday, July 27 The Mount … [Continue Reading]

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Catholicism came to Mount Prospect in 1949 when the fledgling parish community of St. Raymond de Penafort celebrated its first Mass together in the basement of Central School. Its pastor was Fr. Thomas J. O’Brien, former chaplain of St. Theresa Hospital in Waukegan. Because Mount Prospect was still a predominantly German community dominated by Lutherans, land for the church had been purchased secretly a year earlier by a lay agent for the Archdiocese. In June 1952, a tiny sanctuary with a choir loft was dedicated. That structure was to eventually become a parish auditorium when a larger church was built. Later that year, the Archdiocese gave permission for a school to be added to the parish, which opened its doors in September 1954. A convent for the nuns was built at the corner of Milburn and I-Oka Avenues in 1957. That building now serves as the Parish Ministry Center. The parish had quickly outgrown its tiny church. Overflow Masses were held at Lincoln Junior High School. By 1960, a new church was being built. After Fr. O’Brien passed away, his successor, Fr. Leo P. Coggins, decided to consolidate two remaining Tudor homes on the block and make them into offices, meeting rooms and living quarters for the priests. Fr. Coggins then approached the Steinmiller with a formal proposal that they basically trade their house for a parish owned five-bedroom house at 218 S. I-Oka. Immediately after the trade, Fr. Coggins had the two Tudor homes connected and remodeled into priest apartments and a common kitchen and dining room. The pastor’s house was attached to the rectory some years later. About this same time the school’s enrollment peaked at 1,358 1st through 8th graders, taught by 12 nuns and 13 lay teachers. During the 1980s, under its fourth pastor, Fr. Robert Loftus, the empty convent was transformed into a parish ministry center. In the late 1990s under the direction of the fifth pastor, Fr. Bernard Pietrzak, another $7.2 million was raised and the original church was torn down and replaced with a new school library, computer lab, science lab, cafeteria and junior high school classrooms. At the south end of the block the Parish Life Center, a huge gymnasium with a stage, was built, as was a parish gathering room immediately north of the church. The massive construction project was completed in 2001. In 2009, St. Raymond School earned the distinction of being designated a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. It was a moment of immense pride for the parish. #TBT #mountprospect #mountprospectcentennial #mountprospect100 ... See MoreSee Less

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Another Centennial #FlashbackFriday! Members of Mount Prospect Woman's Club originally made it their mission to establish a public library and did so in 1930. The Illinois State Library Extension Division loaned them 50 different books every three months. The first library was established in the one-room Central School, staffed by Woman’s Club volunteers. In 1932, the library was moved to the old Mount Prospect State Bank building, when Irma Schlemmer served as librarian. A referendum was passed to allow the library to become tax-supported in 1943. The Chicago Public Library gave the Mount Prospect Public Library 1,000 books each year for $200, which was then refunded to purchase children’s books. This help continued for 20 years. In 1950, the first dedicated library building was constructed at 14 East Busse Ave. Between 1962 and 1965, floor space tripled. By late 1974, the Village Board authorized the purchase of the Central School property for a new building without going to referendum, angering residents. Many voters would hold that against the library for many years. The new library opened its doors December 6, 1976 and didn’t see another funding increase for almost 30 years. Financial and space constraints became critical, but the voters repeatedly turned down referenda. In 1997, the MPPL Foundation was established to provide financial support for programming and special services. Finally, in 2002, residents passed a $20.5 million referendum. The expanded library on Emerson Street was completed and opened to the public in September, 2004. In 2014 the library was honored as Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce’s Community and Business Partner of the Year and became one of the founders of the Mount Prospect Entrepreneurs Initiative - MPEI in 2015. #mountprospect #mountprospectcentennial #mountprospect100 ... See MoreSee Less

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