Church artifacts saved for new park in Elmwood park
Construction continues at the former site of the Elmwood Park Presbyterian Church where the new Centennial Park is being built. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2013 11:58AM
ELMWOOD PARK — A new park under construction in Elmwood Park is intended to help people stay fit.
Stone and rubble is all that remains of the Elmwood Park Presbyterian Church, 7600 W. Armitage Ave.
Going up in its place will be Centennial Park, named to commemorate the village’s 100th anniversary. The church was torn down in November and representatives from Copenhaver Construction said due to the mild weather the new park could be completed in early spring.
Elmwood Park Village President Peter Silvestri said the options for use of the space were simple. “Have another congregation come in, new homes or open space,” he said.
What is currently in progress on the 7600 block of Armitage Avenue shows where the village’s priorities lie.
“We’ve been committed for the last 20 years to create more open space,” Silvestri said. “Whenever you get the opportunity to create some open space it’s a good deal for the community.”
During the demolition some remnants from the church were removed. Some items, like the church’s stained glass windows, church pews and parts of the actual structure, will be salvaged and reintegrated into the actual park. A stone monument will be left in place and the village plans to keep the church’s archway entrance on the north side.
The park will be less than an acre in size. That meant that instead of the standard basketball or tennis courts, this park will be a bit different
It will have benches, game tables, a Bocce/Shuffleboard court and raised flowerbeds. There will also be exercise stations.
Al Schmidt, director of Elmwood Park Parks and Recreation, said the park, once completed, will be what he regards as a “passive park.”
“It’s not a high intensity park with a nighttime hockey rink,” he said. “It’s more in line with Central Park (in Elmwood Park) where you have some open space. It’s going to be a great park.”
He said the park will be geared more toward more and be easily accessible to those live on the south side of the village.
“It (park) will be appropriate for the density of the area,” he said. “Location wise, on the far south end there is virtually nothing. It (park) turns out to be a Godsend for the location they got there,” he added.
“What a nice addition.”