I initially approached Hidden Truths as another art project. My intention was to shift the gaze of my audience to see Lincoln Park as a landscape concealing a hidden past. I quickly learned that things were not as simple as I had presumed.
As an artist, I am dedicated to my process. For this project, I conducted my own research, compiled and transcribed documents, proposed a plan to the Chicago Park District, applied for and received university grants, and designed and implemented this Web Site. I have many agencies and people to thank for helping me with my process.
The site-specific portion of this project was made possible by funding from Northwestern University sources: The Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts (CIRA), the University Research Grants Committee (URGC), and the Department of Art Theory and Practice. I am grateful for the university’s generous support.
I would like to thank the following individuals who graciously allowed me to record conversations with them for inclusion on this Web Site. Their voices attest to their dedication and knowledge within their respective fields.
Jon N. Austin, Executive Director, Museum of Funeral Customs, Springfield, Illinois
Julia Bachrach, Chicago Park District Historian
Dawn Cobb, Archaeological Research Associate, Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center
Dr. Lester E. Fisher, Director of the Lincoln Park Zoo, 1962-1992
Russell Lewis, Executive Vice President and Chief Historian, Chicago History Museum
David Keene, President and Senior Archaeologist, Archeaological Research, Inc.
Jeff Wade, Graduate Intern, Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Northeastern Illinois University
The staff at the following agencies and research centers were helpful at different stages of this project: the Chicago Park District, the Chicago History Museum, the Chicago Title and Trust Company, the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center, the Harold Washington Library Center, the Newberry Library, the Graceland Cemetery Archive, the Lawyers for the Creative Arts, the Illinois Regional Archives Depository at Northeastern Illinois University, and the Northwestern University libraries, including the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, the Galter Health Sciences Library of the Feinberg School of Medicine, and the Pritzker Legal Research Center of the Northwestern University Law School.
Of the Chicago Park District, I am grateful for the Land Enhancement Committee’s approval of my proposal to install the six historical markers in Lincoln Park for the duration of site-specific portion of this project. In particular, I would like to thank Caroline O’Boyle of that committee. Also, John Regalado, Director of the Department of Capital Construction, who graciously allowed me access to the Engineering Collections Active Vault containing maps and plans of the park grounds. Vasu Vadali was very patient and accommodating during my visit to view those maps. Claudine Malik of the same department offered kind assistance in the process of applying for the permit to install the markers in the park. Most importantly, I am indebted to Julia Bachrach, for creating the amazing Special Collections Archive containing the history of Chicago’s park system, and for sharing her knowledge and resources with me.
Of Northwestern University, I owe my profound gratitude to Jeanne Dunning, the Chair of the Department of Art Theory and Practice, who has supported this project in various ways since its inception. Also from within the university I would like to thank Maura Costa, Michael Rakowitz, Carl Smith, and Professor Emeritus William Conger for their kind assistance. Of Northwestern’s Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Russell Maylone and Sigrid Pohl Perry were particularly helpful during this project’s early stages. For their technical proficiency and patience, I warmly acknowledge Adam Finlayson, of WCAS Information Technology, and Matt Taylor, of the WCAS Multi-Media Learning Center.
Of the Chicago History Museum, I am deeply grateful to Russell Lewis for generously sharing his expertise and resources. Lesley Martin of the museum’s Research Center helped with her thorough assistance. I would also like to thank Peter Alter, curator of the Is It Real? exhibition, for the thrill of taking me into the back rooms of the museum, and for sharing with me the David Kennison artifacts.
Of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository at Northeastern Illinois University, where I spent most of the summer months reading microfilm documents in the basement of the Ronald Williams Library, I would like to acknowledge and thank Ellen McMinn Larrimore, Library Specialist/IRAD Supervisor, and Graduate Interns, JoAnn Cartalino and Jeff Wade. They witnessed and sometimes shared my excitement in finding the pieces to the puzzle of the early City Cemetery history. Jeff Wade, especially, went beyond my expectations, leading me through the IRAD system. He also brought me every Common Council document I photographed for this Web Site.
Of the Harold Washington Library Center, research librarian Lyle Benedict, from the Municipal Reference Collection, astounded me with his off-the-cuff knowledge of the history of Chicago. He guided me through reading my first survey plat, opening up a new world in seeing and understanding the visually layered history of recorded property. For that I am grateful. Annie Estabrook, a librarian in the Social Science and History department, also provided assistance and helped me negotiate the collections.
Of Graceland Cemetery, the Trustees of the Graceland Cemetery Improvement Fund kindly allowed me access to their earliest interment books, shedding light on some real numbers. Without those thorough records, I would have been unable to accurately estimate the reinterments from the Chicago City Cemetery. I am particularly grateful to Graceland Trustee, John Notz, for the time we spent together discussing Graceland's early landscape history. I would also like to acknowledge Albert Walavich and his deep knowledge of Chicago area cemeteries. He guided me via cell phone through Oak Woods Cemetery, as I searched for the 27,000 square foot area containing the reinterments from the Milliman Tract. Superintendent Jim Signoretti was always cheerful and helpful. And Aki Lew of the front office was always gracious and accommodating.
Of the Chicago Title and Trust Company, Richard F. Bales shared his vast knowledge of early Chicago land transactions, and patiently explained the 1872 Burnt-Records Act. He is also a passionate purveyor of Chicago history through his interest in the origins of the Chicago Fire and the life of Cap Streeter. Welton Pryor Jr., Manager of the Guarantee Production Department, cordially showed me the Ante-fire tract books and tolerantly answered all of my questions relating to those books and the company's other historical records pertaining to the City and Catholic Cemetery grounds. Operations Manager, Sally Dolphin, was also generous in sharing her knowledge.
Of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center, Assistant Research Archivist Julie Satzik, openly shared her facility’s resources. The Archdiocese kindly allowed the 1845 Catholic Cemetery plat to be reproduced on this Web Site.
Of the Lawyers for the Creative Arts, I would like to thank Legal Director, Marcy Rolnik. Also, Kevin Ridley was invaluable in his availability and assistance. I deeply appreciate his help and assurances.
Of the Johns Hopkins University Press, and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, William Breichner went beyond protocol to allow for this Web Site, individual one-time downloads of the article, “Nineteenth-Century Medical Landscapes: John H. Rauch, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Search for Salubrity,” by Bonj Szcygiel and Robert Hewitt.
The Chicago Park District, the Chicago History Museum, the Illinois Regional Archives Depository, the Chicago Title and Trust Company, the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center, and the Graceland Cemetery Trustees of the Graceland Cemetery Improvement Fund, all granted permission for the reproduction of images from their collections. I greatly appreciate their sharing of their richly visual historical resources.
Sewah Studios of Marietta, Ohio, fabricated the cast-aluminum historical markers for the park installation. Bradford Smith expertly guided me through every stage of the process.
Parvin-Clauss Sign Company of Carol Stream, Illinois, installed the markers in the park. Todd Kowalsky was friendly and helpful. Negotiating an access permit with the Chicago Park District was no easy task. Ron Fiorito also helped expedite that process.
For helping bring this work to the public's attention, I offer my thanks to Erin Baldwin, and to Northwestern University's Media Relations staff, especially Wendy Leopold, and Mary Jane Twohey.
I am deeply moved that David Keene allowed me to reproduce his narrated video of the removal of the iron coffin from Lincoln Park during the 1998 excavation for the Chicago Historical Society’s parking facility. This project comes to life in an unexpected way with that invaluable addition to this Web Site.
David Leeb, of the URS Corporation allowed me to visit the construction of the controversial Latin School soccer fields in Lincoln Park. He verified for me that the park grounds inside the original lakeshore line had been thoroughly trenched and excavated during the 1930s WPA work in the park. Any unexpected skeletal remains had already been removed. Leeb kindly allowed me to visit the construction area to inspect the excavation. I also appreciated his answers to my various technical questions over the last six months, as he meticulously addressed every facet of each of my inquiries.
For her phenomenal endurance and thoroughness, I am indebted to Lisa Talamantez, who proofread every single page on this Web Site. She also looked at each page on every possible Internet browser, confirming that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer exists in a world of its own. That browser does not support the design of this Site.
For their help, suggestions, and companionship throughout my process of developing this project, I am grateful to have Mike Ensdorf and Kathy Pilat as my friends.
The following individuals assisted in a myriad of ways, mostly indulging me by allowing my incessantly ramblings about everything related to the Chicago City Cemetery. Their assistance was invaluable in that way: Tim Mazurek, Danielle Gustafson-Sundell, Manuela Hung, Greg Thompson, Ross Martens, Stacey Shintani, Jessie Mott, Judy Ledgerwood, Lisa Talamantez, Emily Long, Rachel Aherin, and my parents Solon and Penelope Bannos. My father always made me smile when he asked me, "Where is the photography?"
For his dear friendship, knowledge of Chicago’s cultural community, and generous assistance through every stage of this project, I owe my deepest gratitude to Greg Cameron. I could not have completed this project without him.