July 18, 2014
Each time I visit Mormor at The Danish Home of Chicago I am treated to the beauty of the North Side of Chicago. As I drive through all of the historic neighborhoods to get to Norwood Park, past the old flats, Greystones and bungalows, I am reminded of what a wonderful city Chicago really is, and what amazing history rests here. Brick by brick Chicago has been built and rebuilt, transformed into a bustling metropolis, yet still keeping its small Mid-western charm. It is the third largest city in the nation, yet it’s many parks and green spaces, treasured since its inception in the mid-1800s, provide tranquility and serenity to the nearly 3 million people that call “The Second City” home.
In the winter Chicago is known for its blistering temperatures and the icy wind that seems to incessantly roll off Lake Michigan. However, when the slightest hint of summer emerges Chicagoans make the most of every second! Whether you’re attending one of the many festivals held each weekend, riding a bike through scenic neighborhoods to one of the many public beaches, enjoying an evening movie at Millennium Park, or simply dining al fresco, it’s easy to admit that Chicago really has it all.
Whether you’re a White Sox or Cubs fan, the unique history of Chicago baseball is unmistakable. The Cubs are one of the oldest and most iconic teams in the baseball franchise. And although Wrigley Field (originally named Weeghman Park, then Cubs Park, and finally Wrigley Field in 1926) was originally home to the Chicago Whales in the short-lived Federal League, they are only 1 of 2 ballparks still in use today (the other being Fenway Park in Boston). In fact, The Whales played their first game at the corner of Addison and Clark on April 23, 1914 and The Cubs played their inaugural first game on April 20, 1916.
In addition to Wrigley Field being an iconic part of American history and a beloved Chicago landmark (at least to those living on the North side!), there are also some very noteworthy similarities between The Friendly Confines and The Danish Home of Chicago.
Besides both being North Side Chicago institutions for 100 years or more, the land around Wrigley Field was developed as early as 1868, around the same time that Emma Thorsen (an original founder of The Danish Home) and her family settled in Chicago from Denmark. Additionally, 1906 proved to be a monumental year for both considering it was the year The Cubs won 116 games and lost only 36, while The Danish Home finally opened its’ doors to house elderly Danes living in Chicago.
Baseball is a huge summer pastime here in America, yet it only ranks at #8 out of the 10 most popular sports in the world after football (American soccer), cricket and basketball. Although football is the national sport of Denmark, Danes also enjoy playing handball. However, similar to Chicagoans Danes also enjoy spending their summer days enjoying the over 4,500 miles of coastline by the beach, swimming, sailing, and basking in the warmth before the cold is upon us again!
I hope you are enjoying these beautiful summer days! What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime? Leave a comment.
And don’t forget to take a peek at the newest Pinterest board from The Danish Home of Chicago full of historic pictures, intriguing videos and so much more! Also, try out the newest summer recipes for Rødgrød med fløde (Danish dessert) and sno-brød (Danish campfire twist bread) here.
- The architect who designed Weeghman Park (which was its original name) was Zachary Taylor Davis and it was built for roughly $250,000. The legendary outfield ivy vines were purchased and planted by Bill Veeck in September 1937.
- Not one batted ball has ever hit the centerfield scoreboard in Wrigley Field. In 1948 Bill Nicholson barely missed the scoreboard when he launched a home run ball onto Sheffield Avenue and in 1959 Roberto Clemente came even closer with a home run ball hit onto Waveland Avenue.
- Did you know that Wrigley Field is the ONLY ballpark still in existence where a Federal League team played their games? From April 23, 1914 until October 3, 1915 Weegham Park (as Wrigley Field was once known) was the home of the Chicago Whales.
Want more Wrigley Field fun facts? Go here