President’s Message

Another year is rapidly coming to an end. It seems like it was just June and we were out on the streets enjoying the beautiful day that was the Moss Avenue Sale.

As we wrap up the year, we need to be mindful of and thankful for those people who make a difference in our neighborhood. Compared to other neighborhoods in the city, our quality of life is one of the best. It is due in large part to all of us who own homes and live in this neighborhood – working to maintain a quality of life that befits an older neighborhood

We have to thank those volunteers who comprise the board of directors and selflessly give of their time and talent to handle the “business side” of the association. There are other volunteers such as Jan Krouse who for years has chaired the successful Moss Avenue Antique Sale & Festival, and Joanne Bannon & Ed Tarbuck who annually put together and manage the Hanging of the Greens. Then there is Paul Masik who is ever-present, assisting with the set up of the membership meetings and always having a presence at our board meetings.

I know there are people I have overlooked and in doing so apologize to them. Do know that your efforts are appreciated.

I wish all of you Happy Holidays and hope the time you spend with family this season is special.


A Little Home History

“A $5,000 Home for a Family of Three”, the William P. Walker residence, 1613 Moss Ave.

by Tim Hartneck

On October 20, 1905, the following squib appeared in the Peoria Herald Transcript: “William Penn Walker has completed during the year a fine frame and plaster house in Moss avenue, costing $11,000. It is without question one of the mostartistic houses in Peoria. Mr. Walker associated with Reeves & Baillie, who were the architects.” A building permit had been issued in July, 1904, to Mr. Walker for the construction of a two story residence with an estimated cost of $5,500. This appears to be factual and tells us about the origins of the house.

Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, “Now for the rest of the story…” The design was conceived by New York architect, Albert Bayne Lawyer, to be included in the “New Series of Model Suburban Houses Which Can Be Built at Moderate Cost” which was to be published in fourteen parts, beginning in October, 1900, by The Ladies’ Home Journal.

Lawyer’s design, eleventh in the series, was published in the August, 1901, issue of the magazine. The aim of the magazine’s progressive publisher, Edward Bok, was to illustrate belief in the power of a properly designed domestic environment to positively affect individuals (particularly the female homemaker, and then, the male home buyer or builder) and society.

It is likely that Mr. and Mrs. Walker saw the design in the magazine and ordered plans and specifications from architect Lawyer and then partnered with Reeves & Baillie on the local level to put the job out for bids and to superintend construction. There is another house of exactly the same design that was built in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. It is estimated that about 30,000 homes were built from designs published in the Ladies’ Home Journal.

It is also interesting to note that Frank Lloyd Wright had several designs that were published in the LHJ. His design for the February, 1901, issue may have been the inspiration that led to the commission of the 1902 Francis W. Little residence at Moss and Institute.

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebAs we approach the Hanging of the Greens, we need to look to the future. The Buddhist Temple Project at 839 W. Moss is moving forward. Assuming no issues at the PZ Hearing on the special use request, the item will be brought forward by me at the November 24 Council Meeting. The petitioner is also requesting permission for a twenty foot tall statue of Buddha. It is not an alteration to the building and would be in the front yard of the temple.

In yet another vein, traffic analysis has been done for the MBRA area. The stats indicate that the reconfigured Main and University intersection rebuild has had little to no impact on the volume of traffic on Moss Avenue. In general, over the last 25 years, traffic has declined and now it has stabilized. Speeding continues to be an issue, however. Accordingly, we are taking the following steps:

  1. In 2016, I have allocated money for a raised pedestrian crossing on the east side of Moss Avenue to slow traffic down.  Enforcement will continue.
  2. At my direction, we will be adding two permanent speed feedback signs on Moss Avenue west of Mac Arthur.  There will be one for westbound traffic and one for eastbound traffic. The engineers are recommending that these signs be located between Institute and Cooper. Enforcement will continue. The engineers are looking at the logistics of the installation. Solar power will not work on Moss because of the tree canopy. These signs will be hardwired so that they will always be operational. I have asked staff to complete them before Christmas.

We have a newly appointed BU President. We welcome back Gary Roberts, a BU alumnus,  to serve as Bradley’s eleventh President. In spite of Caterpillar’s challenges, our best days are ahead as a City and Country. I wish all of you a great Holiday Season.

Thru the Windshield…as others see us passing by.


by Marjorie Klise

Ours is a neighborhood of walkers.  We have those who need the exercise. We have dog owners out for their regular routine. The students and faculty enjoy the chance to wander away from campus into the local neighborhood. And some folks just have to get from one place to another and choose to walk by our homes.

It took several years to convince people that the quarter of a dollar it costs to leave your porch light on each night was worth it but we now know that we all feel safer at night when we are out and about. The area is much brighter. The walkers can avoid fallen branches and uneven pavement. Our houses look better. It says “Welcome” in a quiet way.

And now for the final touch…that glimpse inside our houses!  Of course no one wants excess exposure. We all value our privacy. That is totally understood by all. But what about just a peek? Raise a shade. Open a curtain. Pull back a drape.

We all love Tom Kallister’s grandfather clock looking out at us. Bonnie White’s elegant urn of flowers thrilled us all. The platters over the fireplace.The Christmas tree all lit and aglow. That library light reflecting on the bookcase. Such warmth and charm.

When all the windows are dark it is like trying to communicate with someone who will not open their eyes to us. The barrier is off-putting. Can we find that one window or foyer door or side porch where we can raise that shade or adjust that drape and say, once more,

“Welcome walkers.  You are among friends!”

Keep It Clear

keepitclear_imageGood walking conditions are the backbone of every community’s transportation system and one of the most important elements of a livable community.  Neighborhoods where walking is an attractive, convenient and safe option have healthier residents, fewer cars on the road, and a stronger sense of community.  Walking has numerous health benefits, and pedestrian activity makes residential areas more neighborly and commercial areas more vibrant.

Walking is a central component of any neighborhood and is part of virtually every trip – alone or combined with public transit, driving, or cycling.  Improved walking conditions are an effective way to encourage walking, and prompt and effective snow clearance is central to maintaining acceptable walking conditions.

Why shovel?

As during any season or day of the week, many people walk during and after winter storms whether for transportation, exercise, or pleasure. However, a look down Peoria’s streets after a snowfall often reveals plowed streets, adjacent to snow covered, icy and sometime, impassable sidewalks.  Clear sidewalks are important for everyone who uses sidewalks, but they are especially important for seniors, people with disabilities and children. Snow or ice-covered sidewalks force people to travel in the street—a thoroughly dangerous enterprise.

Safe passage along sidewalks is critical for pedestrians. In many cases, to slip and fall means getting hurt.  Every winter there is a dramatic spike in fractures, especially of the hip and forearm, due to slips on icy sidewalks.  The impacts are greatest on those who depend on walking – children on their way to school, parents with strollers, wheelchair users and the elderly.



Unhanging of the Greens

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Noon – 2:00 PM

Meet at the corner of Cooper St. and Moss Ave.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the removal of the holidays greens.  Please bring gloves, wire snips, ladders and pick up trucks.

Peoria Cares

11852 PEOCTY Peoria Cares Postcard.indd