The Chicago Park District Board this week voted to rename Pratt Beach after long-time Rogers Park activist,Tobey Prinz, who led the campaign to preserve and protect the beaches in our neighborhood from high rise development. She later became a champion of tenants’ rights and is widely credited for being instrumental in the passage of the Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance.
The move to rename the park was initiated by Tobey’s son, Fred Schein(photo on right courtesy of Chicago Tribune), and endorsed by the Loyola Park Advisory Council. An official renaming ceremony is tentatively scheduled for June during the annualArtists of the Wall Festival.
Below is a reprint of an article on the renaming that appeared in today’sChicago Tribune:
By Michelle Manchir, Tribune reporter
Thanks in large part to a son’s persistence, a Far North Side beach has been named after a community activist who helped preserve open space along the lake in Rogers Park.
The Chicago Park District board on Wednesday unanimously agreed to rename Pratt Beach Park after Tobey Prinz, officials said.
Prinz, who died in 1984, is credited with leading a campaign to protect public access to 13 beaches in Rogers Park and Edgewater decades ago, officials said. She also was a grade school teacher and a founding member of the Rogers Park Community Council.
The name change was effective with Wednesday’s vote but comes after nearly two years of efforts by her son, Fred Schein, who gathered historical material to support his proposal for Tobey Prinz Beach Park.
“I’m highly appreciative,” said Schein, who attended Wednesday’s board meeting with other family members. “This wasn’t done because somebody knew somebody, this was done on the merits of what my mother had done for the community.”
Schein, 65, who lives in Chicago, said he remembers tagging along with his mother and brother as she collected petition signatures at the beach in the 1950s to stop developers who wanted to build high-rises at street-end beaches.
Thanks in part to the group’s efforts, a zoning ordinance that would have allowed high-rises to be built on the Far North Side lakefront was defeated and 13 beaches remain free of development and open to the public, officials said.
Tobey Prinz Beach Park encompasses a piece of parkland and beach bordered by Pratt Boulevard on the south and, to the north, the jetty at the south end of Loyola Beach. The Park District will place signs featuring the new name at some point, district spokeswoman Zvezdana Kubat said.
Schein said he and family will celebrate the renaming with a ceremony this summer. He said the honor was well-earned by his mother, who may have considered the gesture “a little bit much for her.”
“She never really looked for personal reward,” he said. “Everything that she did she did out of commitment to improve the community’s condition.”
I will let you know when the official ceremony is scheduled.