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Vote for your favorite entry to the "What Makes Your Place Great? Your Secret Corner of Chicago" contest! (Poll Closed)

  • Will County Forest Preserve District in Joliet, submitted by Glen B.
    36 votes

  • Awaking Muse, Schaumburg, submitted by Linda S.
    152 votes

  • Ridgeville Park, Evanston, submitted by Debi L.
    28 votes

  • Baker's Lake, Barrington, submitted by Donna B.
    64 votes

  • Sip Coffee House, West Loop, Chicago, submitted by Adriana S.
    37 votes

  • Crossroads of downtown Arlington Heights, submitted by Afshan H.
    12 votes

  • Experimental Station, Hyde Park and Woodlawn, Chicago, submitted by Annie L.
    20 votes

  • The Enterprising Kitchen, Ravenswood, Chicago, submitted by Carolyn N.
    13 votes

  • Carlson-Oxbow Nature Park, Hammond, Indiana, submitted by Dave R.
    54 votes

  • Promontory Circle in Jackson Park, Woodlawn/Hyde Park/South Shore, Chicago, submitted by Gary O.
    17 votes

  • Taltree Arboretum and Gardens, Valparaiso, Indiana, submitted by Jane M.
    492 votes

  • Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park, Skokie, submitted by Janelle
    1,188 votes

  • Japanese Garden in Jackson Park, Woodlawn/Hyde Park/South Shore, Chicago, submitted by Julia P.
    53 votes

  • Oakland Museum of Contemporary Art, Oakland, Chicago, submitted by Lisa G.
    132 votes

  • Peterson Garden, West Ridge, Chicago, submitted by Maribeth B.
    103 votes

  • Glenwood Avenue Arts District, Rogers Park, Chicago, submitted by Mary B.
    570 votes

  • South Cook Street, Barrington, submitted by Peggy B.
    144 votes

  • Millennium Carillon in Moser Tower, Naperville, submitted by Sameera L.
    1,295 votes

  • Lake Street Bridge, Chicago, submitted by Steve L.
    109 votes

  • Englewood Heritage Station, Englewood, Chicago, submitted by Terina C.
    11 votes

  • Growing Station Community Garden, Pilsen, Chicago, submitted by Steve V.
    38 votes

  • Lakeside Legacy, McHenry County, submitted by Terry L.
    74 votes

  • Hermitage Triangle Garden, Wicker Park, Chicago, submitted by Brent N.
    17 votes

  • Naper Settlement, Naperville, submitted by Donna D.
    148 votes


Posted 8 years.


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  • Nicole Beck - 8 years ago

    Skokie North Shore Sculpture Park is not only a wonderful place to visit to see an amazing variety of large-scale outdoor works, it has provided additional income for many, many sculptors in the form of lease stipends for the wonderful works that rotate in and out. Therefore,the ripple-effects support the lively hoods of a LOT of local & national sculptors!

  • Rodney - 8 years ago

    I was married at Taltree 4 years ago. Not only did everyone say how beautiful of a wedding it was, but the pictures are fantastic.

  • Paul - 8 years ago

    From the Place Making Chicago web site.

    "Nominate Chicagoland’s Best Undiscovered Public Space.

    The Chicago region is known for its well-used plazas, parks, sidewalks, and gardens that bring the city to life. Many of these special places are hidden in the heart of neighborhoods, known only to a lucky few.

    Now is your chance to nominate your favorite hidden public place as Chicagoland’s best."

    Sounds like its a Chicagoland contest.

  • Tommy FitzGibbon - 8 years ago

    Rogers Park is the best place to be....diversity is valued, community activities are everywhere and families are cherished here!

  • Daina - 8 years ago

    I have to agree with Carol that the contest says "Secret Corner of CHICAGO" not the Chicagoland area or NW IN so not sure why there's all these non-Chicago locations when Chicago has so many great locations like the Peterson Garden on the NW side (which being relatively new, is wonderful but also a "work in progress").

  • Kevin - 8 years ago

    Barrington's South Cook Street always has a festival or cruise night or something fun for a family outing. Also, great video!

  • Peggy - 8 years ago

    Listening to the carillon in Naperville play the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful on Labor Day was so beautiful. Everyone should experience the joy of hearing our national anthem played by the carillon bells. Just breathtaking!!!

  • J Boudart - 8 years ago

    I'm voting for Glenwood-Morse arts district in spite of the fact that there were no views of the beach only 3 blocks away.

  • Helena B. - 8 years ago

    My vote is for Schaumburg. It is a wonderful place to live and it has everything for all ages. Beautiful landscapes and parks. I could go on and on....seeing is believing!

  • Georgia Elliott - 8 years ago

    I love the video - my sister lives in Rogers Park and I love to visit her!

  • kay - 8 years ago

    Lived in rogers park for 40 years. It just gets better & better.

  • Deb - 8 years ago

    Rogers Park = Every one's included!

  • Roger - 8 years ago

    I love Rogers Park. The theater here is amazing, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. And there is so much diversity. You can experience cultures from all over the world by just walking around a few blocks of the neighborhood. Every business intersection has nice restaurants, coffee shops, bars, family-owned markets and unique shops. Chicago Math and Science Academy is a great success story in itself. The percentage of students who go on to college is 100%!! With the lake next door, Loyola, the Red Line, and all kinds of friendly people who are building a new urban community together, Rogers Park is a wonderful place to live.

  • Dan - 8 years ago

    I'm sure the bells are nice and all, but Naperville is 35 miles from Chicago. Kinda hard to hear from the city :)

    Naperville ≠ Chicago

  • Me - 8 years ago

    There is so much to discover in Rogers Park!

  • Mary - 8 years ago

    I love Rogers Park!

  • Kathleen Paluch - 8 years ago

    Well done! Thanks for the tour of Rogers Park, the center of my universe.

  • LaNita - 8 years ago


  • Doris Stanis - 8 years ago

    It is a mix of active children enjoying the lake and statue resting in the hill and the music of summer breeze that is so special every summer Saturday evening that it is held. Everyone is so relaxed and doing their own thing. It reminds me of the evenings years back before TV or even radio and air conditioning when families sat on their front porch occasionally waving and chating with the neighbors. The whole thing is needed to fit together for a pleasant experience. We leave and stop on the way home for a small treat and feel great.

  • Lyn Sims - 8 years ago

    Schaumburg has a great sculpture park just behind the Municipal Center off Schaumburg Rd. Tree lined pathways with many acquired sculptures. Don't forget to check out the one 'Ecce Hora' near the swan pond! You'll be pleased & surprised - one looks like Stonehenge.

  • Steve Pomilia - 8 years ago

    Talltree,A place beyond belief,a little piece of heaven on earth,a place of real traquility.and getting more magnificent every year.a membership is a ticket to GOD'S livingroom.

  • Martha Ochoa - 8 years ago

    Glenwood & Morse area, the place to be regardless of where yo come from, the place to be to appreciate all people, the place to be just to walk around and enjoy new life experiences!

  • Ron - 8 years ago

    The Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park is a great place walk, run, bicycle, rollerblade or take your dog. You can even take a guided art tour on the weekend or download a tour packet from the sculpture park web site and take the tour yourself. The sculptures are well worth seeing and the flag display at Dempster and McCormick represents Skokie's ethic diversity.

  • LaVonne Sparrow - 8 years ago

    We have enjoyed classes and concerts there in addition to the beautiful gardens and staff.

  • Hans - 8 years ago

    Taltree Arboretum & Gardens in Valparaiso is a beautiful place to bring yourself back to life and reconnect with nature.

  • Colette - 8 years ago

    Taltree is amazing- True beauty everywhere you look!!
    I dont think it would even be possible to come up with one negative thing to say about this place(even the restrooms are super nice:). Altho, there is not a 'playground' it is my chidrens' favorite park aswell. We love showing this place off - A must see for sure!!

  • Jean - 8 years ago

    A very good friend of mine introduced me to Taltree a few years back. Not only is a wonderful place to unwind in peace while just sitting or wondering the paths, the concerts are top notch. It is Northwest Indiana at its best and a real learning experience. Hopefully when retirement arrives I will be able to volunteer. The Gabises have done an outstanding job bringing this property back to an excellent model of NW Indiana's natural state - a real labor of love.

  • Jean - 8 years ago

    A very good friend of mine introduced me to Taltree a few years back. Not only is a wonderful place to unwind in peace while just sitting or wondering the paths, the concerts are top notch. It is Northwest Indiana at its best and a real learning experience. Hopefully when retirement arrives I will be able to volunteer. The Gabises have done an outstanding job bringing this property back to an excellent model of NW Indiana's natural state - a real labor of love.

  • Franklin Ettinger - 8 years ago

    Sculpture parks, musuems, and carillions (whatever that is, some kind of Star Wars thing?) all sound nice but none of them are the sort of living, breathing space that the Glenwood Ave. Arts District has become. Offering a model of sustainable living where residents and visitors can take public transportation, buy produce at the organic Glenwood Sunday Market, the Arts district is about more than just a pretty picture - its about offering hope that people from all over the world can come together as one and create community. The secret here is that an accepting, encouraging, and creative space can succeed in a world that seems increasingly bitter, divided, and commercialized. A vote for the Glenwood Arts District is a vote for a better future - not just a nod to a cobblestone past or some other historic relic.

  • Ed Charbonneau - 8 years ago

    Visiting Taltree Arboretum is an unbelievable experience; beautiful, relaxing and ever changing with the seasons.

  • Jeff Kestner - 8 years ago

    I have been visiting Taltree since its inception and have always loved its peace and tranquility.

  • John Wison - 8 years ago

    I visited Taltree this summer for the first time, and discovered its incredible beauty. The gardens and facilities are beautifully designed. This is a lovely that I plan to visit again and again...

  • louis - 8 years ago

    OMG...."ugly eyesore"....the only ugly eyesore must be named, Higgins..probably fat with zits and flat feet

  • Ben - 8 years ago

    Truly a gem in Nw Indiana. Well worth the commute from Chicago.

  • Janet Beals Orejudos - 8 years ago

    Glenwood Avenue in Rogers Park is truly one of the City's secret beautiful places! Music, art, food, history ... what more could you want?

  • Craig Meinbresse - 8 years ago

    What a wonderful spot to visit. My wife and I became members about a year ago and just love what Taltree has to offer. I am now learning to be a docent and volunteering to assist with whatever work is needed. The folks that work and volunteer at Taltree are the greatest. What a pleasant place for solitude, learning, appreciating the beauty that nature has to offer, and all in one place! Come and visit this special place.

  • Craig Meinbresse - 8 years ago

    What a wonderful spot to visit. My wife and I became members about a year ago and just love what Taltree has to offer. I am now learning to be a docent and volunteering to assist with whatever work is needed. The folks that work and volunteer at Taltree are the greatest. What a pleasant place for solitude, learning, appreciating the beauty that nature has to offer, and all in one place! Come and visit this special place.

  • Theresa Valade - 8 years ago

    I have worked with Taltree on many ocassions and have taken full advantage of walking all the amazing pathways. It is one of NWI best kept secrets and we want to share with everyone so they too can enjoy the peace and serenity it brings.

  • Bonnie Zale - 8 years ago

    I love Taltree! I love al the wildlife there! The beautiful Deer,Birds,Cool looking Owls, you name it! Trails are great! The gardens are just breataking and there are so many of them there. The woods are awesome. Great for Weddings, parties and always have a lot of things happening. Not enough People go there. It gives me peace and comfort like nothing else and my 2 little dogs love to go there. I need to check out a Concert ther. We are so blessed that they shared this secret with everyone! Go check it out. You will be happy you did.

  • Carol Hylton - 8 years ago

    Hello!? Secret corner of Chicago, Right? Twelve of these places are very nice, but are not IN Chicago; 2 or 3 are not even in Illinois. As a long time Chicago resident who was actually born here, I find your selection of Chicago corners to be many and varied, without running to the 'burbs.

  • kb - 8 years ago

    I like the Naperville Settlement because the Martin Mitchell mansion and the story behind the Settlement helps people understand that some of the best parts of Naperville are due to the generosity of Carolyn Martin Mitchell many years ago. Her donation of property and her home really does bring history to life.

  • S. Ramachandran - 8 years ago

    Tall spectacular structure in serene surrounding. The design of the bells is very interesting and the resulting "musical instrument" is awesome.

  • Tammy Rose - 8 years ago

    Love this place!

  • Helen - 8 years ago

    great place to visit

  • Thomas - 8 years ago

    Get over yourself, Higgins. Obviously, most people don't share your opinion. The Carillon has been recognized around the world for its prominence. It's also received two architectural awards. We took a tour last year and have been back several times with friends. It is truly a marvel on many levels.

  • Joan Hinsdale - 8 years ago

    Ridgeville is the best. The supervision there is excellent and the theatre is unique. True creativity at its finest.

  • Tim Higgins - 8 years ago

    Taxpayer Tower in Naperville is an ugly gigantic tower of steel and concrete and a symbol of bailout nation.
    It should never have been built and I have no idea why the Naperville Park District would be sending an email to everyone in Napeville trying to rig the vote for this autrocity.

    Ugly eyesore.

  • Connie Bezanis - 8 years ago

    Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park
    Lovely spaces, 2 miles long , along the canal, east side of McCormack, walk, run stroll, push the buggy, wheel chair all can be accommodated...Take a tour on the last Sunday of the month, May> Oct---find out about the sculptures from a docent---FREE

  • Sharon Steckel - 8 years ago

    The Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park is a beautiful, peaceful, and inspiring location to be surrounded by everything art and nature in concert have to offer. I love jogging and riding my bike through the Park year-round and always see so many families enjoying the beautiful sculptures.

  • Janelle Silva - 8 years ago

    Skokie is a great place in general, and the North Shore Scuplture Park is an awesome place to go for an early morning run. The art is interesting and I feel safe there.

  • Paul - 8 years ago

    Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park is a great place to visit.

  • George Junkin - 8 years ago

    Carrillons are great!

  • Thriller - 8 years ago

    No wonder the Naperville Carillon is winning... The Naperville Parks District sent out this email:

    Online votes cast from August 9-September 10, 2010 will determine the fan favorite. Three other winners will be selected by a panel of MPC judges. All four winners will be announced on September 17 and will be featured in an exclusive Chicago Architecture Foundation tour this fall.

    Only one vote per person is allowed for the duration of the contest.

    How to cast your vote:
    1. Click on the following link:
    2. Scroll down to find the Millennium Carillon
    3. Click on the radio button that corresponds with that entry
    4. Click on the “Vote” button at the bottom of the page

  • Mary Bao - 8 years ago

    Glenwood and Morse

    Yes, we all love the rustle of nature, but there is something special about the clacking sound of tires on cobblestone to remind us that we are on the only remaining cobblestone street in Chicago. Here history has joined hands with artistry. The smell of creativity is in the air. Urban music wafts on the wind and everywhere you look there is art, color and texture.

    We live in a village where neighbors are as likely to be from Greece, Korea, Senegal, Haiti, Burma, France, Vietnam, Germany, Mexico, or Peru, Illinois. Our diversity splashes colors unlike any in the world, here 120 languages are spoken.

    There is never a gender issue when everyone celebrates individuality as unique. We are who we can be without question here. So take your tall trees because that tall fellow coming up the street is likely to be the next NBA player from China.

    Look for the color of art woven into the texture of our lives where people celebrate creativity by writing, dancing, singing, painting, sculpting, acting ...the arts thrive here. Come visit.

  • Ma Fiddle - 8 years ago

    All I asked for was a walk in the woods...and I got Taltree!

  • Bonnie - 8 years ago

    The Naperville Carillon is the true jewel of DuPage County. It is a truly awesome musical instrument with a place on the world stage. People come from miles around to see and hear it. Talltree is nice but you can see trees and bushes just about any place.

  • Bonnie Olson - 8 years ago

    Naperville's Carillon deserves your vote.

  • Katie - 8 years ago

    Growing Station Community Garden of Pilsen is my oasis. It's my first year gardening there, and my carrots are so happy! One of my favorite things about the garden is a bench built 360 degrees around a tree trunk. It's the perfect place to enjoy a nap in the shade and dream of the country.

  • JimmyV - 8 years ago

    Carillon is obnoxious - Taltree Arboretum is absolutely breahtaking!

  • Margo Halsted - 8 years ago

    It sounds wonderful! I love to hear that carillon.

  • Bob Morrison - 8 years ago

    All the entries are of interest, but the carillon gets my vote!

  • Robin - 8 years ago

    Loge it

  • Edward - 8 years ago

    Was a huge fan of the complex of public works at the Museum of Science and Industry area, Jackson Park Golf Course, Driving range, Lake front harbors, and of course the Japanese gardens. I don't use the garden as much as the other amenities surrounding the garden, but it needs constant upkeep and maintenance to become a destination point. Served the Chicago area community for many, many years.

  • Charles Brown - 8 years ago

    I live in Naperville and when I come back from an out of town trip I know I am home when I see the carillon.
    Tuesday concerts are more than just great music.
    It can be picnic time and watching the kids roll down the hill makes it a great family outing.

  • cathy Bomberger - 8 years ago

    Our favorite is to attend the concerts. Wonderful entertainment in a beautiful setting. Most relaxing.

  • Ella Gilbertson - 8 years ago

    I have hiked Taltree. I have taken classes at Taltree. Each visit is a relaxed learning experience. The director, Jim Hitz, and all others working at Taltree are always available to help and present gardening programs at the Lake County Public Library. Taltree reaches beyond its borders to involve local citizens. What a lovely place. Their rose garden is outstanding. Wow!

  • Nancy Stillons - 8 years ago

    I have been a volunteer at Taltree for just a few months, and already know that I wil be spending as much time as I possibly can in the future helping others learn of this beautiful, much loved and cared for oasis of calm. If you have not yet experienced this for yourself-you owe it to your self to come walk the trails or sit and listen to nature-or to one of our great outdoor concerts! One trip and you'll be hooked...

  • Jane Krause - 8 years ago

    We love hiking at Taltree and also enjoy some of the many programs they offer

  • JoAnne - 8 years ago

    love this place

  • Diane - 8 years ago

    At Taltree I can really appreciate the beauty of the Midwest.

  • Carol Coburn - 8 years ago

    Taltree is a place of peace and tranquility for all ages. My husband and I love all the different seasons there. The concerts are wonderful and our family young and old enjoy Taltree and all its beauty.

  • Nancy - 8 years ago

    The Peterson Garden Project is a fantastic way to learn more about gardening from an incredible group of people who have a lot of energy. Plus the history goes back to 1942. The sense of separation from the rest of the city, while in the Garden, make this a great place to go.

  • Jennifer - 8 years ago

    I was married at Taltree 6 years ago. Not only did everyone say how beautiful of a wedding it was, but the pictures are fantastic. We get to go back and visit every year and it's more and more beautiful every time. Now our children are enjoying it!

  • Christina mATOLCSY - 8 years ago

    My children have all been there with their schools on field trips and have learned so much going there...also they say it is a great place to go!

  • William Franz - 8 years ago

    Lakeside Center in Crystal Lake is an enchanting place with a history back to 1865

  • Cyndie - 8 years ago

    Taltree is a wonder place to hike with your family, learn about plants and wildlife that are indigenous to the area, and to just enjoy the cool, calm, green beauty of nature.

  • Lisa E. Fietz - 8 years ago

    Taltree is Northwest Indiana's best kept secret!!! It's beauty is evident in ALL seasons. Not only is it gorgeous, but the educational and networking opportunities it provides are priceless. Run primarily by member volunteers, anyone can make their dream a reality. The possibilities are endlesss!!! COME ON IN!!!

  • Angela Domagalski - 8 years ago

    Speaking as one from Chicago, Taltree is a true jewel in Northwest Indiana.
    Pristine and very quiet. Absolutely worthwhile to visit!

  • Shelli Henry - 8 years ago

    Taltree Arboretum is truly a magnificent secret place to visit.

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