Joan and Marshall Crawford’s house at 1302 S. Elgin Ave. is the first house south of Roosevelt Road to win the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce PRIDE award. The awards are given every year to “commercial and residential property owners who have shown pride in Forest Park by making a significant investment in their property,” according to the Chamber’s website.
The Crawfords were unable to attend the Chamber’s annual meeting, May 14, at McAdam Landscaping where the awards were handed out. But they’re still excited about the award.
“It’s nice to win because we feel like everyone should pay attention to the south side of Roosevelt Road once in a while,” Joan Crawford said.
Blame the award on her perennials obsession. The couple’s corner lot is planted on all sides with variegated hostas, lilies and ferns.
“When we bought this house, it looked kind of trashy,” she said. The Crawfords moved in eight years ago from the North Side of Chicago.
“It was a vacant weedy corner lot with lots of weird weed trees growing in everywhere,” Joan said.
They put in a privacy fence and a three-car garage, but then Joan began to plant the parkways with cheerful landscaping.
“It’s amazing how many people stop and say thank you for making the corner so pretty,” said Marshall Crawford. “I’ll be mowing the lawn and someone will come up and thank us.”
Joan has special sections of the yard to honor their deceased parents. “My mother-in-law’s name was Rose, so we’ve got a rose garden for her inside the fence,” she said. “There’s a Tennessee blue spruce for my father-in-law.” The blue forget-me-nots honor her parents. “My father was color blind and could only see the color blue,” she explained.
Award nominees were asked to explain why their homes were special in four ways: neighborhood impact, amount of investment, aesthetic impact and innovative nature.
“Joan has spent a lot of time transforming that corner into a gateway into that part of the neighborhood,” Marshall said.
Other residential PRIDE winners were contractors Paul and Andrew Wicklow of Wicklow Development Group for their work on 930 Beloit, 1127 Dunlop, 508 Beloit and 934 Thomas avenues. Contractor Mark Higginson won for work on 300 Marengo Ave. He is currently working on 331 and 305 Elgin Ave.
John Hosty also won an award for his home at 7422 Warren. It stands on the same block as the home of his brother, Forest Park Commissioner Mark Hosty, who won a PRIDE award last year.
Commercial renovations winning the PRIDE award for 2013 were: Grand Appliance, 7440 Madison St.; Piggyback Barbecue, 410 Circle Ave.; Madison Street Shoes, 7500 Madison St.; Jayne, 7423 Madison St.; and Amelia’s Restaurant, 7330 Harrison St.