By far, the largest development in our area in the 1930s was the Juniper Park Homes. It took a while for the land for this undertaking to be assembled because it was an “all-or-nothing” proposition. The land was divided up amongst German farming families and the tracts cut diagonally across city streets. Unless the whole thing was acquired, it would leave triangles of unused space. But Stewart Wiley and his partners man- aged to get it done and began construction on the covet- ed land in 1937. Juniper Park Homes consisted of 1500 houses and the developers promised that prices would be “at a market level that will rival rents to be charged at public housing projects.” The homes featured “symphonic styling” and sunken living rooms. The community was centered at 79th Street and Eliot Avenue. Three types of housing styles were offered ranging in price from $4,500 to $6,490. The “Residents of Juniper Park Homes” civic organization, created in 1938, was the progenitor of the Juniper Park Civic Association.
THE BEGINNING YEARS
A check of the JPCA history shows that in the early years there was the job of preserving what we had and setting goals of what we wanted for the future of our emerging community. Inherent in those goals and that future was a plan to have elected officials and city leaders pay attention to the JPCA when there were issues to be discussed.
THE FOLLOWING IS A PORTION OF OUR CONSTITUTION:
This Civic shall promote and develop the close relationship of its members with a program of civic and social activities.
The goal of the civic was stated clearly and concisely in the original preamble to the JPCA By-Laws, which read:
It is a recognized fact that only by means of organized and collective action can the residents in a community record their opinions and request with governing bodies, that the mutual welfare of the community is best served by a close association of this community, united for our mutual welfare for civic betterment.
The Juniper Berry has been continuously published since 1939.
The following is a list of the Presidents of the Juniper Park Civic Association from 1938 until today:
Dr. Myron Kenler, MD
John Groarke, Esq.
John J. Bono
Robert E. Matthews, Jr.
Diane Colletti Bauer
Robert F. Holden
Robert F. Holden
With countless victories under our belts, it is obvious that the original members of the JPCA programmed the organization on the right road to success, designed to make it a force to be dealt with, replete with leaders who often stepped outside the box to achieve that success.