A Centennial Commemoration of the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium

north park village centennial poster

One hundred years ago, in March 1915, the city of Chicago opened its first public tuberculosis sanitarium on a 160-acre site bound by Bryn Mawr, Pulaski, Peterson and Central Park avenues.  The 650-bed, 32-building facility was founded to provide treatment and long-term care at no cost to patients suffering from this highly infectious and  sometimes fatal disease.

It was a remarkable accomplishment for the city to build a world-class public sanitarium–the first to have a maternity ward. It is equally remarkable that the beautiful buildings and grounds of the former Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium, renamed North Park Village and Peterson Park, continue to serve the public.

On Saturday, April 25, North Park Village Nature Center will host an afternoon of talks and tours to commemorate the founding of the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium and the continued use of the site.  This event is free, but reservations are required. Call the North Park Village Nature Center to reserve your spot: 312-744-5472. We hope you can join us in remembering this Chicago public health landmark and in celebrating the site’s preservation and continued use.

The speaker program will run from 1 pm – 4 pm, and guided tours follow between 4 – 5 pm. This event is suitable for ages 16 and older. Note that parking is very limited within the North Park Village grounds. Street parking is available on Bryn Mawr beween Central Park and Pulaski.

Thanks to the Chicago Park District, the Sauganash Whole Foods Market and Crave-Cuisine for supporting this event. Special thanks to Jennifer Stix for use of her 1974 photo of the sign at the service entrance to the MTS.


1:15PM The Opening of Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis
Sanitarium: A Journey Back to the Beginning?   
Mindy Schwartz, M.D., University of Chicago

1:45PM A Healthful Environment: Architecture and Landscape of Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium    Julia S. Bachrach, Chicago Park District historian and preservationist

2:15PM History of the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitariuim   Frances Archer, local historian and blogger

2:45PM Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium Superintendent Martin R. Lynn—A 1920s Family Scrapbook   Kathleen Schnier, great-granddaughter of MTS Superintendent Lynn

3:10PM The Powerhouse: A Brief Technical Review of Its Decay
and Restoration Methods for Its Future    Christen Sundquist &
Kelsey Shipton, both speakers have backgrounds in architecture and historic preservation

3:35PM Introduction to exhibit: POWER HOUSE — Imagining a new home for Albany Park Theater Company – Recent work by Bachelor of Interior Architecture candidates, May 2015, School of the Art Institute of Chicago:

Ava Barrett
Angela Jung Yun Choi
Cara Yeonji Park
Eryn Stacker
Hyun Jun You

Studio instructors, Fall 2014: Architects Tannys Langdon and Paul Tebben

4:15-5:00PM 45-minute guided walking tours of the grounds (weather permitting)

One Response to A Centennial Commemoration of the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium

  1. JAMES F O'NEIL February 19, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

    Thanks for the information. So here I write of my great grandmother who died there in 1924. Searching I found this posting, a year ago–but ironically I am doing a mini-story. JO’N

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