Wrigleyville’s relation to Andrew Lanquist

Being a baseball fan, and being born and raised in the North Side of Chicago, I have always admired the Chicago Cubs baseball team. I always get extremely excited during baseball season because I love going to Wrigleyville to watch the games live. I enjoy sitting with friends on the benches, munching away at the delicious hotdogs, and snacking on peanuts while I root for my favorite team to win.

However, as I sit on the benches and admire the stadium, it never crosses my mind to think about the architecture and history behind it. I’ve never felt more horrible about being ignorant to Chicago History until after I visited the Swedish American Museum. During my visit, I learned that an influential Swede named Andrew Lanquist is the builder of Wrigley Field and the Wrigley Building.

I also learned that Lanquist, whom was one of Chicago’s largest contractors, also built 32 schools, several residencies and warehouses, and 21 other main buildings such as the Marshall Fields Annex. Learning about such creations within architecture alone reminds me of how much humans have contributed to the cities over the decades. It’s amazing how the human mind works in creating ideas and converting them into reality.

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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Swedish American Girl Stays in Touch With Her Roots (Q & A)

Below is an interview with Ashley Daily, whom is of Swedish American descent and is very involved with her culture.

1. What is your experience growing up in the United States as a Swedish American person?

As a third generation Swedish person born and raised in the United States, my experience has been very interesting. I’ve grown up seeing lots of work such as churches, foundations, and fraternals done by Swedish people which makes me very proud and dedicated to strive for success.
2. What are your experiences with immigration, if any at all?

I personally have not had any experiences with immigration but knowing that my mother and father have experienced these issues makes me really sad.
3. Are you affiliated with any Swedish American group/club/organization? If so, what is it/are they called? Can you elaborate on the group(s) please?

My family and I are in a Swedish American Club in Rockford, IL. It is called the SMSF club which stands for Swedish Music and Sick Fraternity. Basically the club is like a VFW. There are Friday fish fries along with other dinners and charities like Kick in For Cancer.

4. How did you get involved with Swedish American organizations?

I got involved with this organization through my family.
5. What contributions do you feel the Swedish culture has made in America?

I know the Swedish culture definitely has shaped Chicago’s history. Many Swedish American figures have made a huge impact in the city’s image through architecture and it makes me very proud to view the beautiful scenery nowadays and know that a lot of it looks that way partially because of my culture’s inventions. For example, after the Chicago Fire, many Swedes helped to rebuild the city.
6. Do you know of any famous Swedish Americans? How have they impacted America?

Aside from many famous carpenters and architectural figured, I know of Selma Lagerlof, whom wrote a book called “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils” and won a Nobel prize for it. I love that book! You should read it. I am aware that many Swedish people have impacted America through art, architecture, and literature.
7. Were you aware that the Swedish American person, Albert Ivar Appleton, whom is credited for the lighting of the Chicago skyline, was part of your culture?

I did know a Swedish American person created a fantastic invention although I did not know his name exactly. I do know that his invention is super creative and the skyline at night looks superb.
8. How do you identify as a Swedish American growing up in Illinois?

Although I am a 3rd generation Swedish American, I stay in tune with my culture and know my culture and language pretty well. I feel deeply connected to my culture although I live in Illinois. I maintain this identity by going to the Swedish American Club each week, visiting museums often, speaking the language with my friends and family, and doing my own research so I can continue learning new things I did not know previously.
9. Do you feel like your nationality has helped or been a disadvantage to you growing up America?

I do not believe that being Swedish American has put me at a disadvantage in any way at all living in America. In fact, I feel very blessed that I grow up in America as a Sweden after many people from my culture have contributed tremendously and impacted it through innovative ways. I feel very privileged.

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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Who invented the lighting of the Chicago skyline?

Albert Ivar Appleton: The creator of the Lighting across the Chicago Skyline

When driving downtown and admiring the skyscrapers, have you ever thought about what makes those tall beautiful buildings so stunning aside from its length and detailed work? I was never curious to this question until I visited the Swedish American Museum and found out that a Swedish American man is responsible for a big chunk of what makes these masterpieces really stand out and illuminate the sky during the nighttime.

Chicagoans, as well as visitors and tourists to Chicago wouldn’t be able to appreciate the stunning night view of the skyline if it wasn’t for Albert Ivar Appleton, whom in 1903 founded the Appleton Electric Company.

Below is a light that went on the side of a car by the driver’s side and was used for emergency purposes at night if accidents happened on the road during the night time. Appleton came a long way from this very first creation of light to the lighting of the Chicago skyline. Applton has prepared the lights around sport arenas, businesses, and industrial buildings such as Merchandise Mart, NBC Tower, Commonwealth Edison building, and the Board of Trade, just to name a few.

However, the lights equipped in the skyline of downtown Chicago are the most dazzling to me, perhaps because I am a Chicago citizen? No, actually I think it is merely a true work of art. The Chicago skyline is what makes Chicago one of the best cities in the United States, in my opinion. Everywhere you go downtown, you are surrounded by a galore of life sized sculptures. It is breathtaking to look at these giant art pieces, especially the Willis Tower (recently known as the Sears Tower), the world’s tallest skyscraper. As the sun rises and sets and when the sky is bright blue during a summer day, one can really appreciate being surrounded by such an awe-inspiring landscape.  But what makes the scene a “must-see” is sitting by the lake at night and watching the skyline with lights beautifully lit, elucidating every single minor detail that the artist created through hard work and dedication.

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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


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