Wednesday, August 09, 2006

National Night Out

Iles House sits on Aristocracy Hill, once a prime residential area in Springfield, from downtown to South Grand, and 2nd to 8th Streets. Photographs from an 1898 book depict the homes of prominent families, including Dirksen, Reisch, Lawrence, Herndon, Conkling, Kreider, Vancil, and Ridgeley.

On the evening of August 1, current residents of Aristocracy Hill celebrated National Night Out at the Iles House. NNO encourages neighborhoods to work with local police to build a strong community spirit and prevent crime. See this Journal-Register story on the evening.

Neighbors brought covered dishes and Chris Butler, president of the Kirlin, Eagan, and Butler Funeral Home provided fried chicken. The evening was quite hot, but guests ate in the air-conditioned comfort of the Iles House lower level.

Prairie Fire, a local bluegrass band, provided period and recent music that greatly added to the pleasure of the evening, as neighbors met, visited, and exchanged stories.

Among the guests were organizers Judith Penseanu-Feurer and Bill Feurer, and members of the Aristocracy Hill Board of Directors. Others attending were Representative Raymond Poe and City Council members Bill Bartolomucci, Bruce Strum, and Judy Yaeger.

Judith Penseanu-Feurer, President of the Aristocracy Hill Neighborhood Association, challenged everyone to preserve this great historic neighborhood and its security: "Little step by little step, we will make our neighborhood one that the entire City will point to with pride."

Pictures by Dick Hart and Dulany Sriner.

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