“A one time tree nursery became a bucolic place of rest and recovery for tuberculosis patients on Chicago’s North Side. Geoffrey Baer shares this story of a decades long battle against a contagion.
“In 1929 through the early 1930s, my grandmother was a patient at the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium. What year did the sanitarium first open and what year did it close?
“Today the property is called North Park Village and it’s part of the Chicago Park District on the Northwest Side. (It’s also a neighbor of WTTW’s — the property is just north of our studios.) But from 1915 to 1974, it was the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium. The historic buildings and beautiful grounds were home to hundreds of patients.
“Tuberculosis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs and, like the coronavirus, is spread by droplets. Throughout human history, TB has been the most deadly disease and it still is today. It’s curable with antibiotics, but in 2018, 10 million people worldwide contracted it and 1.5 million people died of it according to the World Health Organization.(Gunderson, 4/30/20)
The Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium became a Designated Chicago Landmark on November 1, 2018. Preservation Chicago advocated for this designation and testified many times over the years on its behalf.