Chicago– Lech Aleksander Kaczyński, the former Polish President killed in the recent Smolensk, Russia plane crash, had a street named in his memory in Chicago. It will be on the the Avenue of Honor. The street will be run at the crossing of Belmont – Central avenues in a very popular and historic area of Portage Park.
At the first intersection near Belmont – Central, a ceremonial unveiling of a plaque with the name of the street Lech Kaczynski Way was unveiled. During the ceremony, a special letter from Jaroslaw Kaczynski was read by the cousin of the president, Jan Tomaszewski.
Daniel Pogorzelski of the Historical Society North-West Chicago got the campaign started for the street naming. Two councilmen, Ariel Reboyras and Thomas Allen helped. The greatest support was from the Mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley.
The intersection of Belmont Avenue and Central Park is more than a hundred years old and the neighborhood was made up of mostly Polish immigrants.
The district around the streets of Belmont and Central Park was known colloquially as Wladyslawowo. One of the central points of the area was the Catholic parish church of St. Ladislaus. Another reminder of those old, romantic days is nearby Frederic Chopin Park. For those families that come from the old Polish neighborhood, everything there has been preserved from the times of their fathers and grandfathers. It is a reminder of the old-city. A time of past Polonia.
Photo by: Teresa B. Buchner
November 15, 2010