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Leon LeRoy: Reflections on a life well-lived

By Tracy Poyser

There’s something special about our intergenerational community that invites sharing. So, when our neighbor Leon LeRoy celebrated his 95th birthday in December, we asked him for a glimpse into his long, remarkable life. No, he’s not a celebrity, but a man of quiet dignity, elegance and grace who defied many obstacles with resilience, hard work, perseverance and faith. You’ll recognize him from this photo – always impeccably dressed, whether in casual or formal wear, with a smile for everyone.

I love people, and all my jobs were connected with people,” he said. [more...]

Management Report: April 2019

By Violette Deschamps, Malibu East Manager

Office Hours FIRE INCIDENTS: A small fire broke out in a kitchen on the 29th floor on March 28 at about 6 p.m. The fire started on a burner, and flames extended to a plastic bowl and the plastic parts of the microwave oven suspended above the range. From there the flames extended to the side wall located against the stove. The owner reacted quickly by suffocating the fire with towels and contacted 911.

The Fire Department arrived at the unit within seven minutes from the 911 call. Meanwhile, a fire alert was triggered by the smoke detector located in the common hallway of the 29th floor, resulting in building staff and the 911 dispatcher being immediately contacted as well. And as designed, the modernized elevators were automatically sent down to the first floor and taken out of service by the elevators’ computer in response to the signal sent by the smoke detector. To reassure our residents, the fire was contained at its very early stage, the smoke was rapidly evacuated to the outdoors with the assistance of the smoke tower, and nobody was injured. [more...]

Boulevard of bygone dreams

Edgewater: A mid-century reminiscence

By Ron Cohn

6039 Sheridan

Third in a series.

I’m sure that virtually everyone living here at Malibu East knows that Sheridan Road, outside our door, was not always a “condo canyon.” Once it was lined, on both sides of the street from Bryn Mawr to Devon, with one of the city’s most impressive concentrations of monumental homes. “Millionaire’s Row,” my father called it. A handful, of course, are still standing as evidence of the grand “mansion mile” they once graced. There are four notable examples within one block of us. To the north, the two Berger Park mansions and Sacred Heart’s immense, red brick edifice stand on facing corners at Granville, and to the south, at the corner of Thorndale, the landmarked Colvin House. [more...]

Curtain call for our funniest neighbor

By Ron Cohn

Jim Sherman An actor, playwright, screenwriter, director, teacher – it sounds like the start of a “five guys walked into a bar” story – but it’s all one guy, James Sherman, who walked into Malibu East a year ago.

The versatile performer could still be convincingly cast as a suburban dad or middle management exec despite a career already spanning five decades of achievement in the entertainment world. James is best-known as the author of more than 15 plays. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “The Neil Simon of Lincoln Avenue,” recognizing his string of acclaimed comedies at Victory Gardens Theater, which has enshrined him as a member of their Playwrights Ensemble Alumni. [more...]

Three staffers honored at employee luncheon

By Tracy Poyser

We know that condo community living frees us from pesky maintenance tasks, snow shoveling and other worries, but we may not realize how much hard work, extra effort, diplomacy, long shifts and diligence are needed to keep our 500-unit vertical village humming along, as many of our loyal staff people work behind the scenes. That’s why I wish all residents could experience the special joy of sharing a festive holiday lunch with our Malibu East management and employees, and witness the genuine affection and team spirit they show for one another. [more...]

Proud son accepts father’s WWII medal

By Tracy Poyser

OSS MedalA while ago, our neighbor Patrick Corriere asked me to take photos at a very special ceremony. He and his sister, Rosemary, received an OSS Congressional Gold Medal recognizing the World War II service of their late father, Sebastian Corriere, as bestowed by U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky on Oct. 24 in her office (see photo).

As told to me by Patrick, Sebastian Corriere’s life story and service during WWII are the stuff of a John le Carré novel. [more...]

State of the Association

By Marcel Molins, President

Marcel Molins Another year and counting. Again management and the Board have been very busy with all sorts of projects and issues. My job is to provide you with an overview of the projects and the status of the Association. The chairs of the committees will provide greater detail on some of the projects, activities and future endeavors.

You all have suffered, some more than others, with the noise and the inconvenience resulting from the repairs and maintenance work being done on the façades and the balconies. Given the age of the building, the need for the repairs is quite understandable. One only needs to walk around Sheridan Road or downtown to see that many buildings have the same problem. This year, we encountered a problem with the façade of the business center. It had not been properly constructed and it has to be completely redone as you may have seen. We discovered also that the west wall of the tower, the one on Sheridan Road, has some potential major issues. The chair of the committee, Carl Chadek, will give you a full report. [more...]

Meet Malibu East's administrative assistant

By Lori Ziesmer

Growing up in Brighton, a small suburb of Ann Arbor, Mich., with a population around 7,500, Melody Keegan dreamed of living in a larger city. Her father’s job moved the family several times over the years. When her father’s work brought him to Chicago, and it was time for Melody to consider colleges, she selected Columbia College to stay close to her family.

Melody lived in five states (Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan, Texas and Illinois) before graduating from college. After living in Chicago now for more than seven years, Melody feels grounded here and that there is not a reason for her to move again. [more...]

Our Captain's Walk neighbors: An underrated resource

By Tracy Poyser

Captain's WalkEven though our Captain’s Walk, the commercial mini-mall on the lower level, is only an elevator ride (or a few stair steps) away, I bet many of our residents don’t know much about the individual enterprises and the professionals calling it their business home. And, it’s the connector between Malibu East and the neighboring Malibu condo building at 6007 N. Sheridan, whose residents enjoy access to the Captain’s Walk via an elevator for their exclusive use. For businesses relying on a pedestrian clientele, the indoor access by residents in the two buildings’ 850-plus condo units can be a great advantage. [more...]

Meet Violette Deschamps - our property manager

By Lori Ziesmer

Violette DeschampsMalibu East is one of the largest high-rise buildings on Sheridan Road, containing more than 867,000 square feet of space in the residential tower. Including the parking garage and the Captain’s Walk mall, the building encompasses close to one million square feet of space needing to be maintained and managed. We have been fortunate to have dedicated boards of directors over the years to oversee and plan for the long-term upkeep of our building. [more...]

Very different life paths led to historic marriage

By Beth Robinson

Ron Dorfman and Ken Ilio
Ron Dorfman and Ken Ilio (from the Chicago Gay History Project)
With cake and about 100 guests, Ken Ilio and Ron Dorfman, longtime residents of Malibu East, celebrated their marriage in a reception at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush, formerly Riccardo’s, in January. The location had special significance for Ron, who had spent many hours there with fellow journalists after hours.

Ken and Ron had made history as the first gay men to legally marry in Illinois when a Catholic woman priest conducted their wedding ceremony in the Northwestern Memorial Hospital chapel in December. Coincidentally, the first gay women to marry in Illinois (Nov. 27), Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert, also were Malibu East residents. (Vernita died at home March 18 at age 65 after a long battle with breast cancer.) A judge had granted both couples the right to marry before the Illinois gay marriage law takes effect, due to health considerations. Ron Dorfman had a serious heart condition and passed away at home Feb. 10 at age 73. [more...]

A special Thanksgiving for special neighbors

By Tracy Poyser

Vernita Gray and Pat EwertUnless you turned off your radio and TV and didn’t read any local or national papers in the days surrounding this year’s Thanksgiving, you won’t have missed the exciting news about two very special Malibu East neighbors. By court order, longtime Chicago activist Vernita Gray married Pat Ewert, her partner of five years, on Nov. 27, making them the first same-sex couple in the state’s history to be legally married within Illinois. Their touching and joyous ceremony was performed in their Malibu East apartment by Judge Patricia Logue, former head of Lambda Legal Midwest and a longtime lesbian activist, in front of about 25 family members and friends. [more...]