Did you know that AJLA's current location is the former West Side Park? West Side Park was the name used for two different baseball parks that formerly stood in Chicago, Illinois. They were both home fields of the team now known as the Chicago Cubs of the National League.
The first West Side Park was the ball club's home from 1885 through 1891. The park's useful life was short yet memorable. The Cubs won the National League pennant in each of their first two seasons here.
The Mary and Alys Garden and Sculpture
This garden and sculpture located immediately east of the Harrison entrance to the school honors Alys Lavicka, a Near West Side community and AJLA parent volunteer, and AJLA's former retired principal, Dr. Mary Zeltmann. Alys' husband, William, created a sculpture on the sixty-foot backdrop wall of the garden. It has three giant six-foot tall flowers of marble and onyx, three Carrara white marble clouds and a four-foot diameter onyx sun. The sculpture not only honors Alys but also the thirty-six year career of retiring Principal, Dr. Mary Zeltmann.
Alys Lavicka is a native of California. She finished college and obtained a master's degree in public administration at the University of Illinois Chicago Campus. Alys Lavicka is especially proud of her volunteer work at Andrew Jackson Language Academy on West Harrison Street. Mr. & Mrs. Lavicka's children, U.S. Army Captain Kelsey, Harvard graduate Amber, and hard worker, Corey had a continuous attendance record here for fifteen years and Alys personally volunteered more than ten thousand hours. Always an avid gardener, she started a garden there to beautify the school grounds and to help educate the students about plants. She joked that the first lesson was to get a six year old not to plant the flowers upside down. She worked in the office, in the cafeteria, the halls and the library. She was on the local school council for ten years and represented the City Wide Local School Council as one of five elected for five years.
For more information: http://interactive.wttw.com/timemachine/west-side-grounds