Groups search for new meeting spaces as Treasure Island closes

Roderick Sawyer stores boxes filled with used books for the Hyde Park Used Book Sale in the basement of Treasure Island Foods, 1526 E. 55th St., Monday, Sept. 10. The sale, which is sponsored by and is the major fundraiser for the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference, will take place Oct. 6 through 8 in the Hyde Park Shopping Center Courtyard near 55th Street and Lake Park Avenue. – Marc Monaghan

Staff Writer

Since the days when the Hyde Park Coop occupied its space, the basement of Treasure Island Foods, 1526 E. 55th St., has been the meeting grounds for a number of local community groups. Now that the supermarket is closing — and likely before its stated final day of business, Oct. 12, — many groups are in a hurry to find a new place to meet.

Hyde Park OWL, a group of women over the age of 40, planned to host its Midterm Election Discussion featuring guest speaker Public Policy Professor Ray Lodato at Treasure Island (TI) on Saturday, Oct. 6. The meeting, which will still take place this Saturday at 1 p.m., has been moved to the University of Chicago Community Programs Accelerator, 5225 S. Cottage Grove Ave., according to OWL member Kathy Huff.

Stephanie Franklin, a member of the Hyde Park – Kenwood Community Conference, said the Hyde Park Used Book Sale, scheduled for this weekend, Oct. 6,7 and 8, at 9 a.m. in the Hyde Park Shopping Center courtyard will go on as planned. Despite the grocery store’s shorter operating hours, the group will still have access to the basement area inside TI where its book donations are stored.

Howard Niden, the local civilian coordinator for the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meetings covering Chicago Police Department beats in Hyde Park, said the police are looking for a new venue for its Oct. 17, meeting. CAPS held its Beat 233 meetings at 6:30 p.m. in TI’s basement every third Wednesday of the month.

Susan Alitto, board member and founding president of the senior advocacy group Chicago Hyde Park Village, said the group is looking for alternative, low-cost venues for its community interest-driven events generally tailored to the neighborhood’s older population. The group has co-hosted a few events in collaboration with OWL, University of Chicago and other partners at TI.

Representatives from the Lakeside Quilters Guild, whose group meets from 6:30p.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday at TI, did not respond to request for information on the group’s new meeting place by Herald press time.