I love history. It runs in my family. My mom and dad took us to more historic type places than I can count as a kid. My sister is a historian by trade. I minored in history in college. As much as I look at things from a political framework, that framework is also usually grounded in history. It's fun, what can I say?
So, knowing that the Catholic Theological Union resident building used to be the Hotel Aragon before it became the home of CTU, I did a little bit of internet sleuthing. Indeed, the Hotel Aragon was built in 1924. Here is a postcard from the 1950s advertising this apartment hotel. "Hotel Aragon, Cornell Avenue at 54th Street, Chicago, IL - Located in the beautiful Jackson Park residential section overlooking Lake Michigan, 200 rooms, each with private bath. Moderately priced coffee shop, dining room. Ten minute service ..."
In 1968, the three founding religious communities of CTU-Franciscans, Passionists and Servites, bought the Hotel Aragon to house their new theological experiment. The building housed it all--rooms for students and offices, lounges turned into classrooms, and the "moderately priced coffee shop" became a cafeteria. I gather that eventually, the Hotel Aragon-turned-CTU was bursting at the seams and the campus spread out to rent and buy other neighboring buildings for student residences and office space.
|New CTU academic building ... you can |
see the reflection of the
residence building in the glass
CTU is now sponsored by 24 men's religious communities. There are lay students, women religious, and students from all over the world that are part of the CTU community. As of this semester, that includes me. It's good to have a little grounding in the history.
[Photo Caption: In this Nov. 2, 2004 file photo, then Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Barack Obama leaves with his wife Michelle, daughters Sasha, front left and Malia, after voting at Catholic Theological Union polling place in Chicago. Nam Y Huh File: Associated Press]