April 27, 2006
Pictured from left
to right: William Sieger, Asst. Professor of Arts at Northeastern Illinois University, Philip G. Roux,
Superintendent, Bohemian National Cemetery Association, Topinka presenting
plaque, Alderman Margaret Laurino, Chuck Hagopian, Treasurer’s Office and
Angie Bultas, Treasurer, Bohemian National Cemetery Association. Photo by:
Teresa J. Potasiak
Topinka Honors Bohemian National Cemetery’s
Designation as National
Chicago, IL – Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar
Topinka celebrated Bohemian National Cemetery’s recent designation on the
National Register of Historic Places during a plaque presentation today.
Since May of 2002 Topinka has been collaborating with
the Board of Directors of Bohemian National Cemetery, Alderman Margaret Laurino
(39th Ward/City of Chicago) and
Illinois University to begin the necessary steps to
achieve landmark status. Last month during a meeting of the Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency Council, Topinka testified to the importance of the
cemetery and it’s landmark status under the National Historic Preservation
Act. Bohemian is only the third Chicago cemetery to be placed on the National
Register of Historic Places.
“Bohemian National Cemetery is a historic treasure that will
now be preserved for years to come,” said Topinka. “I’m thrilled that we
are honoring the history and culture of this cemetery for future generations to
embrace and to study.”
Bohemian National Cemetery is recognized for its variety of
styles of architectural brilliance. The main gatehouse, built in 1893, and added
to in 1907, is a Late Gothic Revival. Dedicated in 1919, the Renaissance Revival
crematorium, including a columbarium and chapel on upper levels, is reminiscent
of a traditional basilica plan. The Classical Revival Administration Building was dedicated in 1926.
Bohemian National cemetery allows scholars, students, and history buffs to study
the history behind Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago and his death which historians believe
was in protection of President-elect Franklin Roosevelt.
“For myself and the rest of Illinois’ Czech community, Bohemian National Cemetery is a place to honor our culture
and life as much as it is to grieve.” said Topinka.
Joining Topinka at the ceremony were
Alderman Margaret Laurino, (39th Ward); Phil Roux,
Superintendent of Bohemian National Cemetery; Angie Bultas, Treasurer of
Bohemian National Cemetery; Salme Harju Steinberg, Ph. D., President of
Northeastern Illinois University; and William B. Sieger, Ph.D. of Northeastern