February is full of fun and important holidays and events. Groundhog Day is silly fun. Valentine’s Day is romantic and sweet. And Black History Month is educational and inspirational. But there is no more historic February holiday than Presidents’ Day, which honors two of the most significant leaders who were both born in the month of February, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Of course, we honor Washington as the person who led not only our revolution but also our country. But Abraham Lincoln was just as great a leader and in many ways more inspirational.
Lincoln worked incredibly hard to make his way up in life and persevered against incredible obstacles. Honest, forthright, and hard-working, Lincoln believed in equality for all and backed up his beliefs in the face of fierce resistance. The United States would be a very different country had Lincoln not had the courage to stand up to those who opposed him.
One of the many places that are named in honor of this iconic President is an area on the North Side of Chicago, Lincoln Square. Located at the intersection of Lincoln, Lawrence, and Western Avenues, shops flourished there as far back as the turn of the 20th century.
As I strolled with giggling teenage girlfriends on warm summer nights, a bakery enticed us to become customers with the mouth-watering aroma of fresh plum tarts lightly dusted with powdered sugar. A record store (remember those?) invited us to step in and listen to the sweet surfer harmonies of the Beach Boys and the raucous sounds of that new rock-and-roll group, the Beatles. But most of our allowances were spent at the S. S. Kresge 5 and 10 cent store, which later became K-Mart.
In time, I went away to college, got married, and moved away. When I went back for occasional family visits, I was sad to see that the neighborhood had begun to deteriorate. The bakery went out of business, the record store was replaced by a pawn shop, and the K-Mart closed as part of the chain’s bankruptcy. Paint was peeling, and buildings destroyed by fire sat empty.
But then something amazing happened.
Sometimes for the Better
The Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce decided to turn the area into a pedestrian mall. Cars were banned and a beautiful new archway went up at the entrance. Shopkeepers saw the improvement and decided to help themselves by repainting both interiors and exteriors and adding beautiful new landscaping.
Against all odds, shoppers returned and the neighborhood suddenly sprang back to life. All it took was some paint, a few cleaning supplies, and a little elbow grease.
With a few supplies and a little hard work, you, too, can enjoy a surge of urban renewal for your business or home. Why not start with your old, cracked, stained ceiling? And what better way to honor the legacy of the men whose hard work built our country than with shiny, new Classic Lincoln Square decorative tin ceiling tiles?
Elegant in its simplicity, the Classic Lincoln Square is the perfect tile to upgrade your shop, business, or home.
Each square is divided into four smaller squares and each of those squares contains several smaller concentric squares. In the middle of each quarter is a smooth, shiny mill-finish aluminum center that reflects the optimism and renewed beauty of your environment.
So don’t wait to get started on your own personal urban renewal plan. February is the ideal time to honor the legacy of the past by getting a head start on a beautiful, shining new future!