125 YEARS AND COUNTING
Three Crowns Park is a not- for-profit, 501c3 Life Plan community in Evanston, Illinois. Our dedication to care and service spans 125 years as we continually re-create and re-invent retirement living.
As a Life Plan community, our experienced and long-serving staff delivers a Continuum of Care right on campus – Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Nursing Care – available as needed.
Our Life Care program offers a financial safety net that covers the cost of our continuum of care, even if you outlive your assets.
”"We walked in and everyone was so friendly.Community Member
You can feel how much everyone cares.
Now I have my new family."
Dignity, Independence and Personal Growth
The History of Three Crowns Park: 1894-2019
Throughout the course of its 125 years of caring for people, the story of Three Crowns Park is filled with purpose and compassion, but also history: a birth that began via labor unrest; an early development spearheaded by women; and an extraordinary touch with royalty.
Swedish Immigration to the U.S.
The Swedish migration to Chicago mirrors that of other European immigrant groups. What started with a scant 15 families in 1846 grew to a population of 48,836 Swedish Americans by 1900. Add American born children, and the Swedish American population swelled to 144,719 out of a population of 2 million. During the 19th century, immigrant groups formed social and fraternal organizations in Chicago. Swedes were no different. In 1893, Swedish lodges, glee clubs and social organizations banded together to form a federation of Swedish Societies for charitable purposes.
1894: Founding of the Svenska Foreningarness Central Forbund (Swedish Societies Central Association)
Its initial goal: help Swedish men suffering from adverse working conditions and a violent work stoppage among building and manufacturing trades. Earlier that year, a strike at the historic Pullman Car Company and subsequent boycott of railways using Pullman coaches devolved into violence and martial law in Chicago, taking several months to settle.
Once working conditions improved, the Forbund established another purpose: caring for native Swedish people as they aged.
The first dwelling for this organization was an existing building in Park Ridge, Illinois, which was purchased, renovated and occupied on October 7, 1900.
Within a few years, a larger facility was needed. Money was raised and the search for a new location and plans for a bespoke building began. During that year, the Forbund changed its name to more accurately reflect the organization’s purpose, becoming The Swedish Societies Old Peoples Home Association. At the same time, it was decided to expand membership from societies and lodges to include individuals.
The old Park Ridge building was sold and a new tract of land was purchased on the corners of Pioneer Road and Grant Street. Building commenced immediately and in September what is now the East Wing of Pioneer Place opened with 50 rooms. Unique to the organization at the time was the presence of women in leadership positions. The Forbund members were evidently advocates of equal opportunity as one of the three original trustees was a Mrs. A. G. Carlson and a Miss Anderson as the first superintendent.
Pioneer Place was significantly expanded, adding 118 rooms and the prescient purchase of additional acreage along McDaniel Avenue for future development.
As the Swedish Societies Old Peoples Home Association grew, so did its notoriety. The Archbishop of Sweden was present at the new building’s dedication. In 1926, their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Carl Gustaf Adolf and Crown Princess Louise of Sweden appeared before a throng of 50,000 people gathered on the grounds during the Association’s Annual Outing.
As the years progressed, changing demographics, improved economic conditions in Sweden, and emerging trans-Atlantic travel saw émigrés dwindle, and fewer Swedish retirees along with it. By 1970, about 7,000 native-born Swedes lived in Chicago. As such, a more diverse resident population grew along with the Association.
Expansion continued with 31 apartment-style units.
The King of Sweden honors residents with a special visit.
The Association was dissolved, and a new corporate structure created the Swedish Retirement Foundation, with the operating facility renamed Three Crowns Park.
The newest addition, McDaniel Courts, was financed and broke ground, adding modern condo-style construction to Three Crowns Park. Its 91 Independent Living units opened to residents in 2007.
Facilities for Health Care (McDaniel House) and Assisted Living Memory Care (Colfax House) opened.
We are home to 220 residents and 100 staff continuously working together to make Three Crowns Park more beautiful, sustainable, and viable for people 62 and better. As Three Crowns Park advances through its second century, we look forward to the history its staff and residents will write next.