Dear Mom and Dad,
I just went to the grand opening of The Mather CCRC (that’s a Continuing Care Retirement Community) in Evanston. I know you two aren’t ready to retire (or even ready to slow down yet), but I just want to plant the seed as to why this place seems like such a gem.
You might wonder why I visited a CCRC in the first place. Truth is, I did a story a few months back for Veterans’ Day, so I know the place is nice. But, when I heard about the completion of The Mather’s second building (which replaced The Georgian), I was intrigued: There’d been a significant amount of controversy surrounding the demolition of The Georgian. And you know me: I like to get to the heart of the story.
This brief speech from Roger Lumpp II, The Mather Foundation’s board chairmain, explains a little of the history of that controversy, as well as why the City of Evanston should be excited about The Mather’s completion.
I took a quick tour of the place, and frankly, I think you should start saving your pennies so you’ll be able to move in someday. It’s the swankiest place I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure if the harpist always plays in the lobby, but the one they hired for the grand opening sure made it feel ritzy. Even without her, The Mather oozes class, which is why you two deserve a place like this.
But seriously, why should you move there? Here’s what I think:
- It’s here in town. I could visit you (with the kids … and use the awesome saltwater pool) all the time.
- You and Dad love fine dining. There are seven restaurants to choose from (when you don’t feel like cooking).
- Just check out this description from the press kit: A maintenance-free lifestyle lets those who live there relax, enjoy and live fully with ease (sounds great, right?). The Mather features an exceptional living experience with its several distinct restaurants; a 10,000-square-foot fitness center (you’ll be in better shape than me … which won’t be hard), pool area (I saw it … there’s even a treadmill IN the therapy pool); 22-seat movie theater (Oscar party at your place!) a computerized wine bar (the first of its kind for senior living residences in Chicago); and two acres of gardens with raised garden beds and walking paths (there’s even dedicated space for residents to garden … which I know Mom will love). I even spoke with Daniel Weinbach, Landscape Architect, who shared these helpful comments on what to expect once Spring officially springs.
- The place won a ton of awards from the National Association of Home Builders, including Best Repositioned CCRC, Best Proposed Active Adult Community.
- Did I mention they have massage rooms with built-in sound systems? I’m wondering if “guests” can take advantage of the services?
- The Mather Life Centre offers assistance with lots of activities – everything from memory support, long-term care and rehabilitation services. Just saying…
- Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging at 1603 Orrington Avenue is right here in Evanston. In fact, they just released survey results on CCRCs that you might find particularly interesting.
- The rooftop terrace has some spectacular, sweeping views of the Chicago skyline and sunrises over Lake Michigan.
- It’s got an amazing backstory. Alonzo Mather, at age 31, came up with the idea for a humane stock car to transport animals that earned him the National Humane Society Award in 1883. Then (it gets even better), when he was worried about the World War II widows unable to support themselves (grab a tissue), he left his fortune to create a “home for aged ladies of refinement and from good families.” The Mather Home for Aged Ladies opened in 1952. No offense, Dad, but Mom would love this place for that story alone, so just go with it.
- For the 2nd year in a row, Mather LifeWays was named one of Chicago Tribune’s Top 100 Workplaces: Apparently, the employees love what they do.
You guys might not even have retirement on your radar, but just keep this place in mind, okay? It’s pretty solid.
And for the record, the only reason I’ve even suggested you look into a CCRC in the first place is because I’ve seen how comfortable you are using your AARP cards at the movies these days…
Your loving daughter,