Pool hall collectibles up for grabs (well, for sale)

Unity Temple holds one-day sale of pool tables, equipment and memorabilia

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Oak Park history will be up for sale on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the former Oak Park Billiards, 1019 South Blvd.

The pool hall was recently purchased by the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation (UTUUC) and will soon be converted into office and meeting space and classrooms. But the 7,700-square-foot space is still filled with historic Brunswick pool tables and equipment, collectibles, art, sculptures, books, posters, tools furniture and more.

Dan Crimmins, president of the board of the congregation's trustees, said everything must go on Saturday. The sale will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Crimmins said the church leadership aims to begin the buildout of the space in November with the goal of completing the project in March.

He said UTUUC has been working to find a space in Oak Park where it can consolidate its administrative offices, classrooms and ministers, the three of which are now spread out at different locations. They learned about the pool hall building going on the market in March, after reading an article in Wednesday Journal.

"The building was sold with the contents included," he said in a news release. "We're selling these items to help raise money for the buildout, but before we begin construction, the entire lot must be removed."

Karen McMillin, a church member, said UTUUC sold a handful of the 1920s-era Brunswick pool tables, but there are still over two dozen up for grabs.

The former owners, who closed the pool hall about 10 years ago, left both used and unused billiards equipment, she said, noting unopened boxes of billiard balls and other material that will be available at the Saturday sale. McMillin explained that the former owner was a world traveler and left hundreds of items — statues, paintings and other collectibles — when they closed the business.

"Although the room was meant for pool playing, the previous owners had very eclectic taste in the décor. There are collectibles from all over the world. This is a one-of-a-kind sale. If you grew up in Oak Park, you probably want a piece of this landmark building," McMillin said in the news release.

For more information about the sale, contact UTUUC at 708-420-5659.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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Reader Comments

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Ada Johnson Tikkanen  

Posted: October 1st, 2016 5:51 PM

I'm with you Maureen - we have so many prime spots with serious retail possibilities that are not being utilized to their potential. But not for us to say. I was always hoping that Borders would be transformed into a cool boutique hotel. I think our Village could have supported it.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: October 1st, 2016 5:41 PM

The real issue is no business wants to move in because the rents/taxes are to high.

Martin A. Berg from Oak Park  

Posted: October 1st, 2016 3:49 PM

So Kline Maureen, you would prefer a building that hasn't been used in 10 years? Nonprofits do serve the community, which is why they receive tax exemptions, by the way.

Kline Maureen  

Posted: September 30th, 2016 5:56 PM

So does this mean it will become another tax-exempt property? That certainly isn't something to cheer about.

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