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Northwest Tollway renamed for reformer Addams
By Joseph Ryan | Daily Herald Staff

Jane Addams was the 1st woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She founded the Hull House in 1889. On Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, it was announced that a portion of Intersate 90 will be renamed in her honor.



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Published: 9/7/2007 8:49 PM

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The Northwest Tollway's moniker will soon be no more.

The 79-mile stretch of I-90 between Chicago and Rockford shall instead be called the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

The renaming, originally pushed by lawmakers earlier this year, was approved by tollway officials Friday.

With that, one of the nation's most well-known turn-of-the-century women will now constantly be on the tip of tongues in the suburbs.

"I'm thrilled," said state Rep. Patricia Bellock, a Downers Grove Republican who supported a resolution for the renaming in May. "This will bring awareness of a woman who was a pioneer."

Jane Addams, a Rockford College graduate born in 1860, gained international recognition for her work helping immigrants adjust and survive in Chicago's slums through her Hull House. She also was an accomplished writer, a force behind the women's suffrage movement and a prominent advocate for world peace.

Addams died in 1935 in Chicago.

The Hull House still stands on Chicago's Near West Side, and the charity continues to work with underserved residents.

Bellock said a 10-minute video played by the Hull House Association for the state's Conference of Women Legislators earlier this year sparked the idea to rename the Northwest Tollway in her honor.

It is unclear when the new name will catch on, but tollway spokeswoman Joelle McGinnis said new signs using that name could be up by the end of the year.

Once the renaming is complete, the Tri-State Tollway, I-294, will be one of the few expressways in the region not yet named after a president or prominent citizen.