The Danish Home of Chicago breaks ground on building expansion

  • From left, Scott Swanson, Ambassador Stig Paolo Piras, Paul Pederson, Jesper Koks Andersen, and Peter Orum.

    From left, Scott Swanson, Ambassador Stig Paolo Piras, Paul Pederson, Jesper Koks Andersen, and Peter Orum. Courtesy of Edward Fox Photography

Updated 9/19/2023 7:53 PM

According to president/CEO Scott Swanson, the Danish Home of Chicago Foundation is proud to announce the groundbreaking for a new addition to their senior living community in Chicago's Norwood Park.

The groundbreaking on Sept. 16 was attended by over 100 donors, residents, and dignitaries, including Ambassador Stig Paolo Piras, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Denmark in Washington D.C., and Consul General Jesper Koks Andersen from the Consulate General of Denmark in Chicago.


"This new addition means a tremendous amount to many, many people: our current residents, our many Danish supporters here and across the country, our neighbors, and those who will benefit from our new spaces once we open our new addition," said Peter Orum, The Danish Home Foundation and Capital Campaign chairman.

Ambassador Stig Piras from the Embassy of Denmark in Washington D.C. commented, "Today we are not only laying the foundation for bricks and mortar. We're also strengthening the ties that have bound Denmark and Chicago for many decades. He continued, "Denmark has long been at the forefront of elder care. Advocating for policies and practices that put the person first. No matter the age. Our philosophy has always been to give our elders the dignity, respect, and quality of life they obviously deserve. Let's remember that we're not just constructing a building. We're creating a place where culture and care unite, where generations can connect, and where our elders can find a home away from home."

The $13.5 million addition comprises five independent living one-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath apartments and nine additional private healthcare suites. The dining room will be expanded and will showcase floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking magnificent gardens. The kitchen will be upgraded with modern appliances, additional preparation areas, and storage in our next phase. A new bistro space will be created to encourage casual gathering and entertainment. Also, new gardens and walking paths will be added for residents to enjoy the outdoors.

The community has also spruced up the popular living room, gathering room, and hallways.

"One of the outstanding features of the new addition is that we have configured the building in a way that independent living apartments and healthcare rooms can be converted into catered living apartments. This allows us to accommodate our residents as their needs change so they can stay in The Danish Home for the remainder of their lives," Swanson confided.

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This expansion is the third since the community was founded in 1891 by 12 Danish women who wanted to ensure that no one from the homeland who was living in the Chicago area would ever have to worry about growing old and being alone. The first expansion was in 1925 and the second was in 1963. This addition is made possible by the generosity of many groups and people who have generously donated over $8.5 million in cash, pledges, and an additional 3.3 million in bequests.

While many private donors have stepped up, we also have several groups to thank, including:

The Boards of The Danish Association and The Danish Home Foundation

The Women's Auxiliary of The Danish Home

The Danish American Athletic Club

Dania Society of Chicago

Bjornson Male Chorus

Royal Danish Guards Society

Danish Sisterhood Dagmar Lodge #4

Danish Brotherhood Denmark Lodge #35

Danish National Committee of Chicago

The Danish Home in Croton-on-Hudson, New York

Companies who are contributing to the construction of the expansion include: Berglund Construction as General Contractor; HED, Architect and Structural Engineer; ECT, Civil Engineer; IMEG Corp, MEP/FP Engineer; Olson Landscape Architecture; Clevenger Associates, Food Service, and Old National Bank, bank financing. Construction is expected to be complete in the Spring of 2025.

For more information about The Danish Home and this exciting project, please visit our website at

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