In Memory of Rita Harvard and Cock Robin

A concert was recently held to remember a local landmark, and the woman who made it all possible.

Couples danced to the tunes of Ted Fredenhagen’s band, Class Act II, as they played in Fredenhagen Park. Which was once the spot of Fredenhagen’s family restaurant, Cock Robin, formerly known as Prince Castle.

There, Fredenhagen and his sister Rita Harvard served up burgers and square-dipped ice cream cones.

After its close in 2000, Harvard, donated her parent’s land to the city, transforming the space into a community park.

The fourth annual concert was a way for the community to remember Harvard who passed away in June.

“We’ve played at a lot of concerts, but nothing like the concert that we put on for my sister Rita. She deserved every minute of it,“ said Fredenhagen.

The event was also a chance to re-dedicate the Prince Castle monument brick that was once in the sidewalk outside of the Cock Robin restaurant.

The marker is now placed near the Fredenhagen Park Clock Tower.

“It was placed here at the original Cock Robin, and it was supposedly lost, and found, and rededicated,” said Paul Rewerts, Naperville resident.

Jeff Williams helped dig up the stone from the sidewalk. “The stone represented Cock Robin to people. It represented its history, and when people would walk by it, they would stop and see it, and to have that back, I think is really neat.”

North Central College representatives were also present to share their histories of the restaurant, and to invite people to pass through their newly finished gateway between campus and Fredenhagen Park.

Long-time Naperville resident, Mary Lou Wehrli said the night was nostalgic, “The band is great, the weather is great, the people that are here, are somebody that we all know.”

The concert was sponsored by the Riverwalk Foundation, the Riverwalk Commission, the Naperville Park District, and North Central College.

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