Month: May 2016


Length of Walk: 3.6 miles (about a two hour walk)

Where it is located: This walk is in the Kenwood Community area of Chicago. It is Walk #5 on the Walk Locations Map.

McGill House, Hyde Park Herald
McGill House, Hyde Park Herald

How we got there: We drove and parked near S. Drexel Blvd. and E. 49th Street. Street Parking is available. You can check out your public transportation options at: CTA Trip Planner

Old Postcard of Drexel Blvd. Chuckman's Photos
Old Postcard of Drexel Blvd. Chuckman’s Photo

Marge’s Comments: What I felt was most special about this walk were the stories about all the prominent Chicagoans who once lived here.  It was so interesting to find out why the names Ryerson, Swift, Blackstone and Rosenwald are seen on buildings and plaques around town. As you stand outside their former homes you feel connected to their history of achievement and generosity. Block after block of impressive homes and architecture has earned this part of Kenwood its own designation as a historical district on the National Register of Historic Places.


Old Pic of school children in Drexel Fountain Hyde Park Herald

Ed’s Comments: When you see this paradise nestled in the South Side of Chicago, you won’t believe your eyes. These stately blocks, rich in history, are a delight of pleasant surprises. The walk takes so long because you stop constantly to learn and adore.


Printable PDF of the walk: Chicago Neighborhood Walk Kenwood

Kenwood rev 1

The Kenwood Walk 

The first resident of Kenwood was John Kennicott who named his home Kenwood after his ancestral land in Scotland. When the Illinois Central built a small depot in the area, they named the station Kenwood and eventually the area became known as Kenwood. Kenwood developed between 1850 and 1880 as a pleasant respite from the congestion of the city. Kenwood became home to many of Chicago’s most prominent citizens and was referred to as the “Lake Forest of the South Side.” It was annexed to Chicago in 1889.

The Historical Kenwood District is on the National Register of Historic Places as are some of its most notable homes. Architectural styles ranging from Italianate and Colonial Revival to Queen Anne and Prairie School can be found here.

Drive to E. 48th Street and Drexel Boulevard and look for a place to park along Drexel Boulevard or nearby. Walk south down the boulevard on the west side of the boulevard and take in the homes on the way to your first stop.

1.) 4938 S. Drexel Blvd., McGill House

1891   Henry Ives Cobb, Architect

One of the grandest mansions in the Kenwood community, the McGill House is a commanding presence on Drexel Boulevard, one of Chicago’s most impressive South-Side boulevards. The massively-scaled “picturesque” mansion was constructed in 1891 as the residence of physician and entrepreneur Dr. John A. McGill. Drawing inspiration from medieval and French Renaissance building traditions, the McGill House, designed by nationally noted architect Henry Ives Cobb, is an exceptional early example of Châteauesque-style architecture. Following the completion of the McGill House, Cobb was instrumental in the planning of the campus of the University of Chicago and the design of eighteen of the campus’s striking Gothic structures in the nearby Hyde Park neighborhood. Cobb’s skillful execution of traditional designs made him an outstanding architect in Chicago during the late 19th century and earned him a national reputation as one of the premier architects working during this period in historic revivalist styles. Besides the University of Chicago buildings, he also designed the Newberry Library, the (recently restored) Chicago Athletic  Club at 12 S. Michigan and the Harry Caray Restaurant Building on Kinzie.

In 1928 the house became the Carrie McGill Memorial YWCA Building. At that time a three story limestone addition, in a simplified version of the Châteauesque style, was added to the rear of the McGill House, forming a “T” in plan. Respectfully set back from the main residence, the addition was designed by architects Berlin & Swern.  Today the house is home to 34 Condominiums.

(from The Chicago Landmark Designation Report on McGill House)

2.) Drexel Blvd and E. Hyde Park Blvd in Drexel Square: Francis M. Drexel Memorial Fountain

1881  Henry Manger, Sculptor

The oldest public sculpture in Chicago, the figure at the top of this elaborate fountain represents Francis M. Drexel (1792-1863), Austrian-born banker, real estate speculator and founder of brokerage house Drexel and Company, based in Philadelphia. Although Drexel did not live in Chicago, he owned land in the city that he came by through a foreclosure and donated a portion to be used as a boulevard bearing his name. Drexel’s two sons, Francis A. and Anthony J. Drexel, commissioned Henry Manger, a Philadelphia sculptor from Germany, to create this $40,000 bronze and granite monument. The four bronze bas-relief panels feature the god of oceans, Neptune, riding a dolphin, as well as other figures representing lakes, rivers and springs. In 1888, the Drexel brothers funded the addition of jets to allow water to run continuously in the fountain.

Following a series of restorations over the decades, the fountain suffered neglect and was inoperable until the early 2000s, when the Chicago Department of Transportation and Public Building Department performed the repairs necessary to allow the water to flow again.


3.) Hyde Park Blvd at the base of the green median on Drexel Blvd

There is an interesting sign about the Boulevards of Chicago, including Drexel Blvd.

4.) 930 E. 50th, Rainbow Push Coalition

This building was built in the 1920s, but I couldn’t find any history on it, despite its impressive presence on the boulevard.

 5.) 4851 S. Drexel Blvd., Martin Antoine Ryerson House and Coach House

1887; Treat and Foltz, architects

Of those men and women whose contributions to the civic life of Chicago have had a profound and lasting effect, Martin A. Ryerson is rightly placed in the very forefront. Unquestionably among the commercial leaders of the city—the Corn Exchange National Bank, Northern Trust Company, and Elgin National Watch Company were among his directorships—it was in education and art that he was most significant: most probably neither the University of Chicago nor the Art Institute of Chicago would be what they are had it not been for him.

He was one of the University’s most important early benefactors. His efforts on behalf of the Art Institute were, if possible, even more significant. He gave his entire collection, one of the most wide ranging in the nation, to the museum. Despite innumerable subsequent gifts and purchases, the Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection retains the core of the Art Institute’s holdings.

The French Impressionist Paintings seen today at the Art Institute once hung on the walls of this house.

(from: National Register of Historic Places)

6.) 4801 S. Drexel Blvd., Moses Born Residence

1901; Frost and Granger, architects

Moses Born, a native of Germany, came to Chicago in 1876 and engaged in the retail clothing business. In 1877, he began the firm of M. Born and Co., wholesale tailors “to the trade.” The house is covered in smooth-faced limestone.

(from: National Register of Historic Places)

7.) 4848 S. Ellis Ave., Gustavus Franklin Swift House

1898; Flanders and Zimmerman, architects

This meatpacker’s palazzo features sweeping verandas, Palladian windows, and at each corner of the third floor, a terra cotta lion bearing a shield emblazoned with a huge S. (from AIA Guide to Chicago)

Gustavus F. Swift, one of the great figures in the business world, not only of Chicago, but of the nation, came to the city in 1875 as the cattle buyer for the Boston firm of Hathaway and Swift. Two years later, he entered the packing business on his own, and, by 1880, had opened eastern markets to western dressed beef through his pioneering use of refrigerator cars. The result was a revolution, not only at Chicago’s Union Stock Yards, but in the nation’s whole business of supplying perishable food products. By 1918 Swift and Co. was second in volume among the nation’s businesses, exceeded only by U.S. Steel.

Aside from his importance in the development of American industry, Gustavus Swift was also a philanthropist of at least local significance. Among the recipients of his generosity were Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the Hyde Park Y.M.C.A.

(from National Register of Historic Places)

Another notable home is on the NE Corner of 49th and Ellis (4849 S. Ellis Ave.), just across from the Swift and Rosenwald homes. The interior was filmed as Kelsey Grammar’s house in “Boss”, a TV show about a Chicago mayor that aired from 2011-2012 and only ran two seasons.


8.) 4901 S. Ellis Ave., Julius Rosenwald House and Coach House

1903; Nimmons and Fellows, architects

The outlines of the career of Julius Rosenwald can only begin to indicate the enormous influence he had on Chicago and the nation. He came to Chicago in 1885 and joined Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1895, acquiring a half interest in the company. Closely identified with the rise of the mail order firm and personally responsible for much of its rapid growth, he was its president from 1910 until 1925, when he became chairman of the board.

Important as Julius Rosenwald was in the development of American merchandising techniques, his significance as a philanthropist cannot be termed secondary. He gave the University of Chicago $5 million in his lifetime, and many, many millions to housing and education in the disadvantaged rural south. One of his last gifts also produced one of the most visible monuments to his charity: an initial $3 million to restore the World’s Columbian Exposition Palace of Fine Arts and establish it as an industrial museum. Those millions finally swelled to $7.5 million and gave Chicago the Museum of Science and Industry.

(from National Register of Historic Places)

Regarding the house: “Apart from such Prairie School elements as the hipped roof and Roman brick, it’s otherwise a grand, styleless galoot.”  (from AIA Guide to Chicago)

9.) 1030 E. 50th Street, Ezra S. Brainerd House

1867, Architect Unknown

Built by a Civil War soldier with his mustering-out money, this back lot frame house with an extensive veranda evokes Kenwood’s era as a community of lakefront cottages.

(from AIA guide to Chicago)

10.)   4944 S. Woodlawn Ave., Muhammad Ali House

Muhammad Ali, the famous heavy weight boxer, once lived here to be closer to his spiritual mentor, Elijah Muhammad.

11.)   4855 S. Woodlawn Ave.,  Former home of Elijah Muhammad, Current home of Louis Farrakhan

12.)   4858 S. Kenwood Ave., George Blossom House

1892, Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

To supplement his salary, Wright began taking on independent commissions in violation of his five-year contract with Louis Sullivan. Known as the “bootleg houses,” these early designs typically reflect historical architectural styles, yet exhibit elements that would manifest themselves fully in Wright’s mature Prairie style. Reflecting the nineteenth-century taste for academic Colonial Revival design, the George Blossom house is nearly symmetrical in plan. A library, reception room, and living room radiate from a hall, and Palladian windows are distributed evenly across the first floor of the western elevation. A semi-circular conservatory at the rear of the building echoes the covered, columned porch at its front. Despite the Colonial design of the exterior, interior elements, such as the centrally located fireplace framed by an inglenook, also appear in Wright’s more progressive designs. (From Frank Lloyd Wright Trust)

13.)   4852 Kenwood Ave., Warren McArthur House

1892 Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

The McArthur house was designed as a “bootleg” project for Wright’s friend, Warren McArthur, and his family. Wright built the house at age 24, moonlighting for some extra cash to support his new family. Its dormered gambrel roof and octagonal bays are reminiscent of the Queen Anne style, as well as the architecture of Joseph Lyman Silsbee, Wright’s former employer. Wright had a longstanding relationship with the McArthur family. Warren McArthur’s eldest son, Albert, eventually became an architect. He apprenticed under Wright at the Oak Park Studio from 1907 to 1909 and is well known for his design of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. (from Frank Lloyd Wright Trust)

In 2013, Col. Jennifer Pritzker wanted to buy this house and the Blossom House next door, restore them and turn them into bed and breakfast houses. There was some vocal opposition in the community and the deal never happened.

14.)    4904 S. Lake Park Avenue, Blackstone Library

1904 Solon S. Beman, Architect

The Blackstone Library is a stately Classical Revival-style building designed by Chicago architect Solon S. Beman, the noted designer of the industrial town of Pullman. It was presented as a gift to the city by Isabel Norton Blackstone in honor of her late husband, Timothy Beach Blackstone, a Chicago railroad executive and philanthropist. It was the first Chicago Public Library branch. Timothy Blackstone died of pneumonia in 1900 at the age of 71 at his home on S. Michigan Avenue. The home was at the present-day location of the Blackstone Hotel, and the hotel’s name memorializes Blackstone. In addition to his executive position with the railroad, Blackstone was one of the incorporators and first president of the Chicago Union Stockyards.

Architect Solon S. Beman’s design for the Blackstone Library draws from Classical and Italian Renaissance precedents. The domed rotunda at the Blackstone Library provides a formal and grand entrance to the interior; the space retains its Classical-style floor mosaics, marble-clad walls and columns, and domed ceiling with murals. (From Chicago Landmark Designation Report)

15.) East Madison Park Avenue

This street along the official Kenwood/Hyde Park border is one of just a few private residential parkways in Chicago. All buildings overlook the green parkway and the neighborhood feels very “tucked away” from the city.

16.)  5132  S. Woodlawn Ave., Isidore Heller House

1896   Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

As the 1890s came to a close Wright experimented with several elongated building plans that connected a series of distinct spaces along a continuous axis. The designs were markedly different from the square plans that characterized Wright’s earlier houses, and helped shape the plans of Wright’s mature Prairie buildings.

The Isidore Heller house occupies a long, narrow lot in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Conforming to the irregular shape of the lot, the plan is arranged along a horizontal axis that extends back from the building’s street façade. The horizontal emphasis of the design is countered by the vertical form of the building which incorporates a substantial third floor playroom and servants’ rooms. The arcaded exterior of the third floor displays a frieze of classically-garbed maidens adapted from Wright’s cover design for the Eve of St. Agnes, published by his friend and client William Winslow in 1896. The sculpture was executed by Wright’s frequent collaborator, Richard Bock, who designed integral sculptural elements for several of Wright’s most important Prairie buildings, including the Dana and Martin houses, and the Larkin Administration building. (From Frank Lloyd Wright Trust)

Follow the red line on the map back to your car and enjoy viewing more of the stately and architecturally significant homes of Kenwood.

If you are a member of Map My Walk, here is the link to send map to your phone: Kenwood Route

Additional Resources: McGill House, Blackstone Library, Hyde Park Kenwood National Historic District Listing (NOTE: the Historic District Listing has many, many more area listings than I cover in this small tour.)



West Ridge

Length of Walk: 3.46 miles (about a two hour walk)

Where it is located: West Ridge is one of the 77 Community Areas of Chicago. It is directly west of Rogers Park and is often referred to as West Rogers Park. It is marked by number 4 on the Walks Location Map.

Indian Boundary Park
Indian Boundary Park Fieldhouse

How we got there: We drove and parked on Lunt Avenue across from the first stop on the walk, Indian Boundary Park at 2500 W. Lunt. You can also check for public transportation options at CTA Trip Planner.

BungalowsMarge’s Comments: I was lucky enough to come upon an architectural walking tour of the Rogers Park Manor Historic Bungalow District that I used in this walk. Bungalows are ubiquitous in Chicago, yet I never knew much about their evolution or role in the history of Chicago. There are still 80,000 bungalows in Chicago or 1/3 of its existing single family housing stock! The walk through the bungalows is fascinating and informative. You will be in for a bit of culture shock when you emerge from the quiet residential bungalow neighborhoods and onto the corridor of Devon Avenue known as Little India. Make sure to browse in the grocery store or grab a bite to eat to soak up the full experience. This walk has you going from the most quintessential Chicago neighborhood to its most foreign in under 5 minutes. Where else can you change countries that quickly?


Devon Ave 1Ed’s Comments: 

I call this the Indian cookie walk.   It starts  with the Indian Boundary Park and ends with the Indian restaurants on Devon.  In between is a rich filling of some of the best beautiful bungalows Chicago has to offer. Safe, clean, interesting, and pleasant; it has it all.


Printable PDF of the Walk: Chicago Neighborhood Walk West Ridge

The Walk:

West Ridge Map

West Ridge Walk

West Ridge was inhabited by Pottawatomie Indians in the 17th century. German and Scandinavian farmers settled and farmed here during the 1830s and 1840s. Chicago annexed the area in 1893. Development took off in the 1920s following the establishment of a street car line to this part of the city and in response to the unprecedented demand for housing at the end of WWI.

This walk takes you through two National Register Historic Districts: Rogers Park Manor and Talman West Ridge. The districts were so designated because of their collection of bungalows built between 1919 and 1930.

The bungalow was designed as a practical, efficient and affordable form of housing that allowed many to participate in the American Dream of home ownership. The bungalow is part of Chicago’s history and its legacy is the more than 80,000 bungalows or 1/3 of the city’s single family housing stock that still stands today.

Between 1920 and 1929 over 22 nationalities (predominately European) were represented in West Ridge. Today, Jewish, Indian, South Asian, Hispanic and Black comprise a little over half of the ethnic makeup of West Ridge. The corridor of Devon Avenue known as “Little India” is one of the largest and most well-known Indian communities in the United States, with many Indian restaurants, shops and markets.

There is street parking on Lunt Ave., right in front of Indian Boundary Park.

1.) 2500 W. Lunt Ave., Indian Boundary Park

Indian Boundary is named after a territorial boundary established by the Treaty of 1816 between the Pottawatomie Indians and U.S. Government. The 1929 Tudor Revival fieldhouse features Native American themed ornament inspired by the park’s name. After a devastating fire in 2012, the building was restored and continues to exhibit Indian motifs throughout. In 2005, Indian Boundary Fieldhouse was designated a Historical Landmark by the City of Chicago and is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Items 2 – 15 on this walk were taken from the Walking Tour, Rogers Park Manor, by the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association.

 2.) 2501 W. Lunt Ave., Jumbo Bungalow

This 1926 bungalow mansion, or “Jumbo Bungalow,” by the architectural firm Dewey & Pavlovich is an example of the transition from the economically designed bungalows of the early 1920s to the more extravagant bungalows of the late 1920s. As more white-collar families took interest in Rogers Park Manor, housing prices rose, and the form of the Chicago bungalow transformed. Bungalows built in the neighborhood after 1925 often featured rounded or polygonal front bays, inconspicuous corner or side entrances, and more costly details like art glass windows, carved limestone, and ceramic tile roofs. The metal and stained glass marquee above the entrance is an unusual detail that can only be found on a few bungalows in Rogers Park Manor. In the 1930s and 1940s, Harry Spanjer, who won gold and silver medals in boxing at the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, lived in this house with his three sons and housekeeper.

3.) 2553 W. Lunt Ave., Home of Joe Aiello

Known gangster Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Aiello, lived with his extended family in this two-story home until his murder in 1930. The Aiello clan was the principal rival of Al Capone for alcohol bootlegging in the north side of Chicago in 1927. Joe Aiello’s son, Tony, was among those sought in the murder of rival gangster ‘Big Tim’ Murphy, who also lived in the district at 2525 West Morse Avenue.

4.) 2620 W. Coyle, Last Bungalow Built in the District

The Stock Market Crash of 1929 brought an end to the 1920s building boom that had fostered the evolution of the Chicago bungalow. Just weeks before the crash, the last Chicago bungalow to be built in Rogers Park Manor was completed on September 24, 1929. Edward Reynolds’ bungalow, which he resided in, represents the climax of bungalow building in the district. The only true rounded bay in the district, uninterrupted by corners or piers, completed the trend from rectangular and one-dimensional to rounded and multi-dimensional.

5.) And 6.) 2450 and 2453 W. Coyle Ave., Experiments in Bungalow Design

John J. Gubbins and Allan McDonald of the development firm Gubbins & McDonald lived across from each other in these two Mediterranean inspired bungalows they built in 1925. Gubbins, the business owner, lived at 2450 W. Coyle with his wife and young daughter, and McDonald, the builder, lived at 2453 W. Coyle also with his wife and young daughter. The duo, whose office was near the northeast corner of the district at Lunt and Western Avenues, contributed some of the first innovative bungalow designs to Rogers Park Manor. Gubbins’ home, with its second floor sleeping porch and hidden side entryway, shows architect Lyman Allison’s willingness to experiment with the standard form of the Chicago bungalow. On the other hand, McDonald’s home, which was built together with its nearly identical neighbor at 2449 W. Coyle, was a radical departure from the accepted form of the Chicago bungalow.

7.)  2416, 2418, 2422 W. Morse Ave.,  Late Bruns Bungalows 

Benedict Bruns was the most prolific bungalow architect in the Rogers Park Manor district, contributing a total of 47 homes. His earlier square-front bungalows were practical with modest ornamentation. In 1925, Bruns designed 16 bungalows, 13 of which were some of the earliest in the district to feature polygonal front bays. Bruns’ bungalows were also among the first in the district with more developed ornamentation, featuring various brick patterns, limestone detailing, and leaded art glass windows. In 1928, Bruns designed these three elaborate bungalows, which represent the completion of not only Bruns’ progression in the district, but also the progression of the bungalow building trend in Rogers Park Manor: breaking the mold of the early practical bungalows, but quickly fashioning another more elaborate mold to replace it.

8.)  2441, 2443 and 2447 W. Morse Ave., Early Bruns Bungalows

These three bungalows designed by Benedict Bruns are typical examples of the early form of the Chicago bungalow in the Rogers Park Manor district. Chicago bungalows built in the district before 1925 exhibit the same features with few exceptions: flat or slightly projecting front bays, groups of standard double hung windows, recessed corner or side entrances, and minimal geometric limestone detailing. These early bungalows in the district followed a simple, economical formula. Like most Chicago bungalow architects, Bruns relied on horizontal emphasis to connect his bungalows to the surrounding landscape through the use of low-lying rooflines, expansive eaves, grouped windows, and brick and limestone detailing. These three bungalows, which cost $7,000 and $8,000, were pricier than the average cost for simple formulaic bungalows—between $5,000 and $6,500.

9.)  2501 W. Morse Ave., First Chicago Bungalow in the District

In the fall of 1922, Swedish-immigrant contractor Arvid Nelson built for his family the first Chicago bungalow in the district. Features such as the arched entryway, broad overhanging eaves, painted red cement tile roof, and complementary mottled green and red face brick give character to the simply shaped bungalow. But it was the simple form that set the standards for the first wave of bungalow building in Rogers Park Manor.

 10.)  2525 W. Morse Ave., Home of Big Tim Murphy

The first owner of this late Bruns bungalow was known gangster Timothy ‘Big Tim’ Murphy. On June 26, 1928, he was shot and killed in front of his bungalow by four gunmen. The funeral was a large-scale affair, with attendees filling the street in front of his house to watch as Big Tim’s casket was carried out.

11.) 2524 , 2530, 2534, 2538, 2540 & 2544 W. Morse Ave., Mediterranean and Spanish Revival Bungalows

The six bungalows in this row by Gubbins & McDonald and W. C. Wright were some of the first innovative bungalow designs to be built in the district. Even a couple years earlier, the form of the bungalow at 2534 W. Morse can be seen elsewhere in the district—at the northeast corners of Farwell and Washtenaw, and Coyle and Rockwell—with double gables and a side porch and entryway. The six bungalows are modest examples of the Mediterranean Revival and Spanish Revival styles that were mostly popular among builders of much larger homes in the district.

12.) 2557 W. Farwell, Home of Edward Zeches, Mediterranean Revival

Edward Zeches significantly contributed to the architectural landscape of Rogers Park Manor, and even chose to settle in the neighborhood. Instead of upscale bungalow living, however, he chose an even more extravagant Mediterranean Revival home (the most expensive home built in the district). During the bungalow boom of the 1920s, the secondary building trend of Romantic Revival styles guided the construction of larger single family homes in Rogers Park Manor. The primarily Tudor Revival and Mediterranean Revival homes were often built on more spacious corner lots, accenting but not interrupting the smaller scale bungalow housing on interior lots. Many of these larger homes were built by the same architects and developers who were building Chicago bungalows; and the case is true here with bungalow architects Dewey & Pavlovich. Zeches’ home is not only a notable example of terra cotta tile roofs, but the house is entirely clad in terra cotta.

13.) 2539 W. Farwell Ave., Square Front Bungalow

This 1925 bungalow is an example of early enlarged front rooms in the district’s bungalows. Early projecting bays like this one were contained under the main roofline of the house and projected only slightly from the bungalow’s primary rectangular massing. The shape of these early projecting bays was square as opposed to the polygonal and rounded front bays that later grew in popularity. Also typical of this bungalow subtype, the deeply recessed side entrance accommodates the enlarged bay which takes over the entire front of the house.

14.) 2434 and 2436 W. Farwell Ave., Arts and Crafts in Chicago Bungalows

The influence of the Arts & Crafts on the form of the Chicago bungalow can really be seen at these two early homes by Lyman Allison, who was responsible for 26 bungalows in the district. The covered corner porches are a more direct approach to the Arts & Crafts ideal of bringing the outdoors in. Allison’s corner porches would later be appropriated by other prolific architects in Rogers Park Manor, particularly Benedict Bruns. More common methods of connecting bungalows to the surrounding landscape can also be seen in this pair: low-lying rooflines, broad overhanging eaves, generous grouped windows, built-in planter brackets below the windows, and an overall horizontal emphasis. 2434 W. Farwell’s battered stone post is an Arts & Crafts influenced feature unique among Chicago bungalows.

15.) 2432 W. Farwell Ave., Early Chicago Bungalow

Arvid Nelson, the first Chicago bungalow developer in the district, built this quintessential square-front Chicago bungalow with a recessed corner entrance. It stands in marked contrast to its neighbors at 2434 and 2436 W. Farwell even though the three bungalows went up at the same time. Bungalows in Rogers Park Manor were built one at a time or in small groups of no more than five by dozens of architects and builders, as opposed to more rigidly planned bungalow neighborhoods in which homes were built in large groups. Therefore, the great diversity among the district’s bungalow stock is not only due to the late-1920s transformation the form of the Chicago bungalow underwent, but also to this building pattern. Despite the variety, the district maintains a sense of uniformity due to the prominence of 1 ½ story brick bungalows with common features such as low-pitched roofs, broad overhanging eaves, offset entrances, grouped windows, and limestone detailing.

Cross Pratt and walk down Talman Ave. to Devon Ave. This is the heart of the Talman West Ridge Bungalow Historic District.

16.)  Devon Avenue     Walk around and take in the sights in “Little India”. Here are some good places to check out:

      A.) 2616 W. Devon, Regal Trader: Indo-Pakistani fabrics, clothing and bedding

      B.) 2610 W. Devon, Patel Bros Grocery: Are we still in Chicago?

      C.) 2536 W. Devon, Tiffin: Popular restaurant

      D.) 2439 W. Devon, Hema’s Kitchen: Popular restaurant


17.) 6601 N Western Ave., Warren Park

This park was once a private country club and was saved as open space from developers by a vocal group of residents and the help of then governor, Richard Ogilvie in 1969. With almost 90 acres of land, this Chicago Park is the largest in the North Region.  Some of the stately old homes along Pratt Blvd. across from the Park were built by members when the property was still a private club so they could be close to the club and the golf course.

If you are a member of Map My Walk, here is the link to send map to your phone: West Ridge Walk 

Additional Resources: What is a Chicago Bungalow?  Current National Register Chicago Bungalow Historic Districts