Length of Walk: The main walk is 2.5 miles. There are 4 “Add Ons” you can add to the main walk which are about one block each. If you string them all together into one route you will walk about 7 miles. Alternately, you could drive to each “Add On” of interest and walk the individual block.
Where it is located: This walk will take you through the community areas of Beverly and Morgan Park. It is Walk #8 on the Walk Locations Map.
How we got there: We drove and parked on the street. There is free and plentiful street parking everywhere along this route. Metra has five train stops within a couple of blocks of the walk. You can check your options with the CTA Trip Planner.
Marge’s Comments: Take this walk on a beautiful summer day when Beverly is at its best. Lush landscaping and beautiful homes on the ridge make you want to pack your bags and move here. The residents take pride in the rich history of the community which you will notice by all the historical plaques displayed prominently in the front yards. This was the hardest walk to edit and I hope you will use the resources below to read up on the area and add even more stops to your excursion. There is a cute little neighborhood cafe in the middle of your walk: Ellie’s Cafe. Stop here and enjoy watching the locals coming, going and socializing.
Ed’s Comments: Many Chicagoans feel that the south side is scary and alien, a foreign place where the higher the street number the more dangerous. Two steps into this enchanting neighborhood and you will realize how foolish this notion is. Beverly competes with all the top suburbs for beauty, stateliness, and significance. The drive out there takes a few minutes but the train ride is a breeze from the loop. It is well worth the effort.
Printable PDF of the Walk: Chicago Neighborhood Walk Beverly and Morgan Park
Beverly and Morgan Park Walk
Like many of the community areas of Chicago, Beverly and Morgan Park developed in the late 1800s when rail service was extended to the area. Prior to European American settlement, the area was home to the Potawatomi Indians.
The natural beauty of its position on the ridge allowed the community to become an exclusive streetcar suburb, and the homes and large lots reflect this historic distinction. Beverly is located on the highest elevation in Chicago and is one of the most racially and diverse neighborhoods in the city. It is home to a large Irish-American/Catholic community and many Irish establishments. Its yearly South Side Irish Parade is the largest neighborhood parade of any type in the country.
The hilly terrain of the area is due to its location in the middle of the geological formation known as the Blue Island Ridge. In its early years, Beverly and Morgan Park were known as North Blue Island.
Beverly is one of the top five largest historic districts in any major city in the U.S.
Because there is so much to see in this area and walking a continuous route among all them would total about 7 miles, I developed a base walk in the heart of the Longwood Historic District of 2.5 miles and itemized other “Add On” walks which you can add to your walk or drive to and walk the block listed.
Main Walk (From Ridge Historic District National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form and Chicago Landmarks )
The Chicago Designated Landmark of the Longwood Drive District: Unique in the city for its hilly topography, this narrow, 12 block long district is dominated by a natural ridgeline. Because it stood 50-80 feet above Lake Michigan and was often covered by a blue mist, the ridge was commonly referred to by early settlers as “blue island.” This community began as several separate suburban developments, which were annexed to Chicago around 1900. A rich mixture of architectural styles characterizes this district, ranging from the Italianate and Carpenter Gothics of the 1870s, to Queen Anne and Shingle (1880s and 90s) to Prairie School and Renaissance Revival (early 20th century)
1.) 9914 S. Longwood
Built in 1909 by architect Frank Lloyd Wright
2.) 10244 S. Longwood Irish Castle
Built in 1886 for $ 80,000 by developer Robert C. Givins
The castle of native Joliet limestone is a replica of a castle on the River Dee in Ireland. It has been occupied by the Unitarian Church since the early 1940’s
3.) 10400 S. Longwood Anderson House
The house was owned for many years by John S. McKinlay, president of Marshall Field and Co. It is now the official residence of the president of Chicago State University.
4.) 10432 S. Longwood
Home of S.E. Thomason, a noted newspaperman and co-founder in 1928 of the Daily Times, Chicago’s first tabloid newspaper.
5.) 10224 S. Seeley Le Bosquet House
One of several architecturally significant homes on Seeley
6.) 10235 S. Seeley
One of several architecturally significant homes on Seeley
Add On #1 (From Ridge Historic District National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form)
What is here: Really old, historic and architecturally interesting homes in a secluded, pleasant neighborhood
A.) 91st at Pleasant Vincennes Trail
A boulder and bronze marker were placed in 1928 at the point where the Vincennes Trail descended the ridge approaching Fort Dearborn. The Trail, originally a major Indian trail, was one of the most important roads leading into Chicago and played a substantial role in the city’s early development.
B.) 9167 S. Pleasant Henry Belding House Built 1893
Henry Belding was a prominent manufacturer connected with the soap company of the same name. This also marks the site of the “Upwood” farm of Thomas Morgan, one of the area’s original settlers. Stones from the farm’s sheepcote were used in constructing the present home.
C.) 9203 S. Pleasant M.R. French House
W.M.R. French was prominent in artistic circles in the city and one of the first directors of the Chicago Art Institute. A frieze on the porch is by his brother, David-Chester French, designer of the Washington Monument.
D.) 9319 S. Pleasant
From 1897 until 1910, the home of John H. Vanderpoel (1857-1911), a noted painter and teacher. Vanderpoel was head of the instruction department at the Art Institute of Chicago, author of the standard instructional work The Human Figure, and a member of the British Royal Academy. A street, school, and public art museum in the district are named in his honor.
E.) 9326 S. Pleasant Jessie M. Adams House
Built in 1900 by architect Frank Lloyd Wright
Add on #2: Walter Burley Griffin Place District (from Chicago Landmarks and Ridge Historic District National Register of Historic Place Inventory Nomination Form)
The largest concentration of small-scale, Prairie-style houses in Chicago. Seven of these residences were designed by Walter Burley Griffin, an architect who began his career with Frank Lloyd Wright. An eighth Prairie-style house was designed by Spencer and Powers. So-called “builders’ houses,” which were constructed by contractors from plans popularized in building magazines of the same period, complete the street.
A.) 1736 W. 104th Place Walter D. Salmon House
Built in 1912-13 for Samuel J. Wells by architect Walter Burley Griffin. Wells was R.L. Blount’s (builder of the Griffin Houses in this district) father-in-law. Salmon rented the house until purchasing in 1917.
B.) 1724 W. 104th Place Russell L. Blount House I
Built in 1910-11 for R. L. Blount by architect Walter Burley Griffin
Blount worked in real estate for the Continental Bank and also built and sold homes on his own. He was responsible for all but one of the extant Griffin houses in the district.
C.) 1712 W. 104th Place Edmund C. Garrity House
Built in 1909-10 for R.L. Blount by architect Walter Burley Grifffin
Blount originally intended the house as his own residence but sold it before completion to Garrity, president of the National Plumbing and Heating Co.
D.) 1666 W. 104th Place Harry G. Van Nostrand House
Built in 1911 for R. L. Blount to plans by architect Walter Burley Griffin.
Van Nostrand was a salesman who rented the house before purchasing it in 1916.
E.) 1727 W. 104th Place Arthur G. Jenjinson House
Built in 1912 for R. L. Blount to plans by architect Walter Burley Griffin
Add On # 3: (From Ridge Historic District National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form)
What is here: These old historic homes are in Morgan Park and this stop gives you a little feel for Morgan Park and its history.
A.) 10956 S. Prospect Thomas Lackore House
Built in 1870-72; much altered
Thomas Lackore was a relative of the area’s first permanent settler, DeWitt Lane, and scion of the Lackore family prominent in the early settlement of the ridge.
B.) 10934 S. Prospect W. Ferguson House
Built ca. 1871
Ferguson was president of the Lancaster Insurance Company. The second owner, Henry Crosman, was a prominent Chicago industrialist and one of the founders of the Chicago Opera Co.
C.) 10924 S. Prospect William H. German House
Built in 1884; since extensively remodeled
Dr. German was the first physician in Morgan Park and one of the village’s most prominent citizens.
D.) 10910 S. Prospect Ingersoll (I.S. Blackwelder) House
Built in 1866; extensive additions in 1877
Blackwelder was president of the Niagara Insurance Company, which adjusted many losses from the Great Fire of 1871, and president of the village of Morgan Park. His wife was very active in local affairs and was the first woman to vote in an election in Cook County.
E.) 10900 S. Prospect S. Dickey House
Built in 1912 by architects Chatten and Hammond
The house is sited on a four acre lot, largest in the historic district and one of the largest residential lots in the city.
Add On # 4: From Chicago Landmarks
American System Built Houses: Based on his long term interest in affordable housing, influential architect Frank Lloyd Wright developed a series of prefabricated housing designs marketed under the name “American System Built Houses.” The building at A. 10410 S. Hoyne was erected by Burhans-Ellinwood & Co. as the model home for a subdivision to be comprised of these residences (1917). The only other Wright designed house to be built, before the project was abandoned at the outset of WWI, is at B. 10541 S. Hoyne (1917). It was built for H. Howard Hyde, a cashier at International Harvester.
It is believed that about 25 System-Built Homes were constructed, but only 15 survive. New ones are discovered occasionally, not surprising when you consider Wright and his partner had a falling out over fees and commissions and Wright’s plans could have been used and undocumented to avoid paying him his fees. They can be found in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.
Resources: The Ridge Historic District National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form which gives a detailed history of the area and a listing of 62 historic sites, Beverly Area Planning Association Self Guided Tour , More on Walter Burley Griffin, American System Built Homes