Month: June 2016

Beverly and Morgan Park

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.

The Irish Castle in Beverly
The Irish Castle in Beverly

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.

Beverly on Pinterest
99th Street Beverly Metra Station

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.

DNA Info Howard Ludwig
Griffin Prairie Style House DNA Info Howard Ludwig

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

The Walk:

Beverly Final Map

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.

–from Wikipedia

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





Gold Coast

Length of Walk: Approximately 1.5 miles

Where it is located: These walks take you through the Gold Coast neighborhood of the Near North Community Area of Chicago. It is Walk #7 on the Walk Locations Map.

Cardinal's house
Cardinal’s Mansion

How we got there: There is limited parking in this neighborhood and it is expensive. Check Spot Hero or look for parking lots on Google Maps if you are determined to drive. The area is well served by public transportation and taxis are abundant.

C201211-A-Deal-Estate-News-Gold-Coast-HomeMarge’s Comments:

This area is one of the most beautiful in the city. Historical mansions line leafy, quiet streets, yet it is a quick walk to many restaurants and exclusive shopping. It is no wonder the city’s wealthiest residents call this area home. There are many options for touring this neighborhood. The Chicago Architectural Foundation conducts walking tours here as well as several other companies. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I list links to two options below for self guided walking tours; one from Frommer’s and the other by MetrowalkZ.


Tourists from all over the world throng to this popular and storied neighborhood.  A short walk from Michigan Avenue with restaurants galore, what better way to spend a free morning or afternoon.  The highest property values in the city insure that these mansions and town homes are distinctive and in mint condition.

The Walk:

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast neighborhood grew in the wake of the Great Chicago Fire. In 1882, millionaire Potter Palmer moved to the area from the Prairie Avenue neighborhood on the city’s south side. Other wealthy Chicagoans followed Potter into the neighborhood, which became one of the richest in Chicago. In the late 1980s, the Gold Coast and neighboring Streeterville comprised the second most-affluent neighborhood in the United States, behind Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Today, the neighborhood is a mixture of mansions, row houses, and high rise apartments. Highlights include the Astor Street District and the James Charnley House.

The Astor Street District forms the core of most walking tours. Constructed over a period of more than 100 years, the buildings along Astor Street reflect the fashionable styles favored by their original high-society residents. The numerous 19th-century houses are designed in a variety of historical revival styles, and are interspersed with apartment buildings and townhouses. It was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1975. Interestingly, Astor Street was named after John Jacob Astor who never lived in Chicago. Because he was one of the richest citizens in the United States in the mid 1800s, his name gave a luster to the area. (From Wikipedia)

The two self guided walking tours:

Frommer’s Walking Tour of the Gold Coast 

MetrowalkZ Walking Tour of the Gold Coast (designed to be followed on your phone as you walk)

Additional Resources: Charnley House Landmark Designation Report , Wikipedia Entry about the Gold Coast,  Wikipedia Entry about Astor Street, Gold Coast History




South Shore

Length of Walk: 1.25 miles (about 1 hour)

Where it is located: This walk is in the South Shore Community Area of Chicago. It is Walk #6 on the Walk Locations Map 

South_Shore_Cultural_Center_Gate wikimedia
South Shore Cultural Center Gate by wikimedia

How we got there: We drove and parked in the Jackson Park Highlands where there is plenty of street parking. If you drive, try parking on S. Cregier Ave., where the walk begins. You can review your public transportation options at: CTA Trip Planner

ornamentation from wildonions.orgMarge’s Comments: 

This walk is delightful for a late summer afternoon. Walk through the peaceful historic district of Jackson Park Highlands taking in every residential style imaginable from the early 20th century. End your day by driving over to the South Shore Cultural Center and walking through the grand restoration of this former country club, now owned and operated by the Chicago Park District. If the Parrot Cage Restaurant is open, you may be lucky enough to get a table outside with expansive views of Lake Michigan.

Ed’s Comments: 

house jackson park highlandsJust imagine that you have 80 acres of undeveloped land just south of the White City at the 1893 Columbian Exposition and decide to develop it for the elite.  The result is the Jackson Park Highlands neighborhood.  Today these few blocks are an oasis of stately well kept homes nestled into a changing and challenging neighborhood.  You won’t believe this secret has been so well kept.

Printable PDF of the Walk: Chicago Neighborhood Walk South Shore

The Walk:

South Shore Walk map


South Shore Walk

The first to populate South Shore were German truck farmers who raised vegetables on small farms for sale in what was then the distant city. When the area was annexed to the city in 1889, city services extended into South Shore, spurring residential development. The opening of the University of Chicago and the World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park in the 1890s also had a huge impact on the entire South Side Lakefront. The 1890s and early 1900s saw South Shore’s evolution into a full-fledged middle and upper middle class neighborhood. The 1906 founding of the South Shore Country Club established a popular social anchor for the area and contributed additional cachet to the South Shore community.

The Jackson Park Highlands came into being on August 3, 1905 as an eighty acre subdivision whose initial development was spearheaded by Chicago alderman, lawyer and real estate entrepreneur, Frank Bennett. The majority of houses, built between 1905 and 1940, reflect the rich and diverse forms and fashions of American residential architecture for 20th century single-family homes before WWII.

The Jackson Park Highlands is notable for its well preserved residential architecture for a formative time in American Residential Architecture. At the turn of the century, architects tended to follow one of two courses, either reviving styles of the past or working in styles that were innovative and progressive.  Revivalist architecture reached its height of architectural excellence during the first 29 years of the 20th century, when Beaux Arts schooling provided traditionally trained architects of great skill, and the stock market had not yet eliminated most of their clients.

As you walk up and down the streets, you will see New England, Southern, Spanish and Dutch Colonial, English Tudor, Cotswold Cottage, French Provincial, Mediterranean Villa, Foursquare, and newcomers like Prairie and International styles.  Many have matching two story “auto sheds” down their driveways.   (From the Preliminary Staff Summary on the Jackson Park Highlands District submitted to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, October 1988)


Do a quick drive by (red dotted line) of these two notable sites before starting the walking tour of the Jackson Park Highlands (where blue dotted line starts).

1. 7121 S. Paxton Av., Allan Miller House

1915 John Van Bergen, Architect

This house is notable as it is the only known work of Van Bergen  left in Chicago. Van Bergen was a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright and one of the most important contributors to the Prairie School of Architecture. Also notable in this house is the remarkable state of preservation. Probably no other Prairie School house in Chicago remains in as pristine condition as the Allan Miller house.

2. 2132 East 72nd Street, St. Philip Neri Church

1928 Joseph W. McCarthy, Architect

The church is a testament to the rapid growth of the South Shore neighborhood in the early years of the 20th century, when a dramatic growth in the population of German and Irish Catholics caused a rush of speculative building. Though the church may today appear decidedly traditional, at the time of its construction it was thought to be a great adaptation to its location and function and its style became known as “South Shore Gothic, 1928.”

Drive the route of the red dotted line and park your car near stop # 3 on S. Cregier where the blue line denotes the start of the walk. The numbered stops 3 – 8 are some notable homes in the Jackson Park Highlands. I just picked a couple from the Chicago Landmark Designation Report . You may want to research others from this report to add to your walk.

3. 6909 S. Cregier Ave., Cotswald Cottage

Phillip Maher, Architect

Phillip Maher incorporated the details of a picturesque English rural house type, the Cotswald Cottage, which is identified by its steeply sloping roof make of simulated thatch.

4. 6734 S. Bennett Avenue, Distinctive and featured on the 1922 cover of the Chicago Architectural Exhibition catalogue.

1917 Zimmerman, Saxe and Zimmerman, architects

While most houses were either traditionally academic or progressively modern, this house is an adroit amalgamation of stylistic references from both major trends. The long, low lines of this one story house, which mimic the flat horizontal lines of the Midwestern Landscape, are directly derivative from the Prairie school pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright. The horizontal rows of windows, the massive masonry porch supports and the flattened pedestal urns are also Prairie style trademarks. From the California Craftsman style of Greene and Greene, which like the Prairie style was inspired by the Orient, come the multiple roof planes and peaked roof line of the two front gables. Turning to the past, the architects employ false Tudor half-timbering for a decorative effect, and a Renaissance classical balustrade bands the front terrace.

5. 6826 S. Euclid Ave, one of the first homes in the Highlands

1905 Greek Revival

This style has had a lasting attraction to Americans since the early days of the republic when it was promulgated in particular by Thomas Jefferson. With their democratic ideals and institutions, Americans felt themselves natural heirs to ancient Greek and Roman traditions as well as their architectural forms. The classic Greek Temple front is seen on court houses, capitol buildings as well as middle class houses.

6. 6801 S. Bennett Ave., Beaux-Arts Classicism

Phillip Maher, Architect

The style takes its name from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where some of America’s most prominent architects had studied. Its grandiose use of classical forms was employed to great popular success at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and became an ideal medium to express corporate wealth or civic pride.

7. 6841 S. Bennett Ave.

1915, Harlev & Aga (from AIA Guide to Chicago)

Among the unusual features of this eclectic house are brickwork that imitates half-timbering and terra-cotta plaques (more commonly found on commercial buildings) stuck like postage stamps on the piers.

8. 6956 S. Bennett Ave., archetype of the International Style

1926, Paul Schweikher, Architect

Of all the early twentieth-century styles – Prairie, Craftsman, Art Deco – that deliberately rejected past history and sought to be timely and modern, the most radically iconoclastic was the International Style of the 1930s. Many of the world-class architects of European origin who also worked in the United States, among them Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Breuer, initiated their practices working in the International Style,  generally characterized by a stark simplicity devoid of applied ornamentation. Ribbon windows were an important trait of this style as were corner windows in which the glass was mitered without any corner support. Other design features were flat roof tops and smooth, uniform wall surfaces.

Return to your car on S. Cregier Ave. and head over to the South Shore Cultural Center.

9. South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

1906, 1919, 1916, Marshall and Fox, Architects

The South Shore Cultural Center was originally designed as a private club, the South Shore Country Club, by the architectural firm of Marshall and Fox. The architects renowned for their hotel and apartment building designs throughout the Chicagoland area, Marshall and Fox are best known for their design of the Drake and Blackstone Hotels. They constructed the original South Shore Club House in 1906 in the Italian Resort Style, resembling a summer palace. Of the original structure, the only remaining portion is the ballroom (now Paul Robeson Theatre) on the south end of the existing building. In 1916, after expansion in membership and social importance in Chicago, the old clubhouse was moved to the south section of the grounds and became the golf club house (no longer in existence). Marshall and Fox were hired again to design a new clubhouse.

For decades, the South Shore Country Club was a playground for Chicago’s rich. In the 1960’s, the club was abandoned and fell into disrepair. Over the next few years, community activists pushed to have the club restored and in 1974, the Chicago Park District purchased the club for $10 million. The site became listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. In 1984, the Chicago Park District rehabilitated the club house using interior color schemes developed by the original architects, Marshall and Fox.

Today, the South Shore Cultural Center is one of the Chicago Park District’s most significant historical sites. The center sits on 58 acres of land and is a common space for weddings, banquets and cultural activities. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had their wedding reception here.

(From Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Parks Committee)

The Parrot Cage Restaurant, run by the Washburne Culinary Institute, also is housed here.

If you are a member of Map My Walk, here is the link to send the map to your phone: South Shore Jackson Park Highlands Walk

Additional Resources: South Shore History , Landmark Designation Report Jackson Park Highlands, Landmark Designation Report South Shore Cultural Center,  Landmark Designation Report Allan Miller House