Category: Well Worth the Effort

Sauganash and Old Edgebrook

Length of Walk: The walk through Sauganash is 2.0 miles. You will then drive 1.5 miles to Old Edgebrook and walk about a mile there.

Where it is Located: Sauganash and Old Edgebrook are neighborhoods within the Community Area of Forest Glen. It is Walk #14 on the Walks Location Map.

Home in Old Edgebrook


How we got there: We drove and parked where we wanted to start our walk in each neighborhood. Street parking is easy and plentiful. Public transportation options can be reviewed at: CTA Trip Planner


Sauganash Trail

Marge’s Comments:  You will forget you are in the city of Chicago when you walk these neighborhoods! Upscale, pretty, historical and nestled in the woods, you will feel far from the grit of the city. The residential architecture in Sauganash seems more diverse than elsewhere in the city. Instead of the usual bungalow and four square, you will see some unique Art Deco and Art Moderne homes as well as various revival homes in the French, Colonial, Italian and Tudor style. If you feel miles away from the city in Sauganash, you might feel like you’ve escaped to the country in Old Edgebrook, which lies within the Cook County Forest Preserve of Edgebrook Woods.

One of only two roads that lead into Old Edgebrook

Ed’s Comments:  These two walks, so near each other, are a wonderful way to experience the contrast of different Chicago neighborhoods. Sauganash is a charming, suburban-like old neighborhood with interesting, well maintained homes and a historic parish church. Not much has changed in 50 years and, in a sense, time has stood still for the visitor.

Old Edgebrook is a two block village in the middle of the forest. You would expect a gingerbread house at any moment and we did see a deer on the side of a house during our walk. The overlook of the golf course and northwest branch of the Chicago river is charming. Great walk any time of the year. The two walks go together like tomatoes and mint. Tasty, but so different.


Printable PDF of the Sauganash and Old Edgebrook Walk: Chicago Neighborhood Walk Sauganash and Old Edgebrook

Sauganash and Old Edgebrook Walk



Sauganash Walk 



The land where Sauganash stands was inhabited by Native Americans in the early 19th Century. The name “Sauganash” comes from Billy Caldwell, the Potawatomi son of a Mohawk mother and British officer father. Given the name “Chief Sauganash,” meaning Englishman, Caldwell mediated treaties between the Native Americans and the United States.


As thanks for his diplomacy, in 1828 the government gave him the nearly two-and-one-half-square-mile area that is now occupied by Sauganash and Edgebrook. This 1,600-acre parcel of land stretched along both sides of the Chicago River—crucial for food, water and transportation—which accounts for the diagonal street pattern.


In 1912 a small portion of the Billy Caldwell Reserve, 260 acres, was purchased by one of the oldest and most respected real estate firms in Chicago, Koester and Zander, and named “Sauganash,” to denote the area’s history. While the first eight homes on Kostner Avenue between Peterson and Rogers Avenues were completed by 1924, two hundred homes were completed by 1930.


Sauganash is a blend of several distinctive architecture styles, ranging from bungalows and Cape Cod cottages to the palatial French and Classical Revival designs, as well as Art Deco and Art Moderne. The principal architectural style is Tudor Revival.


Koester and Zander laid the foundation for Sauganash’s distinctive green space by planting more than 20 varieties of trees, including oak, sycamore and mountain ash, lending to the lush character of the community. By the 1930s, census records show the area catered to upper middle-class families.

(Info from the Sauganash Chamber of Commerce website)


Part of Sauganash is a National Historic District and that is where our walk takes us today. As original Art Deco and Art Moderne homes are so rare to see, we’ve selected this style to show you on the walk. There are many architectural styles represented in the district and they are itemized in the Sauganash National Historic District Info . You may want to use it as a guide as to design your own walk through the district to architectural styles you are most interested in.


Park near Queen of All Saints to start the walk


  1. Queen of All Saints Basilica                                 6280 N. Sauganash Ave.

An important Sauganash landmark is Queen of All Saints Basilica. The church, designed in a Neo-Gothic style by Meyer and Cook, was completed in 1960. The magnificent, cathedral-like church was raised to the dignity of a basilica by Pope John XXIII on March 26, 1962. The large window over the choir loft features eight different shrines of the Virgin Mary, each particular to a certain country or culture representing the different ethnic groups living in Sauganash. (from The Sauganash Chamber of Commerce website)


  1. Sauganash Elementary School                   6040 N. Kilpatrick Ave.

This school was built by the Works Public Administration (WPA) in 1936. Designed by John C. Christensen, the long-time architect for Chicago Public Schools, this two story brick and terra cotta school is a good example of New Deal-era Art Deco public architecture. Situated on 2.5 acres, the Sauganash Elementary School and its grounds provide recreational and green space for residents. (From the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form)


  1. Art Deco Residence                                     5928 N. Kilbourn

Described by the Chicago Daily Tribune as “a residence said to reach the zenith of modernism,” the house here was perhaps one of the earliest Art Deco small homes in the nation. Built by Herman Voss, the house features many typical Art Deco elements. Vertical lines are emphasized all along the front elevation, both in the long rectangular windows, and in the ornamental pilasters that frame two round windows. Decorative elements, such as the detailing at the corners of the wall below the roofline, add to the Art Deco feel of the house. (From the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form)



  1. Art Moderne Residence                          5915 N. Kenneth

Inspired by streamlined industrial design, the Art Moderne style developed following Art Deco in the 1930s. Rather than building upon elements of the past as Art Deco had, Art Moderne was an attempt to create a glimpse into an exciting future during the Great Depression. The style is characterized by horizontal lines and rounded corners designed to simulate a feeling of movement. Architects also borrowed many elements directly from the transportation industry, such as chrome and circular windows. Because it was based on already familiar designs, Art Moderne was more accepted as a residential style. In addition, Art Modern lent itself well to remodeling projects, allowing budget conscious consumers to update their homes in the latest style.


The house here on Kenneth provides an excellent example of the Art Moderne design. The house is constructed of brick, with accent bricks set to create horizontal lines that appear to trail off after the windows. Round porthole-style windows are placed in the front door and entryway. A rounded wall of glass bricks at the south end of the house is a unique feature, reinforcing the streamlined appearance of the house. (From the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form)


  1. Sauganash Park                                          5861 N. Kostner Ave.


The single story English style fieldhouse dates back to 1934. In the mid-1970s, a large gymnasium was added to the fieldhouse. Because the addition detracts from the design, materials and feeling of the original Tudor-style field house, the fieldhouse is a non-contributing resource in the Sauganash Historic District.


  1. Sauganash Trail Park                                                                        Access the trail east of the park

The Sauganash Trail officially opened June 21, 2008. It’s one mile long, running from Bryn Mawr to Devon near Kostner. It’s a wonderful little path that is used regularly by locals. Community residents can access the path at Bryn Mawr to pedal downtown, take a leisurely stroll or power walk, walk their dog, or take jog in the neighborhood.


Enter the trail at the park, enjoy a brief half mile stroll, and exit at the first access point you see.


  1. You will emerge onto W. Thome Avenue.

Follow the map or wander around more of these lovely streets to return to your car.


After returning to your car, drive over to Old Edgebrook 

Old Edgebrook Walk 


Planned originally in 1894 as a neighborhood for executives of the Milwaukee Road Railway Co., Old Edgebrook is rich in architecture, history and rustic charm. There are just 48 homes in this small community with winding, heavily forested streets. The architecture represents almost every style popular with middle and upper middle class families in the 1890s through the 1940s.

Wildlife abounds as the neighborhood is surrounded by the Edgebrook Golf Course, Cook County Forest Preserve and the Chicago River. The two roads leading in and out are heavily wooded, adding to the secluded feel of the area.

This neighborhood became a Chicago Historic District in 1988.

The route plotted through the neighborhood is entirely random, so meander as you wish to the only item on the walk that I have listed.


  1. Mary Burkemeier Quinn Park of Trees (aka Quinn Park)                            6239 N. McClellan Ave.
  2. This is one of the smallest Chicago Park District Parks. When Edward Quinn died in 1980, he left their property to the Chicago Park District for a park to be named after his wife. Under the terms of the bequest, he instructed that his house be demolished and a minimum of 21 trees be planted on the site. In 1988, the wooded park became part of the City of Chicago’s Old Edgebrook Historic Landmark District.







Length: 1.5 miles

Where it is located: This walk takes you through the heart of the Pullman historic district in the community area of Pullman. It is Walk #12 on the Walks Location Map.

How we got there:  We drove and parked at the Visitor Center. There is also street parking in the neighborhood. The Visitor Center provides detailed options for travel via car, bus and train.

Marge’s Comments:  This was one of the first neighborhood walks I took after moving to the city in 2005. I was fascinated by the history of Pullman and knew that much of the “town” exists intact from when it was built in 1880 – 1884. Walking among the well preserved row homes once occupied by the workers of the Pullman factory helps you envision what life in Chicago may have been like over 100 years ago. The Visitor Center is a must see and greatly enhances your experience. The factory is a burned out hulk of a building and other sites are in shambles, but the future looks hopeful. The area has been gentrifying since the late 1900s, the district was declared a National Monument in 2015 and the commitment to restoration among community groups gives hope that the area will one day be restored fully.

Ed’s Comments:

The Pullman neighborhood is a spectacle: one part ruins and one part rising Phoenix. The ruins of the manufacturing complex that was absorbed by Chicago over a century ago is a humble reminder of man’s fate.  In the adjoining neighborhood, once owned by the company, urban frontiersmen have made a delightful and safe haven for themselves.  Down 111th Street and across I-94 the magnificent Harbourside Gold Course offers 36 holes, each with a breathtaking view of Chicago in the distance.

Pullman Workers


Before we get started: 

This walk is very limited in that it takes place in the very tight area around the visitor center.  If you are inclined to wander beyond it, please ask at the visitor center where to go, what to see and what is safe. They are very knowledgeable about the area and are very helpful.

There are guided walking tours of Pullman on the first Sunday of every month from May to October. In addition, there is an Annual Historic Pullman House Tour weekend, where homes and sites in Pullman are open to the public. This is fabulous and gives you a chance to see inside some beautifully restored houses as well as the Florence Hotel and other historical sites. Highly recommended! However, if neither of those options fit with your schedule, you will still enjoy going to the Historic Pullman Foundation Visitor Center, browsing their exhibits and taking the self-guided walking tour with the map they provide. This map is reproduced here and makes up our walk for Pullman.

Printable PDF of the Pullman Walk: Chicago Neighborhood Walk Pullman

The Walk:

Pullman Historic District

This walk covers only the Pullman Historic District, also known as the Pullman National Monument. It was the first model, planned industrial community in the United States. The district is significant for its historical origins in the Pullman Company, one of the most famous company towns in the United States, and scene of the violent 1894 Pullman strike.

Historic Pullman was built in the 1880s by George Pullman as workers’ housing for employees of his eponymous railroad car company, the Pullman Palace Car Company. He established behavioral standards that workers had to meet to live in the area and charged them rent.

Pullman’s architect, Solon Spencer Beman, was said to be extremely proud that he had met all the workers’ needs within the neighborhood he designed. The distinctive row houses were comfortable by the standards of the day and contained such amenities as indoor plumbing, gas and sewers.

During the depression that followed the Panic of 1893, demand for Pullman cars slackened. Despite cutbacks and wage reductions at the factory, the Company did not reduce rents for workers who lived in Pullman. Workers initiated the Pullman Strike in 1894 and it lasted 2 months, eventually leading to intervention by the U.S. Government and military.

After George Pullman died in 1897, the town was annexed by the city of Chicago and the city sold the houses to their occupants. Deindustrialization and migration to the suburbs led the area to fall into decline and a proposal to demolish the area to create new industrial development was defeated by the efforts of its residents.

Over the years local organizations and foundations have fought and won for recognition of Pullman as a Historic District and all the protections that brings.

From Wikipedia and Historic Pullman Foundation


Resources: Historic Pullman Foundation, Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum,  Pullman, the Town


East Side and Southeast Chicago

Length of Walk: The walking part takes you through the community area of East Side and totals 3 miles.

We’ve added a 15 mile drive of other highlights in the area with an emphasis on its industrial activity, past and present. This drive takes you through East Side, South Deering and the south end of South Chicago.

Where it is located:  This is walk #9 on the Walks Location Map

St. Simeon Orthodox Church
St. Simeon Orthodox Church

How we got there:  We drove, entered the Powers State Recreation Area, parked and started our walk of East Side. After our walk, we took the #30 bus back to Powers. We got our car, then drove the 15 miles add on route of more East Side, South Deering and South Chicago. You can check other public transportation options with the CTA Trip Planner.

William Powers State Park
William Powers State Park

Marge’s Comments:

This area fascinates me.

As a child, I remember driving through this area on family trips, awestruck at the sight of the gargantuan steel mills and their belching, smelly smokestacks. It was unthinkable they could ever disappear.

To visit this area today is equally awe inspiring in its transformation. Remnants of industry still remain, but green space, parks, family homes, and big aspirations for development are now the focus of the area.

Our walk will focus on life in the East Side community and our drive will highlight the area’s industry, past and present.

Old U.S. Steel South Works site awaiting redevelopment
Old U.S. Steel South Works site awaiting redevelopment

We were lucky to have personal tour guides for this walk!

Bobby Loncar, a lifelong resident and attorney, reached out to me after seeing our blog. He generously offered to give us a tour of East Side and is an energetic promoter of his community and its many attributes. He asked Christopher Rodriguez, a fellow lifelong resident, to join us for his perspective.

Bobby’s father emigrated here as a young boy from Croatia in 1968 and his mother emigrated here from Germany in 1980. He was born and raised in this neighborhood and is married, raising his own three children with his wife, a fellow long time resident of the community. Many of their relatives still live here, often just blocks away from them.

Christopher was raised in a Mexican and Irish household and is also a South sider for life. Even though he commutes 1.5 hours one way to his job up north, he cannot imagine living anywhere else. He has deep roots in the community and nowhere else would seem like home.

Both Bobby and Christopher lament that even though East Side has a lakefront park, forest preserve, state recreation area, abundant retail, affordable housing, reasonable real estate taxes, proximity to downtown (13 miles away) and a small town feel, the area does not get attention from potential residents and is overlooked as a residential choice. They work tirelessly to bring attention to these attributes and hope the day comes when their neighborhood gets “discovered’ by families and others looking for such qualities.

East Side House
East Side House

Ed’s Comments:

What is so unusual about East Side is that it is a small town hidden within Chicago. With a population of 23,000, many people know each other. Kids play safely and the modest homes are well kept. This community borders Indiana and is one minute from the Skyway and the casino.

Real estate taxes are some of the lowest I have seen anywhere in the state, including my depressed hometown of Decatur. There is a window of time when people will realize that this community is affordable, comfortable and easy to drive to with plenty of parks and outdoors. When the window closes, it might very well get gentrified. A very pleasant walk any time of the year.


 Printable PDF of the Walk and Drive: Chicago Neighborhood Walk SE Chicago

The Walk: 

Google map of walk area dotted line_edited-1

East Side

East side is one of the 77 official community areas of Chicago. It is located between the Calumet River and Indiana state line, just south of 95th St.

East Side, until recently, was socially and economically dominated by the Calumet River and the jobs it supported. The community got its name from the river because it was located on its east bank. The river formed the once-thriving industrial Port of Chicago. A cluster of riverside docks and slips allowed materials of all sorts to be loaded and unloaded onto adjacent railroad lines, and the river itself was lined with steel mills. Republic Steel began operations here in 1901. The Republic mill was the site of frequent union unrest, culminating in the Memorial Day Massacre of 1937 and the successful drive by the United Steel Workers to organize the Chicago mills.

Many of the neighborhood’s residents during this period were families of Slovenia, Croatian and Serbian heritage, who had emigrated from Europe to work in the steel mills and take related jobs. In the 1950s, the East Side was divided in two by the Chicago Skyway. The riverside steel mills and heavy industries went into serious decline in 1970-2000, and are no longer the mainstay of the neighborhood.

Currently, there are proposed plans to expand East Side’s Calumet Park and Beach, and to extend the existing lakefront bicycle path to the proposed new lakefront parklands in adjacent South Chicago. This proposed future expansion of Chicago’s southern lakefront parklands will result in the connection of Calumet Park to Rainbow Beach, the South Shore Cultural Center, and Jackson Park.

  • From Wikipedia


Today, the area is largely Hispanic and residents work primarily as city workers, white collar or in non-production jobs.

Start your walk of East Side by pulling into William W. Powers State Recreation Area entrance at 126th and Avenue O, turn left once inside, and find a parking space close to access to the Burnham Greenway. Map Points:

  1. William Powers State Recreation Area

This is the only state park within Chicago. This park consists of 580 acres of which 419 are water. It encompasses Wolf Lake which provides outstanding fishing. It straddles the Illinois and Indiana state line. If you fish off the peninsula marked by 1A on the map and plan to fish on both sides of the bridge, you will need an Illinois and Indiana fishing license. Otherwise you can buy one license and fish only on that side of the bridge!

Once you’ve had your fill of the park, head to the westernmost part of the park and pick up the Burnham Greenway. The trailhead is on the left about 0.5 miles ahead along the park road. 

  1. Eggers Grove

The Burnham Greenway cuts through the western side of the forest preserve, but the day we walked was so beastly hot, we cut over into the forest preserve over a little boardwalk about half way into the preserve (at 114th St.). It was shadier and provided needed relief from the sun. We emerged in front of an open area with the Eggers Grove Comfort station, built in the 1930s,  which was locked (and undergoing restoration?), but there is a water fountain and port-a-potty. The preserve is part of the Cook County Forest Preserve System and Eggers Grove touts itself as,  “Right along the Illinois-Indiana border, 241 acre Eggers Grove is a rich, wet woodland, perfect for a picnic and games followed by a spring walk to see wildflowers and birds.”

From the Comfort Station, walk across the open field north to 112th St. Cross 112th to Avenue C

  1. Residences along Avenue C

Stroll along the neat and well-kept residences along Avenue C to get a feel of how people live in the neighborhood.

When you get to 106th Street, make a left (west) and walk through some area retail. There are many ice cream shops to enjoy! When you get to Ewing Ave., you can wait for the #30 bus on the northwest corner. There is more retail up and down Ewing Ave if you want to browse before the bus comes. Catch the bus and head back to the Powers Recreation Area to pick up your car.

The Southeast Chicago Drive to other Points of Interest

Walk and Drive 1

Leave the Powers Recreation Area and head to 130th street. Right before Route 94, you will see an exit on your right for S. Doty Ave. Take it and follow it to:

  1. Harborside International Golf Center

11001 South Doty Avenue East

The Port of Chicago consists of three facilities in this area: Iroquois Landing for ship cargo, Dougherty Harbor (terminals and harbor operations on Lake Calumet) and Harborside International Golf Center. There must be a story about how a Golf Center ended up in this industrial area run by the Port Authority, but I don’t know it! You can’t get into the Harbor operations, but as you make your way to the golf center, you will see glimpses through fencing. Once you get to the Golf Center, walk out to the back deck to view the golf courses as well as an expansive view of Lake Calumet and its terminals.

The Port of Chicago is run by the Illinois International Port District and under fire for underperforming in its management of this strategic asset. The City of Chicago has called for privatization and the Civic Federation has called for the dissolution and restructuring of the District, arguing that the District has no strategic vision or accountability.


  1. Trumbull Park Homes and Trumbull Park

106th and S. Bensley Ave.

The last of three Public Works Administration projects commissioned in Chicago as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, Trumbull Park Homes is arguably one of the CHA’s most historically significant buildings in its housing portfolio. Built in 1938, the development features a low-density design of two-story rowhouses and three-story apartment buildings spread out across 21-acres. Turmoil erupted in 1953, when the first Black families moved into Trumbull. Daily outbursts of rioting broke out and continued for more than seven months. From 1953 to 1957, sporadic acts of violence, including aerial bombs, riots and arrests, accompanied the move-in of black families. The subject made a 1954 issue of Time Magazine and spurred a march on city hall by the Chicago Negro Chamber of Commerce. – from the Chicago Housing Authority website


Trumbull Park (2400 E 105th St.) is located next door and features a classically-designed Beaux Arts fieldhouse built in 1914, as well as a magnificent stand of gingko trees in its central plaza. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


      3. Calumet Fisheries, 3259 E 95th St.

This famous fishery is known for smoking their own fish on site.


 3A. Blues Brothers Bridge 95th St. Bridge at Calumet River (US-12), Chicago IL

This is the scene of the famous “jump” over the drawbridge in The Blues Brothers movie.


  1. Skyway Doghouse 9480 S Ewing Ave

Another famous eatery whose specialty is hot dogs.


  1. Iroquois Landing

This is part of the Port of Chicago and one of the largest stevedoring (cargo loading and unloading off ships) sites in North America. You can’t get in here, but if you pull in the driveway on your left (north) off 95th street just after crossing Ewing and drive up to the gate you will get a glimpse through the fence of the massive cargo yard. Who knew this was here??? It has the same impact in its gargantuan presence as the steel mills once did!


  1. Calumet Park 9801 S. Avenue G 

This park is where it is happening in SE Chicago!! We’ve walked this park twice and it has been jam packed with activity both times. On the day we took the walk through East Side, it was so hot and humid that Powers Park and Eggers Grove had almost no visitors. Once we arrived in Calumet Park, we could barely drive. There were people everywhere. And for good reason. This lakeside park of 200 acres offers a beach, boat launch, softball, football, and soccer fields, picnic groves, playgrounds and a fieldhouse with extensive programs. As mentioned earlier, the proposed future expansion of Chicago’s southern lakefront parklands will result in the connection of Calumet Park to Rainbow Beach, the South Shore Cultural Center, and Jackson Park.


  1. Old U.S. Steel Southworks Steel Mill site

430 lakefront acres between 79th street and the Calumet River

Though a few remnants like old stone walls and tunnels remain on this property, the steel mill has been completely dismantled. Steelworkers Park exists on the east side of the southern portion and Park 566 is planned for the east side of the northern portion. A mega development project between U.S. Steel and McCaffery Interests slated for the balance of the 430 acres officially died this year after 12 years of planning.

U.S. Steel is now selling the property outright. DNA Info reports that, “The project is being rebranded as 8080 Lakeshore and Cushman and Wakefield have come in as the brokers. The group is marketing the land as close to Hyde Park and the future Barack Obama presidential library and the historic Pullman neighborhood, and are casting a wide net in search of industrial, research, entertainment, residential and mixed use projects.

The new division of the land creates three properties east of the Lake Shore Drive extension ranging in size from 56 to 135 acres. A fourth parcel west of Lake Shore Drive is 111 acres and is closer to neighboring South Chicago, but has no access to the three miles of lakeshore on the site.”

Additional resources: Steelworkers ParkFramework plan for Park 566Civic Federation Position on the Illinois International Port District, Latest plans for U.S. Steel South Works siteIndustrial History of SE Chicago, East Side 







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





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 



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





Irving Park

Length of Walk: 3.48 miles (about a two hour walk)

Where it is located: Irving Park is one of the 77 community areas of Chicago. This walk will take you through 4 (Old Irving Park, West Walker, Independence Park and The Villa) of the 8 neighborhoods that make up the Irving Park Community Area. It is marked by #2 on this map: Location of Walks

How we got there:  We drove and found street parking right by the start of the walk. There is a Starbucks at the corner of Irving Park and Kostner if you want to grab a cup or use the facilities before starting out. The Blue Line stops in Irving Park and you can plan your trip on public transportation here: CTA Trip Planner

The villa

Comments from Marge: This walk has it all! Homes dating back to the 1800s, diverse architecture, murals, National and Chicago Historical Landmarks, the best barbecue in Chicago, and a sense of place carefully preserved by the community and its many neighborhood associations. My favorite stop on the walk is the Villa District, the absolute cutest and smallest neighborhood in Chicago. Tucked away in the most unlikely location, you will find craftsman and bungalow style homes from the early 1900s, boulevard streets with landscaped medians and distinctive stone planters marking the place.

Villa planter



Comments from Ed: Marge has said it all; almost.   With this walk you can observe, more than anywhere else in the City, the gash that the expressway made when it was built. Walk the underpasses and then hear the traffic as you walk these idyllic streets and you can feel the anguish that the residents felt, when they dealt with this assault.  The neighborhood gives new meaning to the term Not In My Backyard.



Printable PDF of the Walk: Irving Park Walk and Map

The Walk: 

Irving Park Map Screen Shot dotted lines_edited2

Irving Park Walk

Irving Park’s development began in 1869 when 4 New Yorkers purchased farmland in what is now the Old Irving Park neighborhood. They originally intended to farm, but after seeing the success of the suburban communities sprouting around them, decided to subdivide the land and create an exclusive settlement 7 miles from the city.

The original name chosen for the new community was “Irvington” after the author Washington Irving.  As the name was already taken by another town in Illinois, the name of Irving Park was adopted.

Mansions and grand homes built in a variety of architectural styles gave way to less pretentious homes after the influx of residents after the Chicago Fire. This walk will take you through neighborhoods with homes built in the Victorian, Foursquare, Revival, Craftsman and Bungalow style. It will take you by the oldest home left in Irving Park, built in 1856 as well as the beautifully restored Carl Schurz high school, known for its prairie architecture.

Irving Park suffered during the Depression and its post WWII prosperity was diminished by the announcement that the Northwest Expressway (now the Kennedy) would cut right through the heart of the community. Today, many young families and professionals call Irving Park home as they discover its rich architectural history and heritage. Preservation efforts are ongoing through home restorations and the efforts of the Irving Park Historical Society.

The Irving Park Community Area consists of 8 neighborhoods. You will walk through 4 of them on this tour: Old Irving Park (the historical core), West Walker, Independence Park and the Villa.

Map numbers correspond to:

1.) 3854 N. Kostner Ave.

Home of John and Clara Merchant.  It was approved as a Chicago Landmark in 2008 and much of the content below is from the Landmark Designation Report.

The John and Clara Merchant House, built ca. 1872 from a pattern in Woodward’s National Architect (1869), is a handsome Second Empire-style building near the corner of Kostner and Byron avenues. Its large mansard roof and carved flat-lintel window hoods exemplifies the style and visual character of the large single-family homes that dotted the Grayland settlement in the 1860s and 70s.

Clara was the daughter of John Gray, one of the original owners of the farms that were the basis for the Irving Park Neighborhood.

John and Clara Merchant and their seven children lived in the house until about 1879 before moving to Russell, Kansas. They put the house in a trust, but returned in 1886, presumably because Clara’s mother (Phoebe Gray) had died. Upon their return, the Merchants began holding religious services in the house, and in 1886 formed the First Baptist Church (later called Irving Park Baptist Church). John Merchant died in the house in 1913 and Clara Merchant, who had later moved from the house, died in 1927.

The Merchant House is an exceptional example of the Second Empire style. It is named after the reign of French emperor Napoleon III (1852-1870), commonly called the “Second Empire,” and is based on a nineteenth-century reinterpretation of seventeenth-century French Baroque architecture. In America, the Second Empire style was seen as a prestigious and stylish European architectural style, worthy of emulation by wealthy American clients with a hunger for European chic. Introduced in the U.S. in the 1850s, the style was especially popular for stylish single-family houses in the 1860s and 70s.

2.) 3945 North Tripp Avenue

House of Stephen A. Race, designated a Chicago Landmark in 1988

This home is significant in the history of Chicago and the neighborhood of Irving Park. It is the only remaining home of the original founders of Irving Park – the Race family. The Stephen A. Race house is a rare Chicago example of a red brick Italianate structure with its architectural integrity for the most part still intact. Originally sited on Irving Park Boulevard, a road that was once an Indian trail in early Illinois, the home’s style is especially representative of the type of grand residential dwellings that once lined Irving Park Boulevard in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, when Irving Park was a suburban/country retreat.

When originally built, the home cost $12,000 – a significant amount of money in 1873. The Charles T. Race House, which no longer exists, was slightly grander in scale and cost $15,000. Both homes were of the Italianate style, one of the most popular architectural styles between 1850 and 1880. While the architect’s name is unknown to us today, the similarities of the Race homes indicate the brothers used the same architect.

Four stories high, the Stephen A. Race House is composed of red brick contrasted with white limestone and painted wood trim; its style is derived from the villas of Tuscany in Northern Italy, which are characterized by a symmetrical box shape capped by a flat roof. Large eave brackets dominate the cornice line of Italianate houses. On the Race House, these are over-scaled, elaborately scrolled and arranged in pairs – typical of this era and style.

Particularly arresting is the treatment of the windows on the second level. Tall and thin, with two-over-two lights, they are emphatically framed with semi-circular arches stamped by a prominent limestone keystone.

3.) Positive Babel Mural at Metra Station Underpass by Tony Passero

At Irving Park Road at the Metra underpass bounded by the Kennedy Expressway exit and Keeler on the north wall and the Kennedy Expressway entrance  and Avondale on the south wall. Created for the Old Irving Park Association, the base concept of the Positive Babel mural is the world lives, works and plays in Old Irving Park. There are 70 landmarks and iconic structures from various nations throughout the world represented in the mural. The blue in the sky of the mural was selected to represent the color of the Chicago flag.

4.) 4053 N. Keeler Ave.

On the SE corner of N. Keeler Ave. and W. Belle Plaine now stands the Fullness Presbyterian Church.  Originally the Dutch Reformed Church, it was constructed in 1872 and was the only house of worship for 13 years. The building was completely remodeled in 1908 in a combination of Gothic Revival and Arts and Crafts design by noted architect Elmer C. Jensen. Elmer C. Jensen worked as an architect in Chicago for 70 years, earning him the title of “The Dean of Chicago Architects.” Jensen designed his own residence at 4041 N. Lowell in the Colonial Revival style, the most notable feature being the massive portico featuring four 18 foot high concrete over brick columns.  (The home is noted on the map but not a numbered stop on this tour.)

5.) West Walker Neighborhood

You will pass through the corner of this neighborhood, characterized by large single family homes in late Victorian, Foursquare and Revival styles.

6.) The Independence Park Neighborhood and Park

The Independence Park Neighborhood was established in the 1800s, and it retains the vintage character of oversize lots, mature trees and generously sized homes in a variety of period styles. Independence Park itself was established in 1914. The attractive brick fieldhouse was designed by Hatzfeld and Knox. Independence Park was once considered the best landscaped park in the city, but it is now mostly a bland assortment of ball fields and playgrounds. The park was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

7.) Gross Boulevard addition

The area south of Irving Park Road was developed by Samuel Gross and was known as “Gross Boulevard addition to Irving Park”. The housing stock is similar to that of West Walker.

8.) Mural under the RR overpass at Pulaski

This mural depicts the advertising that the original Irving Park Developers used to entice people to move there.

9.) The Villa

This is the highlight of the tour for me! This cute little neighborhood was dubbed the “Polish Kenilworth” by Mike Royko, a famous Chicago newspaper columnist. It is a Chicago Historical Landmark District. Developed in the early 1900s, its hallmark characteristics are the craftsman and bungalow style houses on boulevard style streets with landscaped medians. Stone planters mark the area.

Read more about this district in the resource links.  Or click here : “Getting to know Chicago’s Smallest Neighborhood: The Villa”

10.) Smoque Barbecue     3800 N. Pulaski

Smoque is at the corner of Grace and Pulaski. It is a very famous barbecue place with many awards and write ups. If you are really determined to eat here, you will have to be very patient. The line sometimes wraps around the building.

11.) Schurz High School 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The school is named after German–American Carl Schurz, a statesman, soldier, and advocate of democracy in Germany. The school building, which represents a combination of the Chicago and Prairie schools of architecture, was designed in 1910 by Dwight H. Perkins and designated a Chicago Landmark on December 7, 1979. It is considered one of “150 great places in Illinois” by the American Institute of Architects. The AIA has described the school as Perkins’s masterpiece, “an important example of early-twentieth century architecture, utilizing elements of both the Chicago and Prairie schools.

12.) 4362 W. Grace John Gray’s First House

Gray’s first home built in 1856 at 4362 W. Grace survives today in a remarkable state of preservation and is the oldest house in Irving Park. John Gray was the owner of the farm which was bought by the 4 New York men to develop what is now known as Irving Park.

If you are a Map My Walk member here is a link to the route: Irving Park Route

More Resources to learn more about Irving Park: WikipediaThe Villa DistrictThe Villa Community AssociationPositive Babel MuralMerchant House Landmark Designation ReportSmoque Barbecue