LBRC Turns Twenty
By: David Gemperle, Vice President, LBRC
The Lakewood Balmoral Residents’ Council (LBRC) had its first General Meeting twenty years ago this May. Lakewood Balmoral is a neighborhood of single family homes and two-flats, west of Broadway between Foster and Bryn Mawr. It was developed before 1900 as part of John L. Cochran’s “Third Addition” to Edgewater. An early newspaper advertisement for Edgewater boasted that the homes “are modern and artistic with large lots, located in the most delightful residence suburb of Chicago.”
The houses were built solidly and aged gracefully over the years. After World War II, the neighborhood successfully resisted developers who wanted to convert the large homes into rooming houses. However, by the 1960s, the urban decay that was affecting America’s cities was also touching Lakewood Balmoral.
The Lakewood Balmoral Residents’ Council was formed in 1969 by people who loved their neighborhood and the city and were not willing to flee to the suburbs. They cherished the diversity of the neighborhood - diversity of ages, religions and ethnicity. This group of friends and neighbors joined together to give their community a distinct urban identity - to stress the advantages of urban living and to work towards making Lakewood Balmoral, Edgewater and Chicago a better place to live.
Today, LBRC is still going strong. Special plans are being made to celebrate its 20th anniversary.