Tenth Annual Home Tour

Vol. X No. 1 - WINTER 1999

The tenth annual Home Tour sponsored by the Edgewater Historical Society featured the Lakewood Balmoral area of Edgewater. This is part of John Lewis Cochran’s Third Addition to Edgewater, which was platted in 1890. There were quite a number of homes built in 1898 so this year’s tour focused on those homes. 1898 is the year that saw the end of a depression that had started in 1893. The change in the economy brought about a construction boom that lasted into the first decade of the twentieth century.

Most of the homes on the tour were built in 1898. The homes of Tina Tchen, Mark and Mary Partridge, Tony and Tracy Weisman, and Karen and John McNeel were built by J.L. Cochran. The home of Carla and Joe Serontoni was built by architects Holabird and Roche. The Gemperle’s home was built by Edgewater architect, Julius Huber. The architect of Karen Grown and Daniel Riesenfeld’s home remains unknown. An added interest for this tour was the home of Beth White and Zet Smith which was built by J.L. Cochran in 1893-4 just before the depression began to have a broader effect. This home was one of the first on its block and it has a third floor turret which provides an interesting view of the surrounding area.

It was nice to see many old friends at this tour which was the best yet for attendance. Tour-goers checked in at St. Ita’s school courtyard. Some tours of St. Ita’s Church were offered during the middle of the afternoon, in-between church services and weddings. Ara Mayian led the tours.

Refreshments for the tour-goers were provided at Karen McNeel’s new store, South and West at the corner of Balmoral and Broadway. Our neighborhood Jewel managers provided cookies and cider. Karen’s shop is in the building which once housed Roseland’s bike shop. The sidewalk in front of the stores is still the original stone sidewalks installed there by J.L. Cochran.

Volunteer tour guides for the day included Sandee Remis, Mary Lauren, Marieluise and Catherine Kailing, Nancy Bolling, Martha and John Kraeger, Carl Helbig, Mary Jo Doyle, Betty Mayian, Marge Britton, Lori Lynch, Bill Steinfeld, Emily and Ed Gross, Dianne Daleiden, Beth and John Latham, Linda Komosa and Marion Lettner*. Our front desk was managed by Jim Anderson, John Taccio and Betty Jaci. This was in addition to the gracious help by several of the homeowners. As you can see it takes a small army to run a home tour but it is well worth it. Each year we run the tour in a different neighborhood of Edgewater and we meet more people and learn more about the history of the area. Thanks to all who made this day so wonderful.

Editor’s note: Marion Lettner, who is in her 80’s has worked on every home tour since we started. She has announced that this year is her last. We don’t know if we can do it without Marion who supplies the details of domestic life so completely no matter which home we send her to. Thanks, Marion, for making the Edgewater Home Tour so special.