Christopher and John Christiansen


Christopher and John Christiansen were two brothers born in Denmark who married two sisters, bought adjoining double lots in Edgewater and constructed on them two greystone two flats designed by the same architect (George L. Pfeiffer). The surname has been found with the spelling Christensen, and Christopher is also shown as Christian in some records.
Christopher was the younger of the two (by four years), but he married first, bought his lots first, and constructed his building first. His building at 1430 W. Berwyn was the more elaborate of the two. Interestingly, he bought his lots in October 1895, but didn’t obtain a permit for his building until 9 years later in November 1904. He sold the property in August 1914. Interestingly, the 1910 census shows his married son Arthur living not in 1430 and not at 1436 but next door at 1426 Berwyn.
John bought his lots in December 1904, a month after Christopher obtained a permit for his building, but didn’t obtain a permit for his building until October 1908 almost four years later, and he was not listed as a resident in the building until after 1910. However, he resided at 1436 Berwyn until 1920.
In their early years the brother were close, both in relationship and geography. (After all they married sisters!) They both started out as barbers and then were partners in a meat market. For many years before moving north they lived next door to each other in the vicinity of Milwaukee and Chicago Avenues.
Though they lived close to each other most of their lives, when they sold their buildings on Berwyn they chose to live apart. Christopher moved to Rogers Park and John to Evanston. John died December 23, 1936 in Evanston at age 82. No date of death has been found for Christopher.