Edgewater walking tours (Past)

Walk Edgewater

Enjoy views of the historic buildings of Edgewater in our own unique outdoor museum. Edgewater has three historic districts, designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and many blocks filled with historic homes. Tours will be led by knowledgeable guides. For descriptions of the tours, click “more…” below.

Note: All current tours are now sold out. Check back occasionally to see if new tours are announced.

You must register online for each tour, and pay using this link (bit.ly/ehswalk9)

There is a limit of 20 in each tour. Our tour guides, who will have microphones, will lead you through the tour, and share with you our researched brochure. Face masks are recommended but optional. The fee for each tour is $15, which supports the Edgewater Historical Society Museum.

Here are descriptions of all 11 walking tours and their scheduled dates/times:

Andersonville Historic District: This district exhibits some of the finest commercial architecture built by Swedish architects at the beginning of the 20th century. Also included are a few residential buildings of early construction. The walk begins at the Edgewater Historical Society Museum garden at Balmoral and Ashland, and ends at Foster and Clark. Your tour guide will inform you about the history of the Clark Street development over 30 years.
DATE: August 5, 2023; TIME: 11:00 a.m.

Bryn Mawr Historic District: The center of Edgewater and Edgewater’s main street. Learn how J.L. Cochran planned to develop Edgewater as a suburb until urbanization happened. The street has a unique mix of what are called hybrid buildings, including luxury apartments and stores. Many of the buildings are named Chicago landmarks. The walk begins in front of the Edgewater Beach Apartments, and extends west to Broadway and back again.

Discover the Art Underfoot: This is a unique exploration of the hidden artwork along Edgewater’s lakefront. Join Edgewater’s Bill Swislow in the walk along the shore. The tour begins at the foot of the pier at Kathy Osterman Beach (Hollywood Avenue Breakwater).
DATE: July 22, 2023; TIME: 11:00 a.m.

Edgewater Beach Hotel: The famed Edgewater Beach Hotel was once the most elegant and lively place to be in Chicago. Join John Holden, co-author of the recently published Remembering Edgewater Beach Hotel, to revisit the place where the hotel once stood and how it had a lasting impact on the community that remains. The walk begins in front of the Breakers (Sheridan and Berwyn).

Edgewater Glen: This neighborhood is a popular section of single family homes and two-flats developed from some of the Kransz family original farm at the end of the 19th century. In 1903 one architect, A.E. Norman, was hired to build almost two blocks of homes. Other specialties are homes of the Kransz family and some early homes by J.L. Cochran. The walk begins at the Granville Avenue United Methodist Church, on Granville at Lakewood.
DATE: June 15, 2023; TIME: 6:00 p.m.
DATE: July 25, 2023; TIME: 6:45 p.m.

Edgewater North: The tour begins at Broadway and Granville and extends throughout the neighborhood for about 1.5 miles. Along the way you’ll see a home that was featured in a Steven Seagal movie, and the home of Chicago’s first female judge, who was an advocate for child welfare in the early 20th century. The tour includes both single family homes and apartment buildings.
DATE: July 9, 2023; TIME: 1:00 p.m.

Lakewood Balmoral Historic District: Designated in 1999, this district displays many of Edgewater’s finest architectural gems in residential housing. Many are locally important landmarks on the Chicago Historic Resources survey of 1986. The walk is approximately one mile, beginning and ending at North Shore Baptist Church on the 5200 block of Lakewood.
DATE: June 25, 2023; TIME: 1:00 p.m.

Magnolia Glen: This neighborhood is one of Edgewater’s oldest, developed by William H. Cairnduff in 1888 as an addition to J.L. Cochran’s Edgewater. The homes are well cared for and show some interesting architectural details. The tour booklet includes an early map. The walk is approximately one mile, beginning and ending at the corner of Magnolia and Early (just north of the Hollywood connection to Ridge).
DATE: August 4, 2023; TIME: 1:00 p.m.

North Edgewater Beach: You will see seven Chicago landmarks and homes from the 1890s in the area around Granville and Kenmore. Learn from discussion of examples of each major residential building boom and housing transition in Edgewater since the 1890s. The walk is little over a mile, beginning at Kenmore and Granville (get coffee at Metropolis on Granville), and ending at the Colvin House on Thorndale and Sheridan.
DATE: July 12, 2023; TIME: 6:00 p.m.
DATE: August 16, 2023; TIME: 6:00 p.m.

North Magnolia Glen: Discover the newest section of Edgewater, developed after 1905 with a variety of housing types to please many city dwellers. The walk begins and ends at Broadway and Elmdale.
DATE: August 13, 2023; TIME: 1:00 p.m.

Surprising Broadway: This tour of the main business area of Edgewater has many surprises because it features several of the significant Motor Row buildings and a collection of two-flats built before the street was designated commercial. This tour captures a moment in Edgewater history when homes and businesses were side by side. The walk begins at St. Ita Catholic Church, on Broadway and Catalpa, and ends at Broadway and Rosedale, near the Broadway Armory.
DATE: July 16, 2023; TIME: 1:00 p.m.