2000 - Edgewater Glen

2000 Fall Tour of Homes
Edgewater Glen
September 17, 2000

Welcome to the 12th Annual Edgewater Historical Society Home Tour

Editor’s note: To respect the privacy of the homeowners while making the historical information available for research, most names and street addresses have been removed from the online version of the “tour booklet.” The original printed booklets are all available at the Edgewater Historical Society Museum.

Images and text for this online “tour booklet” were copied from the printed booklet. Copyright © 2000 Edgewater Historical Society.

For individual home descriptions, select an address at the left.

Edgewater Glen

The Edgewater Glen neighborhood took its name from the Edgewater neighborhood and the prefix of two of its streets, Glenwood and Glenlake. When the area was first settled, it was an area of Lakeview township which had been founded in 1859 at a meeting at the Andersonville School (Foster and Clark). Then, in 1885, John Lewis Cochran, a tobacco salesman from Philadelphia, bought a plot of land along the lake shore from Foster to Bryn Mawr and named it Edgewater. During the next five years, he made subsequent additions to his beautiful suburb along the shoreline to Devon Avenue. In 1886, the county put through a road on Granville to the lake shore. In 1889, all of Edgewater was incorporated into the city of Chicago.

But most important for the development of Edgewater, Cochran persuaded the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad to open a stop at Granville, which was called North Edgewater in 1889. Once it was opened, the steam locomotives stopped two times a day. One early recollection reported that, when the train signaled its approach, a man would come out from the station and lower the crossing gate by a hand crank. With the opening of this station, those owning the farmland began to sell it off in lots to individual buyers and some developers.

Some of the farmland had been owned by an early settler, Nicholas Kransz, who arrived here from Luxembourg in 1848. After he and his brothers worked for a farmer named Riis, they were paid in land. That land extended from a little south of Ridge to Devon Avenue between Glenwood and Clark Street. When the brothers got title to the land, they sold off the north section, north of Granville along Highland and Thome. But two of the brothers decided against farming and departed. Nicholas bought them out. He was compensated for the loss of land when Granville and Glenwood were put through in 1886 (this did not include paving).

After the death of Nicholas in 1896, the family, five living children and their spouses, went about developing the land by subdividing it, building homes and selling lots. One daughter, Mary, had married Bernard Weber of the National Brick Company. This lead to the creation of the Weber-Kransz Company which constructed over 50 homes on Granville and Hood in 1903-04. In this section, Nicholas Kransz, Jr. built his home at the corner of Glenlake and Greenview. Kransz’s second addition to Edgewater extended from Glenlake to Elmdale.

During the same time period, Mr. Peter Brost, who had built a home for his family on Hood, decided to develop his land, naming it the Brost and Kemper addition to Edgewater in 1890. This smaller development included the south side of Granville to the north side of Hood (called Brost), from Broadway to Glenwood

The land just to the south of the Brost and Kemper addition was developed by Thomas Milsted in 1891 as a subdivision of a larger parcel of 30 acres. Milsted’s five acre development extended along the south side of Hood. The remaining 25 acres were sectioned and subdivided. Roy Knauer in developed some of Glenlake in 1908. A few years earlier, in 1893, J.L. Cochran created his Fourth Addition to Edgewater, along Norwood and Elmdale from Glenwood to Broadway. By this time, Cochran was over-extended with commitments to develop residential housing from Foster to Devon and the Lake to Broadway (then called Evanston Avenue). In his early developments, he catered to the upper income families and insisted that no apartments be built; but in this later addition to Edgewater, he was gradually more disposed to the concept of townhouses and investment property. Due to the recession of 1893, only a few homes were built on Norwood before 1900.

By then many more families flocked to the area and more single family homes were built. The style of these newer homes is predominantly American Foursquare. These homes show the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, which started in England and influenced the design of home interior for the next 20 years. The American Foursquare eliminated the double parlor of the 19th century and ushered in the new American living room.

The housing and architecture of Edgewater Glen is a wonderful example of the changes in housing trends from 1890-1920. In our tour this year, we will have examples of these housing styles. The history of Edgewater Glen is an important part of the history of Edgewater. In the early 1970s the area was united as a community with a neighborhood organization called the Edgewater Glen Association. We are delighted to work with the neighbors of Edgewater Glen and their Edgewater Glen Association to create this year’s home tour.