1992 - East Andersonville
1992 Fall Tour of Homes
September 20, 1992
Welcome to the Fourth 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 © 1992 Edgewater Historical Society.
For individual home descriptions, select an address at the left.
The name Andersonville came from the name of a farmer and landholder, John Anderson, who, in the late 1840s, acquired the land south and west of the present intersection of Clark and Foster. The land came to be known as the Anderson subdivision and, as early as 1850, Andersonville.
In 1853, the township of Ridgeville extended north from Graceland (Irving Park Road) to Central Street in Evanston and from the lake to Western. In 1855, John Anderson was elected highway commissioner of Ridgeville. The northern section of Ridgeville took the name of Evanston in 1857. At a meeting in a four room school house at Foster (once called North 59th Street) and Clark (once called Green Bay Road), what had been Ridgeville south of Devon was organized as Lakeview Township, by its citizens that same year. That old school house, known as Andersonville school, stood on the site until 1908, when the Lyman Trumbull school was completed and opened.
In 1865, Lakeview Township gained official status from the State of Illinois. The population grew gradually as farmland changed hands and was subdivided. Irish, Swedish, German and Luxembourgers settled in the area. The first buildings were wooden, with stove heat and no electricity. The Anderson name appeared on several neighborhood businesses including Anderson Lumber, just west of the C&NW tracks and, later, Anderson Monument Company at Rosehill and Ravenswood. Many of the Swedish settlers were involved in the trades and the construction of substantial buildings began in earnest after 1900.
In 1887, Lakeview organized a government with seven wards. The 7th Ward included the area north of Foster. It was sparsely settled with only 300 registered voters. About the same time, John Lewis Cochran began subdividing the land from Foster to Bryn Mawr and Sheridan (Sheffield Avenue) to Broadway (Evanston Avenue). He planned a suburb which he named Edgewater. In 1889, the town of Lakeview voted to become a part of the great city of Chicago. Only the 7th Ward voted against it. These two parts of Lakeview, Andersonville and Edgewater, which were never organized as separate towns, were then closely integrated into the development of Chicago.
The names identifying adjacent settlements became intertwined as the Swedish settlement grew along Clark Street. Owners of property north of Foster changed hands several times, beginning with the subdivision of the original William Henry 1858 plot. Zero Marx named the blocks from Balmoral south to Foster between Clark and Glenwood, Zero Park. But the name Andersonville stuck. Other developers, in a bow to Cochran, announced the subdivisions of Edgewater. Most of the building dates after 1900, with two outstanding exceptions at 1434 and 1450.
Transportation was crucial to this development. The Chicago and Northwestern originally had stops at Summerdale (Berwyn) and Rosehill (Granville). At this time, the railroad was on ground level. The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul had stops at Edgewater (Bryn Mawr) and later North Edgewater. Beginning in 1892, as traffic increased, the train embankments were built to make travel safer on roads intersecting the tracks. By 1900, the Clark Street trolley car ran north to Devon and south to 111th Street, thus creating an important link. This Clark Street line was one of the last to be withdrawn from service. Today, the steel rails and brick street are hidden under the pavement.
The Ebenezer Lutheran Church was chartered in 1892. This culminated an effort to establish a Swedish Lutheran presence in the area. As early as 1859, this area was called Mount Pleasant. In 1904, the church laid the cornerstone for its beautiful limestone building at the corner of Foster and Paulina. This year, Ebenezer Lutheran celebrates its 100 year anniversary.
In the late 1950s, Grant Johnson, a business man on Clark Street, suggested that the district reestablish the name Andersonville for the area. In the 1960s, the Clark Street Businessmen’s Association changed its name to the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.
In 1972, the East Andersonville Residents Council was formed to include the area north of Foster from Clark east to Glenwood. Our tour this year focuses on this area.
During the past 30 years, many new ethnic groups have settled in Andersonville, including Mexicans, Koreans, Greeks, Persians, Japanese, South Americans, Vietnamese and Thai peoples. Each of them contributes to the strong, unique identity that the Andersonville name retains today.
Many of the businesses on Clark Street have contributed to our tour. Please show your support by patronizing them, and mention the Home Tour booklet. Thanks and enjoy!