2017 - Edgewater Triangle

2017 Fall Tour of Homes
Edgewater Triangle,
September 17, 2017

Welcome to the 29th 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.

Text and some images for this online “tour booklet” were copied from the printed booklet. Copyright © 2017 Edgewater Historical Society.

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

The Development of the Edgewater Triangle Neighborhood

The name, Edgewater Triangle, is a modern one, coined in the late 20th century to identify the area between Ridge on the north, Bryn Mawr on the south, and Clark St. on the west – a triangle. At the time the neighborhood association was formed in the mid-1970s, the areas to the south already had formed neighborhood associations (LBRC and EARC). Ridge Avenue, at the time of the formation of the Edgewater Triangle Neighbors Association, was a heavily-trafficked street – it still is. But it was not always so. When Edgewater was being subdivided, it was a narrow residential street, much more easily crossed than it is today. Thus, we do not know if there was an early sense among its residents of it being a distinct neighborhood.

The Triangle is unique among Edgewater neighborhoods in that is it composed of seven separate subdivisions. The neighborhood with the next highest is Edgewater Glen with six, but most had fewer, and some, such as Lakewood Balmoral, had only one.

The first post-fire subdivision in the Triangle was at the northwest corner – itself a triangle. Platted and recorded in 1883, it was the first subdivision of the Nicholas Krantz farm. Like all the later subdivisions of his land, it was done by the Krantz family itself, rather than by developers who bought the land. This small subdivision included the homes of two of Nicholas Krantz’s sons. One at 5896 Ridge was constructed in 1881 and was reputed to be the first brick house built north of Lawrence. This subdivision was the first permanent Edgewater subdivision east of Clark Street – preceding John L. Cochran’s first subdivision by two years. The last subdivision in the Triangle, and one of the last in all of Edgewater, was the Bryn Mawr Addition to Edgewater, recorded in February 1909, nearly 26 years after the first.

The true first subdivision–that of John Johnston–was recorded prior to the Chicago fire of 1871.  It had but four lots and they were considerably larger than lots that were created in other subdivisions; when he died in 1889 each of the four lots passed to one of his four children.  Between 1894 and 1899 each of them subdivided their lot into smaller lots.  And unlike most Edgewater subdivisions, at least two had buildings already on individual lots.

The map below (Fig. 1) shows the seven subdivisions that make up the Edgewater Triangle neighborhood. Five of the seven were recorded in the 1890s, the decade for most Edgewater permanent subdivisions. The 1905 Sanborn fire insurance map (Fig. 2) shows the development, or lack thereof. The area between the south side of Hollywood and the north side of Bryn Mawr west of Glenwood stands out. It is blank. While this area had been subdivided much earlier, this subdivision was vacated and the land would not be subdivided again until 1909. Development was slow in most of the subdivisions. The area east of Glenwood had but 12 structures, one of which was a brick commercial building at the corner of Ridge and Bryn Mawr. It still stands. Interestingly, the northwest corner of the Triangle (the southeast corner of Ridge and Clark) was also the site of a brick commercial structure. It, however, does not still stand. It was replaced by a much larger mixed-use structure in the 1920s, which became the home of the Maybelline Company.

The brick house at 5626 N. Ridge is one of the oldest in Edgewater, and very probably the oldest brick residence still standing in Edgewater.

The Triangle has three churches, with the one at 1527 W. Edgewater now being Edgewater’s oldest frame church.

Fig. 1: Edgewater Triangle Subdivisions

Fig. 2: Edgewater Triangle Sanborn map

Note: This page has been revised slightly since the issuance of the home tour booklet.  The major change was to the subdivision map to correct an error in sections "G" and "F". A paragraph was also added relating to the John Johnston pre-fire subdivision.