1997 - Edgewater North

1997 Fall Tour of Homes
Edgewater North
September 21, 1997

Welcome to the Ninth 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 © 1997 Edgewater Historical Society.

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

Edgewater North

There are three subdivisions in Edgewater North. Our tour of Edgewater North begins in the Peter Brost and William Kemper subdivision of the land along Grand Avenue (Granville) running from Evanston Avenue (Broadway) to Southport Avenue (Glenwood). This was land was developed by the Brost family who used to have a house moving business. Mildred Merrill, the great niece of Peter Brost, still lives in the home her father, Peter M. Brost, bought in 1909.

In 1892 the decision to sell and subdivide came at the same time as a recession. Indications in the deeds and documents are that not much of the land changed hands and real development did not begin until 1900.

The John N. Young Grand Avenue Addition to Chicago was recorded in March 1891. It extends from Evanston Avenue (Broadway) to Southport Avenue (Glenwood) and from Grand Avenue (Granville) to 300 feet north of Grand Avenue. In all, 56 lots were sold and some single family homes were built. We will see two of these homes in the tour.

The third subdivision was connected to Young’s Addition, indicating that the streets had already been surveyed. Magnolia Avenue was Charlton, Lakewood Avenue was Fischer, and Wayne Avenue was Euclid. This subdivision was called Brockhausen and Fischer’s Addition to Edgewater. It was recorded in March of 1890. The subdivision’s name comes from Theodore Brockhausen, who was the notary, and William D. Fischer, the landowner. At the northern edge of this area is Devon Avenue which was surveyed as a road from Little Fort Road (Lincoln Avenue) to Lake Michigan in 1863 and widened in 1869. Devon Avenue forms the northern boundary of what we call today Edgewater.

Edgewater was the name used by John L. Cochran when he began his plan for a suburb in 1885. His first sales were in the lakeshore area south of Bryn Mawr Avenue. By 1889 he had added the area north of Thorndale to Devon. He also persuaded the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad to open a station at North Edgewater. It was probably this transportation connection that lead to the subdivision and sale of lots for homes in the area. By the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the construction of single family homes began to give way to two-flats. There was no citywide zoning ordinance until the 1920s, so the only rules that were enforced were the rules or covenants set forth by developers. It appears that a set-back was agreed upon at about 15 to 20 feet. One house on our tour is set further back, perhaps indicating it was the first house or was built earlier than the others.

Today, the area of our tour is represented by the Edgewater North Neighbors who serve the area bound by Granville, Glenwood, Devon and Broadway.