Thursday, November 25, 2010

Trip 80: Northwestern University Settlement House

Date: November 24, 2010
Trip: 80
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 211
Landmarks Remaining: 142

On Thanksgiving Eve I needed to run out and pick-up a ham for Thanksgiving dinner with our Chicago friends. On the way I swung by the Northwestern University Settlement House.

I think the building was probably landmarked more for its historical significance than for its architecture. The organization was one of the pioneers in developing programs to assist the urban poor. The group originally targeted Polish immigrants, but the neighborhood has become much more diverse over time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trip 79: Noble-Seymour-Crippen House

Date: November 21, 2010
Trip: 79
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 210
Landmarks Remaining: 143

On an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon Shawn and I drove his new Jeep to the Norwood Park neighborhood to see this historic home. What makes it unique is that it's a farmhouse that survived the growth of the city. It now sits in a completely residential neighborhood near a major expressway.

The house is currently the home of the Norwood Park Historical Society. The house is also on the national historic register.

Trip 78: Cermak Road Bridge District

Date: November 20, 2010
Trip: 78
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 209
Landmarks Remaining: 144

On a windy and chilly Saturday afternoon I drove to the Cermak Road Bridge District. The district includes a pretty typical Chicago movable bridge and a handful of brick warehouse buildings on either side of the bridge. It is very close to Chinatown, but doesn't have nearly as much activity.

I think I read somewhere that one of the warehouses was originally a spice company. I've also read that the city is attempting to revitalize the area as an enclave for artists and artisan businesses. I think that's a good idea, but it may be tough to find enough artisans to fill such large buildings.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trip 77: Old Edgebrook District

Date: November 14, 2010
Trip: 77
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 208
Landmarks Remaining: 145

On a brisk and overcast Sunday morning Shawn and I drove to the Old Eldgebrook District on the northwest side of Chicago. It's an unusual neighborhood for Chicago because it's surrounded by forest preserve and a golf course. It definitely feels like you're out in the county. There are lots of mature trees, the houses have big yards, and the streets don't even have curbs. (The FPD on the trail maker in one of the photos stands for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.)

According to the landmark sign, this neighborhood was planned in 1894 and is an example of a 'railroad suburb'. It was built near a station for the Milwaukee, Chicago & St. Paul Railroad.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trip 76: Halloween in Logan Square

Date: October 31, 2010
Trip: 76
Landmarks Visited: 2
Landmarks To-Date: 207
Landmarks Remaining: 146

I spent a sunny Halloween afternoon in the Logan Square neighborhood. I always thought it was interesting that this neighborhood has wide boulevards, but I didn't realize until this trip that they are part of a network that encircles the city. According to what I read, the boulevards date back to the 1830's are were part real estate plan, part city beautification plan. At the time Logan Square was outside of the city limits of Chicago, but the city has since grown well west of the neighborhood. City parks were a new concept at the time, and the boulevards were originally managed as part of a park district. Today they are just city streets, but Logan Square is still a unique neighborhood because of all the green space.

The real estate portion of the plan definitely succeeded in attracting people to build large, ornate homes facing the boulevards. Some of the homes qualify as mansion in my opinion. This neighborhood is supposed to have the largest collection of grey stones in Chicago.

The district includes two large squares; the namesake Logan Square and Palmer Square. Logan Square includes a monument to Illinois' centennial. Palmer Square is larger, and is entirely green space.

After this trip I definitely plan to drive the boulevard loop around the city. I may even add this to my brother Jeff's personal tour the next time that he visits.

1. Rath House

The Rath House is located in the Logan Square district, although it is unusual for the neighborhood. Most of the houses along the boulevards are grey stones and other more traditional designs.

2. Logan Square Boulevards District