Established in 2003, West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors is a voluntary group of neighbors in Chicago who desire to assist each other in preserving and appreciating the homes in our neighborhood; educating each other and the broader public in the value and the story of our neighborhood; and providing resources to each other to improve the quality of our homes, enrich our lives and assure our neighborhood's future.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Where it all began...

Anyone who has attended a WRBN meeting recently knows we've been slogging our way toward a Bungalow Historic District nomination. It feels like it's been years, because it has. With the help of many people, we've transcribed the 1930 Census for the area in question, which has changed several times during the process. A team of volunteers has photographed over 240 homes and a bunch of garages. We've spent hours at the UIC library looking at ancient building permits on microfiche, and even more hours sifting through all of this data and making sense out of it. And now - we're headed into home stretch. Really.

In honor of the near-completion of our District, our bungalow of the week (on the right hand side of this page) is 6527 N. Maplewood. This is the very first brick bungalow built in our district in 1919. Also built in 1919 at 6529 N. Rockwell is what we now know as a Bungalow Antecedent - not quite an "official" Chicago brick bungalow, but close enough. It's the stucco home shown in the photo above.
Another frame, single family home on a double lot at 6550 N. Rockwell was built by architect Benedict Bruns in 1919. Bruns designed bungalows all over the West Ridge, and this was his family home until 1927. You know the house, it's just south of the St. James Presbyterian church on at Rockwell and Albion, with the double lot and lovely gardens in the summer.
The fourth home built in our district in 1919 sadly is categorized as "Non-Contributing". It has been altered to the point of not being recognizable as a historic bungalow.

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