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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WRBN Is On Hiatus

WRBN has not met for many months and may fold in 2012. For the time being, this blog will be kept up for reference puposes.

CPL Budget Cuts

To the Honorable Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 50th Ward Alderman Debra Silverstein:

We are writing as officers of a neighborhood community organization, the West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors, to oppose the proposed cuts in the Chicago Public Library budget.

Our volunteer group was formed in 2003 to provide resources and education to West Ridge residents on topics relating to historic home maintenance and restoration, aspects of the Arts and Crafts movement, Chicago bungalow and Prairie School architecture, and local history. Beginning in 2004, the Northtown Branch of the CPL provided us with a meeting space for our monthly gatherings, which were always open to the public and free of charge. Though not formally associated with the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association or the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, we worked closely with both organizations over the years. WRBN members did extensive research on the history of our neighborhood, and In 2008, WRBN volunteers (along with the HCBA) completed a successful nomination to list the Talman West Ridge Historic Chicago Bungalow District on the National Register for Historic Places. The Northtown Branch Library graciously hosted our celebration of the National Register listing in September

2008, which was attended by more than 75 neighbors. Librarians Rose Powers, Catherine Wilson, and the rest of the staff were always helpful -- whether we needed research materials, or any equipment for our meetings.

In gratitude for the Library's support, WRBN made contributions to the Northtown Branch totaling more than $900. Many of our members also participated as donors and volunteer workers in the branch's Friends of the Library annual book sales to raise funds for the Library.

In 2010, Mayor Daley made extensive cuts to the CPL budget, which included reductions in hours for the branches. These cuts meant that the Northtown Branch was never open beyond 8:00 pm, which made it impossible for our group (consisting primarily of working professionals) to continue to meet there. Without a meeting place, our group has become less active in the community.

Further cuts to the Library would harm local residents even more.

The Northtown Library, despite its aging and deteriorated physical state, has remained a vital and heavily-utilized center for learning and community activity in West Ridge. Please don't deplete even more of its already overworked staff and meager resources!


Jofrid Stavig and Maribeth Brewer,

Founders and Co-Chairs, West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors

Anastasia Glapa

Treasurer, West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beverly Wood Works

Damon Nelson of Bevery Wood Works grew up as a 5th generation Andersonville resident and is very familair with West Ridge. He says he's always loved the quiet tree lined streets he and his older brother would often pedal down. 
Since leaving Andersonville for the southside neighborhood of Beverly he has created Beverly Wood Works. He specializes in wood radiator covers, but also builds reproduction Craftsman era furniture as well as built-ins, replacement doors that match the originals and window screens and storms, all at resonable prices. Damon says he started Beverly Wood Works as a creative outlet, not a money maker.  His goal is to help those in the know about the history of their homes create a living environment for themselves that is appropriate to the original character.  
Check out Beverly Wood Works and see for yourself.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Villa Tour

Thanks to the Villa community and our co-chair Jo for arranging a private tour of this community for WRBN members.
The tour begins

Columns mark the entry to the Villa historic district 

Frescoe in the dining room of the former home of of the owner of Polonia coal. Note the coal bucket.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sign up now for the July 10 tour of The Villa

Greetings Bungalow Neighbors,

It's time to get your official rsvp's in for next week's WRBN members' tour to the Villa. Even if you previously expressed interest in the tour, PLEASE send another rsvp by Tuesday July 6, with the names of people coming. You may invite interested friends or neighbors as long as we know who's coming by Tuesday; the Villa group will add another docent if needed. The cost for the tour is $10 per person (cash only), payable on the day of the tour.

We'll assemble at the starting point at 10:00 a.m., rain or shine. Directions and meeting location will be sent to participants next week. The tour will last approximately 2 hours.

We will organize carpooling for those interested, so let us know if you can drive (& how many riders you could take) or will need a ride.

Jo & Maribeth

WRBN co-chairs

Our treasurer Ann Glapa is still accepting 2010 WRBN dues of $15 per household. You can drop off your check made out to West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors (or cash in an envelope labeled with your name) through the mail slot at Glapas house, or mail it to Ann at 2601 W Farwell Ave, Chicago 60645.

Villa Tour info:
Join us on July 10 for a private guided walking tour of the first significant bungalow neighborhood in Chicago, The Villa, a Chicago Landmark Historic District since 1983

The Villa celebrated its centennial in 2007, which means it was developed roughly 15 - 20 years ahead of our West Ridge bungalow neighborhoods.

The most prolific of the Villa architects was Clarence Hatzfeld, whose name you probably know as the architect for our very own Chicago Landmark, the IBP Field House. (He also designed our Green Briar Park and Chippewa Park field houses). We will be touring the interior of a Hatzfeld house, as well as some private gardens.

From the Villa website:

The Villa is "one of the city’s first planned urban developments, featuring streets divided by park-like medians, and strict covenants that governed density, land and building use, and architectural style" .

Also notable are the "rubble stone planters at every corner. These pillars, standing five feet tall or so, were originally constructed as stucco light stands, with globe shaped fixtures on top. In 1923, they were rebuilt as stone planters, possibly inspired by a house at the corner of Avers and Avondale with a rubble stone front porch and chimney."

You may notice that the Villla pillars are similar to the original pillars that mark the entrance to Indian Boundary Park on Lunt, just east of the Field House.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A wonderful new story from our neighbor Lynette, required reading for all bungalow dwellers:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nature By Design: A Tour of Four Historic Gardens

WHAT: Garden Tour – Nature By Design: A Tour of Four Historic Gardens
WHEN: Saturday, June 26, 2010 – 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Tour starts at the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society
361 East Westminster, Lake Forest
COST: Tickets $30 in advance, $35 at the door

Experience the past and present beauty of four noteworthy local gardens Saturday, June 26 on the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society’s garden tour, “Nature By Design: A Tour of Four Historic Gardens”. The tour is presented in conjunction with the Historical Society’s exhibit Nature By Design: Drawings of the Foundation for Architecture and Landscape Architecture, 1926-1935.

The tour highlights four gardens that still contain remnants of their original design, or have been thoughtfully restored: Covin Tree (the former Walter and Katherine Brewster estate), Fairlawn (the former Farwell-McGann estate), House of the Four Winds (the former Hugh and Mary McBirney estate), and Villa Turicum (the former Harold and Edith R. McCormick estate).

Participants in the tour will have a unique opportunity to compare the gardens’ current splendor with renderings created over 75 years ago by budding professionals. The exhibit Nature By Design features over thirty original sketches and watercolors of Lake Forest sites drawn by students of architecture and landscape architecture in the 1920s and 1930s. These students were invited to attend a special program of summer training in Lake Forest, the Foundation for Architecture and Landscape Architecture, where they learned from masters of the field and used the local homes and gardens as models for study. Among these models were the four gardens included in the tour.

The self-guided tour is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and begins at the Historical Society, where participants will pick up their tour booklet. Tickets are $30 in advance ($35 at the door) and available on the web at or by calling the Historical Society at 847.234.5253.

The Nature By Design exhibit will have special hours for those on the tour and will be open on June 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The exhibit is generally open to the public on Tuesdays,Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society is located at 361 E. Westminster in Lake Forest.

The program was made possible by contributions from Lesser, Lutrey & McGlynn, LLP

Monday, May 31, 2010

Chicago Victory Gardens lecture on June 16th

Victory Garden at Peterson and Campbell, circa 1940s

The Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society invites you to join us on the for a lecture titled "Chicago Victory Gardens:Yesterday and Tomorrow".

Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 7:00pm, Devon Bank, lower level meeting room, 6444 N. Western.

Listen as avid gardener and blogger LaManda Joy unearths the fascinating stories behind Chicago's World War II Victory Garden effort. LaManda will reveal how Chicago mobilized to deal with food rationing and
severely decreased resources while building morale and community pride to become the Victory Garden role model for the entire nation.

Outlining parallels between the Victory Gardeners of the 1940s and the booming garden movement of today, LaManda will also discuss her latest endeavor, The Peterson Garden Project,

Admission to Lecture

$5.00 per adult, $1.00 per child under 12

RP/WRHS members: free

All proceeds benefit RP/WRHS and The Peterson Garden Project.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wild life in West Ridge

Last Sunday at 7:20 a.m., running with my dog, Dickens, south on McCormick, we got to Devon, and we noticed four deer on the south-east corner. Standing. Waiting for the light to change, maybe. Then three more deer came up from the canal, then two more, and another. In all, 11 deer congregated at Devon and McCormick. The light changed to green, and they all moved north, as gracefully as a breeze.

This past week, Michele and Dickens walked around Indian Boundary, and spotted a bunch of baby ducks. The whole pack of them wouldn't make an appetizer. Cute yellow fluffy things.

The goslings can't be far behind.

A great beautiful weekend shaping up in West Ridge. I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy it!


Friday, March 26, 2010

RPWRHS Tour on May 2

The Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society will host its Annual House Walk on Sunday, May 2, 2010 from 12 Noon to 5:00 p.m. This year’s tour will highlight homes surrounding Indian Boundary Park, including the notable Park Castles and Park Gables apartment buildings.

Registration for the house walk is available at or by calling (773) 764-4078. Admission is $25 for society members and $30 for non-members. A discounted rate of $20 for members and $25 for non-members will be offered through April 25. Day-of registration will be available at the Indian Boundary Park Cultural Center, 2500 West Lunt Ave. beginning at 12 Noon. The last tour will start at 3:30 p.m.

Several units of the Park Castles and Park Gables will be open for the tour as well as the buildings’ spectacular Art Deco swimming pools. The apartments grace the eastern and northern boundary of the park – a magnificent group of Gothic and Tudor Revival style structures built in the late 1920s by developers Gubbins, McDonnell & Blietz.

Indian Boundary Park was opened in 1922 as the centerpiece of the Ridge Avenue Park District. The 13-acre park was designed as a pastoral landscape with picturesque gardens, a lagoon with a small island, rolling lawns, and meandering paths. Its field house, now the Indian Boundary Park Cultural Center, was designed by prominent architect Clarence Hatzfeld, and is noted for its unusual combination of Tudor Revival design and Native American images and sculptures.

Several other homes near the park owned by notable 1920s personalities will be included in the tour. The Indian Boundary area is a hidden gem on the north side, with an abundance of historically and architecturally significant buildings and landscapes.

A new exhibit in the park’s cultural center, A Park is Your Front Yard: Indian Boundary Park and the Gubbins, McDonnell & Blietz Co-ops, 1915-1929 will be open to tour participants on May 2.

The Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society was formed in 1975 to preserve the history of Rogers Park and West Ridge as a vital part of the City of Chicago, and to provide interactive education about these communities to the public.