Berwyn Historical Society Continues House Walk Tradition
Today marks the eighth year that the Berwyn Historical Society (BHS) holds its Bungalows and More House Walk between 12pm – 5pm. This year’s tour explores homes in the vicinity of Proksa Park. If you haven’t already done so, you can purchase tickets today for $25 at the Berwyn Historical Society, 1401 Grove Avenue in Berwyn. All tour goers must check in at the historical society prior to beginning the tour.
The BHS house walks are a wonderful opportunity visit various Berwyn neighborhoods. It can’t go without saying that the BHS house walk has been credited with inspiring potential homebuyers.
Here is part one of a two part retrospective overview of BHS house walks. (Mea culpa, my photos of the tour posters don’t do them justice! Speaking of tour posters, click here for purchasing information)
2006: Inaugural Tour
The BHS organized the first house walk as a way to pay tribute to Berwyn’s historic bungalow housing stock. Indeed, the tour was billed as the “Historic Berwyn’s Bungalow Tour.” The tour featured five homes (four bungalows and one American four square) and one church:
- 3104 Maple Avenue
- 2827 Maple Avenue (According to the tour book, Al Capone’s bodyguard Louis ‘Little New York’ Campagna called this house home from 1929-1954.)
- 6945 Riverside Drive (Also known as the “Dvorak House,” this home recently has been designated a local landmark.)
- 2312 Grove Avenue
- 6727 Riverside Drive
- 26th Street and Riverside Drive (Trinity Community Church-United Church of Christ).
2007: 2nd Tour Explores NoBe
Pristine bungalows and a house of worship located in North Berwyn were the featured in the 2007 tour, including the home of then seventh ward alderman and current mayor Robert Lovero:
- 1824 Wenonah
- 1627 Home Avenue
- 1942 Home Avenue
- 2102 Home Avenue
- 1922 Clinton Avenue
- 1900 Oak Park Avenue (First Reformed Church of Berwyn)
2008 : 3rd Tour Celebrates Berwyn Centennial
2008 marked Berwyn’s 100th anniversary and the BHS held a humdinger of a house walk that was on the schedule of centennial festivities for the City of Homes.
Tour goers explored five homes and one church between Cermak Road and 26th Street, thoroughfares that the tour program describes has having “. . . defined the path of westward movement of Czech settlers from Chicago”:
- 2301 Elmwood Avenue
- 2307 Elmwood Avenue
- 2323 Elmwood Avenue
- 2528 Elmwood Avenue
- 2525 Ridgeland Avenue
- 2244 East Avenue (St. Odilo Roman Catholic Church)
The Suburban Life Newspaper published a profile of James Bond (owner of 2301 Elmwood Avenue) and Beverly and Trent Weable* (owners of 2521 Ridgeland Avenue) prior to the tour. In addition to the homes listed above, the tour program called attention to the Berwyn Township Public Health District building (6600 West 26th Street) which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Berwyn Health Center.”
Note: * Beverly and Trent Weable will be honored with the 2014 CoHo Award at this year’s City of Homes Organization fundraiser.
2010: Fourth Tour Showcases the Depot District
- 6439 30th Place
- 3131 Wisconsin Avenue
- 7124 35th Street
- 3549 Maple Avenue
- 6639 34th Street
- 6644 34th Street
- 3250 East Avenue
- 6732 34th Street (St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church)
3131 Wisconsin Avenue, also known as the Arthur J Dunham Home, is an example of prairie school architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Chester Bragg House located on 6644 34th Street is believed to be a Frank Lloyd Wright American Systems-Built home.
Part Two will recap subsequent BHS house walks: 2011, 2012, and 2013.