April 01, 2011

A History of My Block

My Block called
 Stratford Place
the double red lines indicated the location of my street
from Broadway to inner Lake Shore Drive
Some Background 
on the Street Names & Location
1887 Rascher's Map
located the X's
zoomed view below
a further zoomed view below
Charles T. Gilbert Real Estate Map 1890 
Still non-existent
The map below indicated once the street was constructed the initial name of the street was Newport Avenue, an extension of the block west of Halsted Street. It appears the street may have been constructed immediately after that map was published. The font 'Newport Ave' appears to be typed-in?? on the map apparently just after it was rolled off the presses in 1892.
*pre 1909 addresses*
Newport east of Evanston Avenue (Broadway) was an extension of the same street west of Halsted Street
A street name change to Broadway occurred in 1913
*post 1909 addresses below*
 Rufus Blanchard Map 1897
University of Chicago Digital Map Collections
I begin this Post 
with a Parking Lot
505 W Stratford Place
corner of inner Lake Shore Drive/Stratford Place
I was always intrigued by this ornate metal fence and the parking lot within it. After a few keyword searches from the Chicago Public Library online the answer to my intrigue was revealed with the illustration of a real estate advertisment of a residence what was then the corner of Sheridan Road (inner Lake Shore Drive) & Stratford Place. The Behr residence was designed by architect 
George W. Maher in 1914 as well as another building on at 551 Stratford Place in the 1890's. 
Edith Lehmann Behr was the daughter of an inherited six million dollar JL Lehmann Estate while he husband, Leslie was noted as a 'wealthy sportsman'. Edith Behr's remaingin family would later move to Lake Forest shortly after her husband's death in 1938. The building did not survive beyond the 1960's according to an aerial map of that period to be replaced by a parking lot by 1972 by the Temple Sholom.
 photos - Garry Albrecht 2011
Before the Parking Lot 
At this time inner Lake Shore Drive was called 
Sheridan Road prior to 1931 
from Diversey to just north of Grace Street
The Construction Phase 1914
images - 'Construction News Magazine' via 
LakeView Historical contributor Kevin Peterson
the view from Stratford Place before the fence
the view Sheridan Road before the fence
with backyard car entrance
a Then and Now
R.W.R. Capes via Tom Morrisey, Original Chicago-Facebook
2021 text & photo by Carey Wintergreen
Benjamin Leslie [& Edith] Behr Residence
Now: Temple Sholom parking lot
505 W Stratford Pl corner of N Lake Shore Dr
Later known as: 3466 N Lake Shore Dr
Architect: George W Maher
Style: Italian Renaissance
▪️1914 | Behr constructs a 15-room mansion
▪️1942 | Mansion purchased by Harriet Henry Young 
▪️1950 | Mansion converted to 7 apartments
[1961 Mansion purshased by Temple Sholom]
▪️ 1967 [or shortly after] | Demolished
The Daughter, Miss Edith
daughter of LJ & Edith Lehmann
who was raised at 505 Stratford Place
photo - The Chicagoan
with a story about her parents and their investments
all her money was inherited by her father who owned the 
Fair Department Store - a sorta version of Marshall Fields
Purchase of property at 505 Stratford Place 
This family owned a well known Department store in the Loop called The Fair. Edith's daughter (also named Edith) and son-in-law would occupy the residence by 1916
Edith's father below
photo - The Chicagoan

Beauty and Privilege 
press photo in 1931
press photo in 1933
press photo in 1936

 a view from Sheridan Road 
during the construction of Temple Sholom in the late 1920's 
 inner Lake Shore Drive, at that time, was called Sheridan Road
photo below - Carey Wintergreen
 via Forgotten Chicago Discussion Group-Facebook
a zoomed view below of her residence
from Sheridan Road (inner Lake Shore Drive)
and the construction of the temple
A Millionaire Bought 
the Building in 1942
505 Stratford Place
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
X marks the spot
“Temple Sholom bought the house in 1961 for $195,000 after Mrs. Young's death. They planned to use the building for temple activities, chiefly women's activities. But in 1967, it was still standing because a newspaper story talked about the house being vandalized and that it had been empty for a while. Mrs. Young [the last apparent owner] was a big socialite and left a million dollars’ worth of jewelry when she died. [with] no heirs.” - Newspapers.com
The Permits of the Demolition 
According to these permits that I obtained from the City of Chicago formerly called 'buildings department' 
a coach house was demolished in 1987 

The 505 Stratford 
George Maher
The architect of both 505 & 
551 Stratford Place
George W Maher began his architectural career soon after the family’s arrival in Chicago, as an apprentice at the age of 13. By the late 1880's, he joined Joseph Silsbee’s firm, where he worked alongside Frank Lloyd Wright for nearly three years. Both Maher and Wright began designing houses in the early 1890's, for themselves and a small list of clients, largely within the prevailing style of the time—Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Gothic Revival. Mr. Maher built his home in the North Shore neighborhood of Kenilworth, and Wright in the western suburb of Oak Park.
This sample of his work from a sale in 2017 located in Buena Park that was constructed in 1913. The 505 Stratford building was constructed the following year in 1914. Here are some interior views of the residence in Buena Park. The 505 building may have had a somewhat similar motiff to its interior.

 The Other Building 
by George Maher
551 Stratford Place
This house was built almost ten years before 
the house at 505 Stratford Place. Notice the two different styles. Most of these type of homes can be seen in Edgewater, 
another location for George Maher
images - Art Institute of Chicago

advertisement below -  Art Institute of Chicago
Almost Replaced
in October 1929
The article below is about how the Maher building that was to be replaced by a 'flat' / apartment building. The article is dated October 29, 1929 four days after the stock market collapsed.  I am assuming the developer lost funding. The Maher house still exists at 551 Stratford Place. The exterior of the house is original while the interior had been completely renovated in the 2000's to meet the needs of the current familyIn fact, the when the current owners of the house renovated the interior that found a walled-in stain glass window (see photo above) plus lots of whisky bottles within the interior walls aparently for the original labors.
A Planned Development 
Ended by the Depression
photo - Owlcation
 551 Stratford Place is the last remaining 
single family residence on the block as of 2022
Lois Weisberg lived in the house for decades
photo - Chicago Tribune
Beginning in the 1980s, Ms. Weisberg served two Chicago mayors as the head of the office of special events in the administration of Harold Washington, who died in office in 1987, and, from 1989 to 2011, as the city’s commissioner for cultural affairs under Richard M. Daley. In those roles she was responsible, in whole or in part, for creating programs that have featured hundreds if not thousands of performances and encouraged the participation of thousands if not millions of Chicagoans and visitors. An abbreviated list of her contributions: In 1984, she helped start the Chicago Blues Festival, an annual series of free concerts on the greensward near Lake Michigan now called Millennium Park; the city now boasts of it as the largest blues festival in the world. Another musical extravaganza she pushed forward, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, held its 30th program last spring. She was also the driving force behind an annual Summer long series of dance nights with live music in different dance genres.
by Belmont Harbor
 this 1959 press photo is part of my collection
a zoomed view of the Young's home next to Temple Sholom
An Aerial View in 1962 below
all images - NETR Historic Aerials
An Aerial View in 1972 below
A Historical 
Timeline of Sorts
Stratford Place in 1913 - Chuckman Collection
According to a blog by Christopher Payne one of the houses depicted in the above postcard image was designed by architect Joseph Silsbee (blog) who worked with George Maher, the architect of 505 and 551 Stratford Place buildings. Malcom Jamieson's home is in the foreground of the postcard above, Judge Malcom Jamieson's residence was next and to the once Harvey home just west of that. Judge Jamieson's residence was located at the pre 1909 address of 38 Stratford Place with a post-1909 address of 
536 Stratford Place.
Judge Jamieson residence below and hightlighed above
The Judge - photo from their blog
According to this mention/linked blog, "Judge Jamieson's home is not unique for architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee's designed work in this period and it is one of four known Dutch Colonial homes that he designed in 1888. There are a handful of unique features of in this particular design though. One is the incorporation of two discrete, almost complete, circle-rooms in the design. One is part of the sweeping front porch that stretches completely across the front of the home and wraps around the east side. From here you would have had a remarkable view of the lake, that was only a block away. Another circular room was situated on the northeast corner of the home and served as the judge's library." 
The name of 'Stratford' apparently was chosen after the area in England called Stratford-upon-Avon - the home address of William Shakespeare. There is an apartment building modeled after the writers old street simply called Stratford Apartments shown below.
postcard - Chicago History in Postcards
The half moon driveway and the canopy is now long gone
Modeled after ...
postcard - Ebay
postcard below - Ebay
 Conversion of Addresses
Corresponding pre/post-1909 addresses
Name change from Newport Avenue in 1913

1894 Map 
in sections
Sectional 1 
*blue wave indicates the lakefront*
Sectional 2
Sectional 3 
Sectional 4
Sectional 5
 The Residents 
as of 1909 
The Chicago Blue Book of Selected Names 
of Chicago & Suburban Towns 

as of 1912
Who Were They?
Most of the residents on my block 
were families of prominence:
* Luise Henriette Kober Boldenweck (and son Felix) lived at 609 was apparently the sister-in-law to the only mayor of City of Lake View, Fredrick William, mayor from 1887-1889. In 1889 the City of Lake View was annexed to Chicago. Her husband died from an accident in 1896 and she died in 1923. Felix was also nephew of the former mayor.
* Joseph B. Cavanaugh of 523 was 'executive head' of the Western Coal and Dock Company 
* William Birk president of the Birk Brothers Brewing Co.
George M. Harvey (& Company) who lived at 600 owned his own insurance company. (more on this one later)
William Nash who resided at 619 was a regarded as a 'leading bachelor'  according to a Harvard University publication of 1908
* Samuel Taylor located at 561 (50 was the pre-1909 address) owned a metal company.
* Oswald F. Kropf  who resided at 554 was secretary and treasurer of a manufacturing company called Findeisen & Kropf as of 1918.
There appears to be a connection between Oswald Kropf and 
Henry Beneke. Mr. Beneke gained an interest in Mr. Findeisen's company and the company had a new name of Beneke & Kropf Manufacturing Company as of 1919. Henry became VP and Oswald Kropf the president.
* Gilbert Scribner who resided 551 was a honorary member of  Chicago Real Estate Board.
* Theodore Fathauer apparently an executive of a lumber company.
* R. A. Junker who resided at 629 apparently was regional manager of a out-of-state brewing company.
Vintage News 
from Stratford Place:
A Crime on the Block??
according to the Chicago Daily Tribune
This is a 1897 story about a disturbance on Stratford Place involving a cat and police from Halsted police station - Old Town Hall. 

A theft of a resident 
who resided at 50 Stratford Place in 1908
Resident of 523 Stratford Place 
dies in 1912
Joseph Cavanaugh - man of industry
In 1918  
This article below is a tale involving a 
resident's automobile and this 'rough fellow'.
Also in 1918 
Edith's (Lehmann) Behr's mother dies 
   and the Family Wealth:
This article indicates the total wealth of 
E.J. Lehmann, CEO and owner of The Fair in 1900
$10,000,000 in 1900 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $307,742,857.14 in 2020, an increase of $297,742,857.14 over 120 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.90% per year between 1900 and 2020, producing a cumulative price increase of 2,977.43%. This means that prices in 2020 are 30.77 times higher than average prices since 1900, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. The 1900 inflation rate was 1.20%. 

The Lehmann's initial residence in Lake View was on the southwest corner of Waveland and inner Lake Shore Drive. After old man Lehmann died his wife moved and owned a massive home where Elk's Memorial is now located.
The last of the Lehmann Estate 
Sold in 1953
The Lehmann's were major property owners 
in Lake View particularly north and south of Diversey Parkway
Stratford Place
by 1923
In 1924 
the Construction of the Luxury 
Stratford Apartments 

In 1926  
This article is about the construction of apartment Co-Op complex located west of the Stratford Apartments at 532-536 
photo - Univerisity of Illinios via Explore Chicago
a Brochure of the Building
images - Art Institute of Chicago 
via a Moody's 1944 publication
 built in 1927


text from the above pamphlet
'Stratford-Cornelia Corporation Incorporated [owner] in 1935 is to acquire property securing the former 534 Stratford Place Building Corp first 614s pursuant to reorganization of property under section 77B of Bankruptcy Act Bondholders received one share of stock for each $100 bond Property Comprises land owned In fee 15 story apartment building erected thereon located at 534 36 38 Stratford Place and extending through to 535 37 39 Cornelia Ave Chicago. Building of face brick and stone fireproof construction contains master rooms and 392 auxiliary rooms divided into 138 apartments' 
image - my collection
with modern interior views of 535
2020 views from Wirtz Residential
dining room above
living room below
The corner stone was set in place in 1928
 Views of the Building
by Garry Albrecht

2021 view at the corner of inner LSD & Stratford Place
photos - Sholom Temple-Facebook
In 1927 
Construction of 609 Stratford Place
*I lived here briefly in early 1990's*
photo above - Garry Albrecht
photo below - Chicago Metro Area Real Estate

According to Chicago Metro Area Real Estate The 609 Stratford is a quaint vintage courtyard elevator building that houses 30 condos within its 6 stories. The condos are divided among the 2 towering buildings which are connected into one entrance and lobby. The entrance is an architectural wood door encased within ornate carved stone. The condos in this vintage building are large 2 and 3 bedroom units with only 2 apartments at each elevator lobby. Each unit also has a private door off their kitchen which leads to the service elevator and the back stairway. These vintage condos have spacious living rooms, high ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces with stone mantels and separate dining rooms. Most have retained the butlers pantries off the kitchen which provide extra prep and storage space. The have ensuite bedrooms and deep closets for a vintage. These units have numerous windows including a large bay in the living room.'
*This was my first residential experience on the block in 1993 living on the top floor with a east-side window view of the harbor*
In 1936  
 Wedding Annoucement on Stratford
and in 1937 
 Marriage was the News of the Decade
In 1939  
Moving in at 540 Stratford Place 
*flats are apartments*
In 1940  
Owner of Brauer Cafe Dies

originally called Lincoln Park Refectory
1908 photo - Art Institute of Chicago
1908 photo - Lincoln Park Zoo Magazine
1911 photo below - Art Institute of Chicago
 Brauer's wife Lived at
 Broadway & Barry by 1928
A Lincoln Park Zoo 
Magazine Review
'Designed by Dwight Perkins in 1908 & originally known as the South Pond Refectory the now called Café Brauer is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1987, The Lincoln Park Zoological Society became responsible for a full-scale restoration of Café Brauer, most of which hadn’t been used since the late 1930's. Many original details, including the entire tile roof, were re-created or restored, which attracts wedding parties that marvel at the beauty of this treasured building.' 
A  Scandal on Stratford!
residence at 566 Stratford Place
Laws were established after this period to protect
 'special need' persons in Illinois

It began in the Autumn of 1941 
and not until August 1943 
was there a resolution
The State of Illinois 
gets Involved in August 1943
Stratford Place
by 1950
In 1953
 War hero 
Lake View High Graduate
In 1957 
a parking lot was planned in the middle of 
Stratford Place at 554 
Today the property is the back end of building 
located on Cornelia Street 
- their pool area is on Stratford Place
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
2021 view below

In 1964 

The leadership of Temple Sholom invited a Nobel Peace Prize candidate to Stratford Place on October 21, Martin Luther King. Dr. King would accept the nomination on December 10th in  in Olso, Norway.

600 Stratford Place
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
designed in 1888
when Lake View was a city 
image - Art Institute of Chicago via Explore Chicago
An Attempt that Failed in 1968
In 2007
 The 'A Victory for History' article highlighted the possible preservation of the old Harvey House 
Pre-2007 Harvey House
back of the house - Art Institute of Chicago
 Art Institute of Chicago via Explore Chicago
Below is an image from a video feed of the fire that destroyed the Harvey House in the 2006
reported by YO Chicago
the aftermath
wood beam ceiling construction: an after the fire photo
Art Institute of Chicago via Explore Chicago
photos after the fire 
Art Institute of Chicago via Explore Chicago
In 2012 
A proposed design for Harvey House was rejected by a local neighborhood association
the 600 property was still vacant as of early 2013
photos above - Garry Albrecht
A 2013 Google Earth view of the vacant space
from Cornelia Avenue to Stratford Place
New and approved construction 
in 2013

2013 Stratford Place views of property
above from Stratford Place and below from Cornelia Avenue
both photos - Chicago Real Estate Local
photos below - Garry Albrecht

More New Construction 
on Stratford Place
New construction for 538 Stratford Place and as of 2010 the building was still not fully developed as planned 
by the latest developer on the Cornelia side
the property stretches from Stratford Place to Cornelia Ave
both photos above - Yo Chicago

 A Residential Renovation 
606 Stratford Place
the before
photo - unknown source
photo - Garry Albrecht
The new owners kept the facade and moved the main entrance from one side to the other
the construction period
photos - Garry Albrecht
the final product
525 Stratford Place
*my former residence 1993-2014*
*lived at 609 Stratford Place 1992-1993*
with another perspective of 4+1's
 a 2009 view of my the building
The interior was completed rehabbed by 2012
Historical Permits of 1965
This blogger resided at 525 Stratford Place. My apartment building was constructed in 1965. The building accommodates over 45 units. My building and the building next to it (523 an existing 4+1 but not renovated) replaced an 8 story 32 unit 3000 sq ft area & 70 ft high apartment building. The images below are 1962 permits for 523 Stratford Place that would accommodate two 4+1's. 
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
      addresses 523 & 529 were decommissioned 
for the new address of 525
 images below - Cook County Records Department 
 Rehabbing 525 Stratford 
in Photos
2012 photo - Garry Albrecht
the before
and the after 
the street sidewalk view
view northwest
 view northeast
2012 photos - Garry Albrecht
In 2011 my building was sold to a rental management company called 'Reside Living'. The building was renamed 'Reside on Stratford'. This company, a decade before, renovated former Belmont Hotel, now called 'The Belmont on Reside', located on corner of Sheridan Road & Belmont Avenue into luxury apartments. In 2012 Reside Living began the process of completely rehabbing my 47 year old building into 'city living redefined' - there words not mine. This rental company added new technology into a building meant for single/couple individual occupancy while maintaining 1960's keeping to the originality of the purpose of the 4+1's. These
intimate luxury apartments of the early 21st century will redefine the concept of 'single occupancy buildings' now meant for wealthier urban dwellers instead of its initial intent - the working poor. 
My First Residence on Stratford:
609 Stratford Place
I lived on the 7th floor with window facing east
and then moved with my boyfriend at
525 Stratford Place
I lived on both studio's # 477 & # 576
The Stratford Place 
Block Club
In 2013 Stratford Place had a short-lived Block Club that only lasted a few months before the organizer-me had to move to Oak Lawn to be with my aging father. Due to the fact that the street is located between two city wards both Alderman Cappleman & Tunney attended the the first and only meeting in the oldest remaining house on Stratford Place. 
a flyer was distributed 6 weeks before the event 
below are some photos of that event taken my me
 The location on the block was offered 
and the meeting room assembled with food
food was donated 
by Revolucion Mexican Steakhouse 
located on the corner of Stratford Place & Broadway
 Alderman's Cappleman & Tunney
Chicago Phoenix photos
also in attendence was
19th District Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris
I moved to Oak Lawn in 2014 to live with my the then 86 year old father. I decide in January of 2020 that there is no reason why I can not reconnect and revitalize this association of neighbors, former neighbors who still are friends to me.
A New View of Broadway 
from Stratford Place 2022
photo - 44th ward office
2021 photo - Garry Albrecht
a 2019 Google Map view of Treasure Island

Post Notes:
Here are the construction dates 
of most of the buildings on the block
 I compiled a list of construction dates of 
the buildings on my block as of 2010 

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Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!

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