Friday, September 4, 2009

The Prairie Avenue Historic District

Prairie Avenue District ..
Address: 1800 and 1900-blocks of S. Prairie Ave., 1800-block of S. Indiana, and 211-217 E. Cullerton
Year Built: 1836-1900
Architect: Various ..

The Prairie Avenue Historic District was designated a Chicago Landmark: December 27, 1979 ..
It includes 5 houses on the 1800 and 1900 blocks of Prairie Avenue, along with three rowhouses on Cullerton Street .. Clarke House Museum [on S Indiana Ave], individually designated a Chicago Landmark is also included as a part of the historic district ..
As such the Prairie Avenue Historic Distric includes:
# Clarke House [1827 S Indiana Avenue]- 1836 ..
# Glessner House [1800 S Prairie Avenue]- 1887 ..
# Kimball House [1801 S Prairie Avenue]- 1892 ..
# Coleman House [1811 S Prairie Avenue]- 1886 ..
# G Keith House [1900 S. Prairie Avenue] - 1870 ..
# Marshall Field Jr. House [1919 S. Prairie Avenue]- 1884 ..
# Three rowhouses [213-217 E Cullerton Street] - 1870-92 ..
Outside the district ..
Three additional residences remain outside the formal boundaries of the Historic District .. though in the vicinity and belong to the same era ..
# Wheeler-Kohn Mansion [2018 S Calumet Avenue]- 1870 ..
# William H. Reid House [2013 S Prairie Avenue]- 1894 ..
# Harriet F. Rees House [2110 S. Prairie Avenue]- 1888 ..

These surviving residences are representative of the range of style and fashion that lined the street during it's heyday in the late 19th century .. In addition, the Second Presbyterian Church, attended by many of the Prairie Avenue families, stands as the lone survior of the religious history of the community ...

The history of Prairie Avenue is closely linked to that of the City of Chicago for nearly 200 years .. The battle of Fort Dearborn took place on August 15, 1812 along the Lake Michigan shoreline in this general vicinity.

Site of the battle of Fort Dearborn ..
The site was marked for over a century by a large cottonwood tree, dating to the time of the massacre... After the tree died, it as replaced by a bronze statue commissioned by George Pullman in 1893 .. the monument was removed in 1931 ... Now this plaque marks the site of this pivotal event in Chicago's early history ...

Clarke House ..
Address: 1827 S Indiana Avenue ..
Architect: unknown
Completed: 1836 ..
Chicago's oldest house, built in Greek Revival style .. has now been converted into a museum..

Apart from Clarke House, other buildings that make-up for the Landmark Prairie Avenue Historic District include ..

Glessner House..
Address: 1800 S Prairie Avenue ..
Architect: Henry H. Richardson..
Completed: 1887 ..
This National Historic Landmark and Chicago Landmark contains many of the original furnishings of John and Francis Glessner, proponents of the emerging Arts and Crafts Movement in the late 19th century.

William W. Kimball House ..
Address: 1801 S. Prairie Avenue ..
Architect: Solon S. Berman
Completed: 1892 ..
This imposing Chateauesque-style home with elaborate stone-trim and mansard roof was built for the owner of Kimball Piano & Organ Company .. it now serves as the headquarters of the U.S. Soccer Federation [along with the next-door Coleman House] ..

Joseph G. Coleman House ..
Address: 1811 S. Prairie Avenue
Architect: Cobb & Frost
Completed: 1886

This brown sandstone residence built for the owner of a hardware company now serves along with Kimball House, as the headquarters of the U.S. Soccer Federation ..

Elbridge G. Keith House ..
Address: 1900 S. Prairie Avenue
Architect: John W. Roberts
Completed: 1870
The last surviving example of the Second Empire style on the Prairie Avenue. This was one of the several homes on the street occupied by members of Keith family ...

Marshall Field Jr. House ..
Address: 1919 S. Prairie Avenue ..
Architect: Solon S. Beman .. 1884..
D. H. Burnham & Co. ... 1902 ..
This house was enlarged several times throughoput its history and was extensively restored in the early 2000's after sitting largely vacant for twenty-five years ..

Three row houses: 213-217 E. Cullerton Street..
213: Thompson & Rapp architects .. 1891 ..
215: architect unknown .. 1870 ..
217: Thompson & Rapp architects .. 1892 ..
The houses at 213 and 217 for Dr. Charles W. Purdy and Hohn M. Clark respectively, replaced houses that would have matched the surviving Italianate-style rowhouse at 215 ..

For more on ..
# Clarke House [Chicago Landmark].. click here ..
# Glessner House [Chicago Landmark] .. click here ..
# Kimball House, Coleman House, Keith House, Marshall Field Jr. House .. click here ..
# Three row houses: 213-217 E. Cullerton Street .. click here ..
# Prairie Avenue - birth, glory, decline, rebirth .. click here ..
# Site of the Battle of Fort Dearborn .. click here ..
# Chicago Women's Park and Gardens .. click here ..

AND nearby ..
# Wheeler-Kohn Mansion [Chicago Landmark] .. click here ..
# William H. Reid House .. click here ..
# Harriet F. Rees House .. click here ..

# Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance .. click here ..
# Most of the information is from the pamphlet available at the Glessner House Museum .. titled .. Walking Tour Guide, Prairie Avenue Museums and Gardens ..

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