The area of Rogers Park known locally by the name of its block club, “Lunt Avenue Neighbors” lies in a low pocket of land between the prehistoric lakeshores marked by Ridge Avenue on the west and Clark Street on the east, from Pratt Avenue on the south to Touhy Avenue on the north. Although often swampy, the land attracted early settlers who wanted to be close to Clark Street, the main road north from Chicago.
The pace of residential and commercial development rose dramatically after the Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad (then Chicago & North Western Railway, now Metra) came through, and in 1873 established a depot near Greenleaf and Ravenswood Avenues. The growth helped Rogers Park gain incorporation as a village in 1878. More construction followed. The numerous Victorian-style homes, particularly in the Ialianate and Queen Anne styles that graced the neighborhood today came from this period.
As Chicago’s growth surged forward in the early 20th Century, all of Rogers Park underwent a fresh building boom. In this era, the houses shifted to the new styles, usually the popular American Four Square, or Bungalow. Little additional construction occurred until recent years, now usually on the site of razed structures.
Parks and other urban amenities, of course, followed population growth. Near the heart of the Lunt Avenue Neighbors area is Paschen Parkj, which opened in 1929 at the northeast corner of Lunt and Damen. The park is named for Christian P. Paschenm the commissioner of Buildings for Chicago from 1927 to 1931. The original fieldhouse was enlarged and remodeled in 1947. The city installed playbround equipment and a center playfield, which was flooded for ice-skating in the winter.
Nestled between the two prehistoric shorelinesm, this neighborhood is enjoying a resurgence. The broad losts and large homes constitute one of the most elegant parts of Chicago’s North Side. The railroad, now Metra, still stops at Lunt and Ravenswood and not too much further is the CTA. A variety of shops, restaurants, and services line Clark Street. Few of the residents realize that they live in what might well be called the “original Rogers Park,” but they treasure the architecture and guardens of this residential pocket.
2006 House Tour Booklet