In the interests of protecting our community amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rogers Park West Ridge Historical Society hosted the 2020 and 2021 Historic House Walks as virtual events. Instead of the tradition of opening several homes to visitors in the course of one afternoon, we extended the virtual tours over the course of five Sundays in 2020 and four Sundays in 2021; sharing the story of one notable residence each week over Zoom. The stories of the homes and families featured in these episodes were gathered as part of our Property History Quest service. Here, you’ll find every episode from the 2020 and 2021 virtual tours. We look forward to a time when it is once again safe to gather and resume our annual tradition in person.
2020 Virtual House Walk: A (Virtual) Walk through Time and Space
In 2020, we toured five historic buildings that continue to impact our community today. For each property, we examine the development of Rogers Park from a rugged frontier to bustling urban neighborhood. The residences featured include
- A thoroughly up-dated three-bedroom unit in the Midcentury Modern Winston Towers Condominium Complex at the very edge of West Ridge – a complex that was marketed as an alternative to suburban home ownership in the 1960s.
- A look inside a quintessential Rogers Park two-flat, which even today feature ideal units for families and newcomers alike.
- A quant cottage-like home that features a spacious garden and on-site art gallery; but was built in the section of Rogers Park once nicknamed “No Man’s Land.”
- A 120-year-old Victorian home that was built by a prominent businessman and is under restoration by its current owner.
- An elegantly restored Park Gables apartment, one of Chicago’s early cooperative apartment buildings, and one that boasts a surprising history.
2021 Virtual House Walk: From the Great Chicago Fire to the 21st Century
Our 2021 Virtual House Walk begins with the Great Chicago Fire, and the entrepreneurs who helped rebuild the neighborhood in its aftermath. The four houses selected exemplify the amalgamation of proprietors, immigrants, artists, and families that made Roger’s Park “the world in one neighborhood.” These four houses include
- A single-family home owned by an eccentric restaurateur with a noted disdain for both speed limits and labor unions.
- An early two-flat owned and occupied by the same Norwegian-Prussian American family for six decades.
- A luxury beachfront cooperative built by Scottish immigrants who worked their way up in Rogers Park real estate.
- The Pollard House, a single-family home owned by the first African American family to live in Rogers Park.
You can watch the recordings of the Zoom presentations by clicking on the photos.
The Rogers Park West Ridge Historical Society currently has a petition to rename Christian Paschen Park “The Pollard Family Park” in honor of the neighborhood’s first African American family. We would greatly appreciate it if you took the time to read about the Pollards and sign our petition.
A special thank you to the Rogers Park residents who requested property research and kindly walked us through the virtual tours these past two years.