1217 W. Chase Avenue

From HistoryWiki

1217 W. Chase Avenue is now the North Shore School

This school was included in the 2000 Annual Fall House Tour.

Circa: 1906

The North Shore School was originally built as the Birchwood Country Club. The Club offered its members a wide variety of recreational activities, but served as a social club as well. Outdoor amenities consisted of a nine-hole putting green, bathing beach, canoeing, and croquet. Indoor activities included dancing, cards, billiards, and a three-lane bowling alley in the basement.

Social events at the Club included Monday Men's Nights, when men would gather to play games, socialize, and smoke cigars. Ladies Wednesday Afternoons saw women holding card parties, concerts, and luncheons. Automobile Runs to popular vacations spots were held; sometimes lasting two or three days. There were special parties for seasonal events, including Harvest Home, Halloween parties, New Year's Eve parties, Snow parties, St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and young folks dance parties--for sons and daughters of members with chaperones always in attendance.

In the late 1920s, a series of questionable zoning decisions led to the eventual closing of the Club. A real estate developer was inexplicably allowed to purchase lakefront water rights, fill in the space, and build a large apartment building, cutting off the club's access to the beachfront. After this, members sitting on the club's lake-facing porch could only see common brick and back stairways.

The North Shore School moved into the building in 1943. Founded in 1938, the school is an independent, non-profit elementary school offering small class sizes, and individualized instruction. Over the years, the school altered the building to accommodate its growing numbers, but remnants of the old club can still be seen. The second floor ball room is now being used as a gymnasium and assembly hall, and one of the original Brunswick bowling alleys in the basement is still being used by students.