1701 W. Chase Avenue
29th Annual House Tour Booklet: pages 11, 12, & 13.
This American 12-room, single-family residence at 1701 W. Chase Avenue, was originally 775 W. Chase Avenue, built Monday, July 1, 1900, until 1909 when the City of Chicago did its street re-numbering. The house features a beautiful wrap-around porch, natural stone first floor exterior and fireplace, and all of its original woodwork. The house is featured in the two-volume edition, The Book of the North Shore, Volume 1, page 60 compiled in 1910 by Marian A. White. At that time the town location was identified as Birchwood Beach rather than Chicago.
Lewis P. Hammond, a prominent businessman in the insurance industry, along with his wife, Marie Hammond and daughters Edith Hammond, Margaret Hammond, and Marie Hammond lived in this house until 1928 when it was sold to the Thomas Thompson family. Thomas Thompson was a executive with the Standard Oil Company. He and his family lived here until the 1940s. Two (possibly three) other families occupied the house until the current owner Bindy Bitterman and her husband Richard Bitterman purchased it in 1965.
Sometime in 2000, Barbara Thompson, who would have been about 76 years old, came by her old home to see if it still held memories for her; it did. Richard Bitterman invited her in, and Barbara told him of her life as a child in the house, and of her father's upgrade of the home system from gas lamps. She remembered her weekly chore of ironing her father's handkerchiefs (at 4 years old!). One day, she had left her hot toy electric iron on the floor of the dining room. Imagine her shock when her father showed her the scorch mark, still there though the Bittermans--and no doubt previous owners--had the floors refinished several times over the years. Copious tears all around!
Sometime prior to the Bitterman's ownership, the original wooden front stairway was modified to include attractive decorative ironwork. The Bittermans remodeled the kitchen, achieving a very handsome and functional but period look. In the yard, in addition to two antique City of Evanston street lamps, are a remodeled garage. (one stall became three, with an "attic" for storage.) carport, deck, and decorative pathways that the Bittermans laid front and back. You can see Richard's autographed brickwork under the gate at the carport, it marks the completion of the garage renovation.
The railroad ties that border the front and sides--Bindy isn't sure who first installed them--have been maintained as well, although these days it is very hard to obtain usable railroad ties for replacement.
Known as the Lewis P. Hammond House, in 1995 the Bitterman residence was classified by the Chicago Landmarks Historic Resources Survey as "having some historic or architectural importance." It is Bindy Bitterman's hope that the next owners will love, cherish, and care for the home as she and her husband have for over 50 years.
Historic Name: Lewis P. Hammond House
Community: Rogers Park (01)
Address: 1701 W. Chase Avenue
Constructed: Started in 07/01/1900
Style: American Four Square
Type: Single-Family Residence
Color Code: Orange
National Register? N