Lakewood Balmoral Historic District: An Assortment of Eclectic Turn-of-the-Century Single-Family Homes

A view of Lakewood Avenue shows a row of homes with front porches, generous setbacks and sidewalks that lend to the neighborhood feel of the Lakewood Balmoral district.

A view of Lakewood Avenue shows a row of homes with front porches, generous setbacks and sidewalks that lend to the neighborhood feel of the Lakewood Balmoral district.

Today at I Speak Vintage we are taking a deeper look at one of Chicago’s most unique neighborhoods that is rich in history, charm and neighborhood feel.

The land that would become the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District was purchased by John Lewis Cochran in 1890 as the third addition to his larger Edgewater development. It would become a middle-class residential district made up of single-family homes of a variety of architectural styles from the late 19th century including Queen Anne, Shingle-style and Dutch Colonial. Other, slightly later homes in the district show influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement that was so popular at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Patrick H. McNulty House by Holabird and Roche - 1898.  Image source: http://www.chicagovelo.com/edgewater5.html

The Patrick H. McNulty House by Holabird and Roche – 1898.
Image source: http://www.chicagovelo.com/edgewater5.html

A number of influential architects designed homes in the neighborhood including Holabird and Roche’s 1898 design at 5453 N. Lakewood. The architects of this Colonial Revival home are well known in Chicago for landmarks such as the Marquette Building and the Palmer House. They were instrumental in developing the Chicago School of architecture and were one of the first to promote the use of steel frames to create some of the world’s first skyscrapers.

Many of these homes in the Lakewood Balmoral district are bursting with character and hand-made details that we have long since lost the skill to create in new buildings. Hand-carved moldings, spindles and fireplaces, wood floors in a variety of species and built-in cabinets are rampant in these homes. Historic wallpaper and plaster finishes as well as art glass windows are not uncommon to find in these homes.

interior

The fact that many of these homes still stand today show how well they were built and how broadly their hand-crafted character has been embraced over the years. Many of the homes have been well-maintained and lovingly restored. Others have been updated and modernized sensitively so as to maintain their historic character.

Since January, 2013, eleven homes have sold in Lakewood Balmoral  above the $500k mark with an average market time of 101 days  and average sales price hovering around 931k. 1310 W. Bryan Mawr topped the list with a sale price of 1.57m. O-N-E day in the market!

Limited sales activity is testament to a content neighborhood of owners that love where they live.

With the lake just to the east and the lively Andersonville neighborhood to the west, this neighborhood has a lot to offer. The Uptown neighborhood – one that we blogged about here not long ago as potentially rebounding as an entertainment district – is just a few blocks south of the Lakewood Balmoral district. Red Line ‘L” stops at Berwyn and Bryn Mawr make for a short and pleasant commute into the heart of the city from the neighborhood.

If you are looking for a home with loads of hand-made character in a friendly, walkable neighborhood, you can’t do much better than the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District.

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