Chicago, IL 60647, USA
To Educate about, Preserve and Beautify
our Historic Neighborhood
Logan Square Preservation is a non-profit (501 (c) (3)) community organization dedicated to educating citizens about architecture, history and beautification. To read the bylaws click on this link.
LSP holds a monthly meeting (Third Thursdays) to discuss all issues and projects.
Meeting Time: 7 PM
Location: The Minnekirken
2614 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Future Meeting Dates:
June 20th, 2019
July 18th, 2019
August 15th, 2019
September 19th, 2019
October 17th, 2019
President: Andrew Schneider
Vice-President: Jaime Szubart
Treasurer: Bruce Anderson
Secretary: William Bennett
Comfort Station is a turn-of-the-century structure turned multidisciplinary arts space in the heart of Chicago’s Logan Square. Originally a shelter for trolley riders in the early 1900s, the building was eventually defunct and was used to store the city’s lawn equipment for decades. The space was adopted and restored in 2010 by Logan Square Preservation and opened as its current incarnation as a community-focused art space in 2011.
Annual Preservation Award
Each December, Logan Square Preservation presents an award to the best preservation project for that year.
Become a Member
Current Members: Log in here for past meeting minutes and committee reports.
Not sure of your login? Use the Forgot Password link with your email address.
ZONING & LAND USE
Recent letters from Logan Square Preservation's Preservation and Restoration Committee regarding zoning amendment requests.
To submit a new proposal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. (*Please update your address book - other email addresses will be discontinued.)
Logan Square Preservation is committed to keeping its residents informed about development in our community. We are also working to ensure transparency in government processes relating to zoning and land use, and encourage responsible zoning and development within Logan Square. Our job is to make sure that the voice of Logan Square is heard to keep our neighborhood diverse, sustainable and supportive of our neighbors.
Our mission has several components:
Logan Square Preservation has members living within the borders of Belmont Avenue to the north, the Kennedy Expressway to the northeast, Western Avenue to the east, Armitage Avenue to the south, and Pulaski Road to the west.
Special consideration is given to the Logan Square Historic Boulevard District.
Online Content – New Year 2020
~ coming soon - please check back again ~
Online Content – Fall 2019
Logan Square's Lost Tunnel – Photos and Links
From the Chicago Tribune
Walkway Leads to Gang Turf, August 8, 1986
Angry Residents Close Down Gang Haven, August 25, 1986
(click for full size)
- Markup of IDOT photo from the original construction of the Kennedy, showing the tunnel exit and railroad bridge over Campbell Ave.
- Markup of current aerial view showing path of Campbell Ave where the railroad bridge was removed. Aerial image - Copyright Google.
Current - Past Issues
Click to download a PDF file of current or past issues.
How to Research Your House Without Ever Leaving It
Part One of a New Home Research Guide – by Marcy Marzuki
There are two parts to researching the history of your house, and the first can be done without even leaving it. All you need is Internet access and some time to kill.
The Great Renumbering
The first thing you need to do is to determine what your address was before and after the great Chicago address “streamlining” of 1909. Fortunately, the original guidebook to old and new addresses is available online.
Scroll down to find your street and (they are listed alphabetically with north listed first, then south). Then find your current number under the New column (divided between odd and even numbers). This will be the address your house has had since 1909. The old number next to it is what it was prior to 1909. You will need to know both numbers to go forward with your research.
If you can’t find your street address as it exists today, your street may have changed names. Many Logan Square streets — especially north/south streets close to Humboldt/Sacramento Blvd. — changed names in the late 1800s and and early 1900s. Consult the following websites, and see what it was called before and after 1900. Or skip ahead and find the closest major intersection to locate your street.
Sanborn Fire Maps
Next, go to the Chicago Public Library website. To continue, you will need a Chicago Public Library card. Log in with your card number and zip code. (If you don’t have one, go to the big house of books like people used to before Amazon. The Logan Square branch is at 3030 W Fullerton.) Once you are logged in:
Click Browse > Online Resources > A-Z Resources > Illinois Sanborn Maps
Select Illinois and Chicago
Select Vol. 10 (1896)
Select street index (second page)
Find your street and your pre-1909 house number in the street index. Beside it, you’ll see the sheet number. Go to that sheet to find your house. Once there, you‘ll see the original building’s outline, or an empty lot if your house was built after 1896. House numbers are written near the front of the buildings, running along the street.
Sanborn maps are surprisingly accurate. The outline will approximate the building’s original outer walls, including any protrusions such as a bay window. Other information is shown as abbreviations. An “S” marked on a building stands for store; “D” denotes a dwelling. There will be a number near the letter showing how many stories a house was when built, and B is sometimes written to indicate a usable or occupied basement. This Sanborn key will show you what other abbreviations mean.
Once armed with this information, check out a second set of maps to see changes or additions. Select 1905-1951 and Vol. 10 (1921). The content and numbering of the sheets is consistent across all of the Sanborn maps, so you can go directly to the same sheet number as the 1896 map. Note that your address will have changed to the post-1909 address.
You will be able to see any changes or additions to your house over the 25 years that elapsed between maps. Anything built onto your house will be shown. If your house was built as a single story, it might have changed to a 1½ story, meaning people have finished the attic and moved into it. Garages and sheds (or outhouses) tend to come and go. Depending on what was where on the two maps, you now know if your house was built before or after 1896 or 1921.
If you live in a larger house or multifamily building, there is another way to research. Use your address to do an online search for building permits, which will tell you when your house was built, for whom, and who the architect was. Try both the pre-1909 and post-1909 addresses. Note that only a portion of permits are in the online database. To search all of the past permits, you might have to leave the house.
Before you go to that extreme, there is still some online research to do. There is often a story about the people who lived in your building when they were born, died, got married, won a spelling bee, got drafted, made the honor roll, were injured in a car crash or held up a bank. Before the 1970s, newspapers commonly ran the entire addresses of people mentioned, so these stories can be found by searching for your address in their archives.
Go back to the Chicago Public Library website and choose Browse > Online Resources > A-Z Resources > Chicago Tribune Historical Archive
In the search form, enter your address in quotes. Many times the directional was left off an address, so you will want to try every variation. To search 1932 N. California Ave, try variations like “1932 California” “1932 N. California,” “1932 North California,” etc. This will bring up obituaries, and articles about events involving the people who lived in your building. Classified ads are time-consuming to search through, but worth it. Display ads usually come up if a business was run from your property or if you live in a multiunit property that ran large ads seeking renters. In the case of rental ads for a building, they can often give you clues as to when it was built, as it was common to take out ads for new construction occupancy.
Note the names and ages of any person associated with your address to find even more by searching the Tribune archive, ancestry.com or another genealogical database. All of this will help build the history of your house.
You can also search names and business addresses you find on the Google e-books site. There are a lot of old trade journals there with classified ads and letters to the editor and all sorts of things can turn up. One of the residents of my house once held a patent, and Matt Bergstrom used it to discover that his long-gone next-door neighbor was a honeybee expert and advertised his own invention to spin the honey out of honeycombs.
And if the people that lived in your house weren’t all that enterprising or newsworthy, you can still find out who lived there in the late 1920s by using this online criss-cross directory. It’s similar to the 1909 directory – Find your street, then your number, and you’ll see who was living there. If you do not see the index or other display issues, try a different web browser. Note that the directory works best in Firefox.
Coming in Part Two
While you can get pretty far without leaving your house, there is so much more you can do that would not fit it in a single newsletter. In the next installment: getting offline and out the door. How to find your construction date (and other telling documents) at the Recorder of Deeds, and do in-person research at UIC, the Chicago History Museum and other locations.
Photos from our recent Logan Square Events!
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HISTORY OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Martin Kimbell and Sarah Smalley-Kimbell from New York establish the first farm in the area; a 160-acre parcel now bounded by Kimball (named for them), Diversey, Fullerton and Hamlin Avenues. Pictured: The Kimbell Farmhouse at the northwest corner of Kimball and Altgeld.
Northwest Plank Toll Road
The Northwest Plank Toll Road is constructed along the path of a historic Native American hunting trail, 14 feet wide, 27 miles from Chicago to Wheeling, Illinois. It was laid out directly from Kinzie Street to a flag struck at Armitage Avenue by W. H. Powell, proprietor of Powell’s Hotel, built in 1840. The road was an important route for the transport of fresh produce and hay. The road eventually provided a link between Chicago and Milwaukee, and then became known as Milwaukee Avenue. Pictured: The toll booth located at Fullerton and Milwaukee the morning after a mysterious fire.
Park Boulevard System
The Illinois Legislature authorizes the creation of a park boulevard system on the city’s periphery for recreation and relief from the rapidly industrializing city. They also served as catalysts for real estate development. It was constructed here by West Parks Commission, designed by Architect William LeBaron Jenney and refined by Landscape Architect Jens Jensen.
The Chicago and North Western Railroad
The Chicago and North Western Railroad constructs two stations to serve the towns of Maplewood and Avondale, spurring growth in this then-rural area. Residents were served with water through several artesian wells.
Churches and Schools
The area’s first church is constructed to serve a growing community of African Americans migrating from the South. Churches are later erected to serve Norwegian, Danish, German, Belgian and Polish communities. Several temples existed to serve the Jewish community.
The first permanent school, a four-room brick building known as the “Little Red Schoolhouse” was constructed near the intersection of Milwaukee and Diversey Avenues and remained in use until 1914. Avondale School followed in 1884, Brentano in 1893, Darwin in 1900 and Monroe in 1905.
Formation of Logan Square
The towns of Jefferson and Maplewood are annexed to the City of Chicago, forming the community of Logan Square, named for John Alexander Logan, Civil War general, politician and founder of Memorial Day.
Metropolitan Elevated Railway
The Metropolitan Elevated begins running trains from the Loop to Logan Square, establishing the area as an important destination and transfer point. Pictured: The Logan Square elevated terminal.
Schwinn Bicycle Company
Arnold, Schwinn & Company construct a bicycle factory on Kostner Street west of the neighborhood. Founder Ignaz Schwinn builds a grand residence on the southeast corner of Palmer Square and nearby apartment building for the company’s employees. The residence was later demolished after being donated to St. Sylvester’s Parish. The parish constructed it's present day school on the site.
The Logan Squares
Jim “Nixey” Callahan quits the Chicago White Sox and purchases an amateur playing field on the north side of Milwaukee Avenue from Sawyer to Diversey. It was the home of the semi-pro team the Logan Squares, who defeated both the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, both coming off the 1906 World Series. It was sold in 1924, the last large parcel in the area’s commercial district.
The Illinois Centennial Monument
The Illinois Centennial Monument is designed and constructed by noted architect Henry Bacon, famous for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Evelyn Longman sculpted the eagle and bas-relief base with allegorical figures inspired by classical imagery with modern elements to represent the state’s history and contributions to the nation including agriculture, transportation, commerce.
Automotive Row and Theatre District
The Logan Square business district is fully built out including Automobile Row, one of the city’s great auto markets with every brand represented and a theater district which included the Congress, Rio, Paramount (now Logan), Harding and Rose theaters.
I-94 Northwest Highway
The boulevards are widened to accommodate increasing automobile traffic and land is eventually cleared to construct Interstate-94 Northwest Highway, which bisects Logan Boulevard. The highway is named Kennedy Expressway in 1963, following the death of President John F. Kennedy. Pictured: Construction crews excavate Milwaukee Avenue through Logan Square for the new subway stations.
Logan Square Station
The Chicago Transit Authority demolishes several historic buildings around Logan Square to allow for the construction of the Blue Line extension to Jefferson Park. The new stations were designed by Myron Goldsmith of Skidmore Owings & Merrill and set a new design standard that is adopted by transit systems across the country.
Logan Square Preservation
Neighborhood organization Logan Square Preservation successfully added the Logan Square Boulevards Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2005 most of that district became an official city of Chicago Landmark District with overwhelming support from the community.
Logan Square Business District
The Logan Square Business District is officially protected as the Milwaukee-Diversey-Kimball Chicago Landmark District. It spurred a re-investment and restoration of some of the most significant retail buildings in the area.