Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Walk Through Chicago's Prairie Street Historic District, Three Historic Homes

On my recent walking trip through Chicago's near south side I passed through the Prairie St. historic district. It's a small area tucked between Michigan Ave. and Lake Shore Drive just north of Cermak Rd. It is where Chicago's wealthy elite settled after the Chicago Fire and is home to many 19th century mansions as well as The Clarke House the City's oldest still standing house. But that's on a separate video this one offers a quick look at three of the places listed on the historic register.

We will be looking at more homes in this area in future clips.

They are:
2110 S. Prairie, The Harriet F. Rees House from 1888
The tall, narrow, elegantly-detailed limestone house at 2110 S. Prairie Avenue was the last of three designed by the firm of Cobb & Frost on Prairie Avenue. (The others are the Joseph G. Coleman house at 1811 S. Prairie Ave. and the Osborn R. Keith house at 1808 S. Prairie Ave., razed 1968). Built in 1888 at a cost of $20,000 for Harriet F. Rees, a widow, the Romanesque style residence features beautifully executed detailing in its steep gable peak, third-floor arched window colonnade, and two-story bowed bay. It originally shared a party wall on the north with the Mark Kimball house, and abutted the Max Rothschild home on the south, so today it looks rather out of place standing alone....

2013 S. Prairie, William Reid House, 1894
This three-story Classical Revival style house, completed in 1894, is an excellent reflection of the popularity of that style, following the World’s Columbian Exposition the previous year. The home was originally one of a row of attached houses which extended south from 20th (now Cullerton) Street. It was built for successful banker William H. Reid, who had occupied another house on the same site since 1870. Reid’s first wife, Eleanor, died in 1888, and he married Caroline Whittlesey the following year. This new home may have been built at her request, as it is considerably larger and is more in keeping with her others homes - a summer estate in Ottawa Illinois, and a winter home in the Ozarks near Eureka Springs Arkansas.....

1900 S. Prairie, The Keith House from 1879
John W. Roberts, architect. The last surviving example of the popular Second Empire-style on Prairie Avenue, this was  one of several homes on the street occupied by
members of the Keith family.

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