Walking Through Beverly

When most people here the word “Beverly” they immediately think of Beverly Hills, California. But the Beverly that I walked through the other day was not that Beverly that everyone knows; it was Chicago’s.

Chicago’s Beverly is a flourishing neighborhood in Chicago’s South Side that is quite different from what most people would expect due to its location within the city. It had many interesting features that stood out to me, mainly because I haven’t been around the South Side very much. What stood out to me the most as I was walking down its streets was the large array of architecture.

A large portion of the houses in Beverly are victorian style and were built in the late second half of the 19th century. Many of them were built for and owned by people who were very wealthy. The house in the picture below resembling a Medieval castle is a perfect example of Beverly’s wide variety of unique architecture styles. The house was originally built as a single family home and was modeled after a castle from the Middle Ages in Ireland.

As we continued our walk throughout Beverly, the types of architecture began to change with every block we stumbled upon. The block with the victorian era houses was over our shoulders as our eyes were introduced to houses from a completely new era. These houses were mostly built in the 1920’s and 1930’s and were anywhere from tiny one floor, brick bungalows built for workers to glamorous estates of enormous size for very wealthy people. The house depicted right below the castle-like house is a beautiful single family home that was built in the late 1920’s. The top floor of this house was originally used for a ballroom, but has since been converted for other modern uses. It was common for houses of this size to rise in popularity during the Great Depression because many wealthy people bought large masses of land to build these houses, typically replacing former houses of much smaller size and value.

Minutes turned into hours, and before long we had passed through numerous blocks of Beverly, each with its own charm and beauty. One of the last blocks of our walk brought us to a street that had houses that were built in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. Unlike the houses we had seen prior that day, these houses were a lot smaller in size and were built for completely different owners. The last house that is depicted down below is a small house that was built in the early 1940’s for a common worker. Many of the other houses that we had seen before were made of brick or stucco, but this house was constructed completely out wood. It was built for a person of lower income than those of the larger and more elegant houses down the block, yet it was still very desirable for the more general public due to its affordability and attractive location.

I learned so much about Beverly just by walking its streets and taking notice of all that it had to offer. Its rich and unique history was represented so accurately through its dense architecture. Beverly is a small town with a well defined character unlike any other. It makes an impression that sticks out among other Beverly’s, including California’s.