One Hundred Years of Hermosa Bungalows

Neighborhood

Get to know one of Chicago’s newest historic bungalow districts in the northwest corner of Hermosa, where a handful of picturesque blocks pack in 300 bungalow homes from the 1920s. The district is bounded by W. Belmont Avenue to the north, N. Lowell Avenue to the east, W. Diversey Avenue to the south, and N. Kolmar Avenue to the west. In 2000, mayor Richard M. Daley created a program and financial incentives to preserve Chicago’s 80,000 bungalows. The Hermosa district became the 13th to make the National Historic Register in 2018, and the first in a majority-Hispanic neighborhood. The Hermosa Bungalow District includes work from at least 35 architects. Although a variety of architects, developers and plans contributed to its creation, cohesive form, layout and material use bind it together. Working class families were given the opportunity to own well-built, at-tractive homes in a quiet residential setting connected to the rest of the city by new streetcar lines. This outbound migration to the “bungalow belt” spurred the first major wave of single-family homeownership in Chicago. To this day, bungalows are prized for their affordability and durability. With insightful commentary from CAC Docent Tom Drebenstedt and Hermosa resident and community leader Lee Helmer, this self-guided walking tour weaves together history, architecture and lifestyle to tell the story of this most serene and alluring place. Audio engineering by Prize Beagle Recording.

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