23 April 2013

An Avenue through the Forest

This c. 1929 home has the appearance of a French manor house.
Hammond's wealth abounded and while much of the downtown may have lost its link to the city's vibrant past, one area of the city retains the atmosphere present during its glorious heyday.  There is a long strip of residential development that occurred between the Illinois state line and Hohman Avenue, south of the downtown.  These blocks straddled Forest Avenue, aptly named because of its development in untouched areas.  The development occurred during the late 1890s but blossomed during the 1910s and 1920s.

A simple Dutch Colonial Revival home, c. 1925.
As the city extended further south, the neighborhoods were serviced by electric car lines on Hohman.  The developments became known as Moraine, Southview, Roselawn, and Ivanhoe at the southernmost end of Forest Avenue.  Southview and Ivanhoe were some of the most desirable locations and carried the most prestigious addresses.

One of a multitude of bungalow style homes in the Moraine neighborhood.
The neighborhoods appear much as they did during the height of their development, save a few more garages and drives.  While construction fell off during the 1930s and early 1940s, it rebounded after the war and held strong into the 1950s.  Simple bungalow and Colonial Revival designs were popular in the Moraine area, while Southview and Ivanhoe displayed  robust wealth and finer tastes with massive examples of Tudor Revival and Colonial Revival homes.  Several of the homes have a storybook look as if they fell out of the pages of a childrens' fairy tale.  The string of neighborhoods were placed on the National Register in 2009-2010.

The shingled roof of this Tudor Revival home is supposed to mimic the thatched roofs of the English countryside.

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