In a community effort to save the historic Eugene S. Pike house in North Beverly, BAPA and the Ridge Historical Society (RHS) are working with the Forest Preserves District of Cook County (FPDCC), which owns the property, to identify organizations interested in making serious proposals for potential new uses for the house.
In June, FPDCC hosted information session and walk-through at the house. Architects, preservationists, representatives of area not-for-profits, and individuals joined representatives from BAPA and RHS, sharing ideas and learning more about the possibilities and parameters in the FPDCC’s Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI).
BAPA and RHS are engaging other community organizations and officials to support saving the Pike House with efforts that include helping to identify and assist potential investors who can work within Forest Preserve District parameters and find a reuse for the building that benefits the community and falls within the FPDCC mission.
Potential uses include arts, education or nature-oriented not-for-profit organizations, mixed use enterprises, concessions, B&B, business incubators and others, The complete RFEI is online at fpdcc.com under the Doing Business tab. RFEI proposals are due Sept. 16.
The late 19th-century home was designed by Harry Hale Waterman, and formerly used as a Watchman’s Residence for the Dan Ryan Woods. It has been vacant and deteriorating for several years. The house and land are owned by the Forest Preserves, and cannot be sold. Proposals for reuse will be based on long term lease agreements.
Landmarks Illinois included the Eugene S. Pike House on its 2022 list of the Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. Landmarks Illinois remains committed to its preservation efforts, continuing communication and relationships with local advocates and elected officials to provide resources (including small grants) and connections where possible.
The Eugene S. Pike House was built in 1894, and is of historical and architectural importance to the Beverly/Morgan Park community and the City of Chicago, and is a contributing structure in the Ridge Historic District, one of the largest urban historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Originally part of Pike’s private estate at the edge of the woods, the house and 32 acre grounds were purchased by the FPDCC in 1921 and the building was used as a superintendent’s office and later the Watchman’s Residence.
Organizations interested in more information on the Save the Pike House initiative can contact Grace Kuikman at BAPA, firstname.lastname@example.org.