Pike House is One of Landmarks Illinois Most Endangered Historic Places
In April, Landmarks Illinois announced that the Eugene S. Pike House in North Beverly is one of five locations on its 2022 list of the Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. That state-wide recognition provided important support for the effort to save the Pike House underway with BAPA and Ridge Historical Society as the lead preservation agencies.
With a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) recently released by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, our next steps for the community and our leaders is to spread the word about this unique opportunity and identify a new use that will meet the mission of the Forest Preserves and the needs of our community.
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. Find the complete RFEI a t fpdcc.com under the Doing Business tab. Organizations interested in more information can contact Grace Kuikman at BAPA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Forest Preserves District has set Wed., June 15 for site visits by organizations, business, and individuals with a serious interest in learning more and pre-submission conferences. Expressions of interest are due Sept. 16.
Ridge Historical Society and BAPA are hosting the Save the Pike House website — savethepikehouse.org – to provide updated information and ideas about the house and potential uses.
Once a property is included on the Most Endangered list, 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 late 19th-century home once used as a Watchman’s Residence for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County sits at the southern edge of the Dan Ryan Woods. It has been vacant and deteriorating for several years. The house and land are owned by the Forest Preserves.
BAPA and the Ridge Historical Society nominated the Pike House for inclusion on the Most Endangered list as part of their effort to save the house, which is vulnerable to demolition unless a serious investor commits to rehabilitation and reuse of the historic building.
The Eugene S. Pike House was designed by noted architect Harry Hale Waterman and built for Pike in 1894. It 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.