By Grace Kuikman
Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) and Ridge Historical Society (RHS) are partnering to celebrate the contribution made to the built beauty of Beverly/Morgan Park by three generations of Hetherington family architects with a special exhibit at RHS opening in spring and a showcase of Hetherington-designed homes on BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour, Sun., May 15.
The appealing architectural details and gracious beauty of Hetherington designs add to the unique look of our community, with homes and buildings designed from the late 19th century through the 1960s.
“The Hetheringtons are generally known for the quality of their designs, though none attempted to develop a distinctive style of their own,” wrote Harold Wolff, former architecture expert with the Ridge Historical Society.
The family’s architectural legacy began with John Todd (J.T.) Hetherington (1858-1936) more than a century ago. J. T. was born in Canada and received his professional training in Scotland. He came to the U.S. at the age of 20, and earned experience as a draftsman for architecture firms before going into practice for himself.
- T. Hetherington is best known in Beverly/Morgan Park forresidences, but he also designed churches,banks and parks throughout Chicagoland. He designed the Graver-Driscoll House, which was built in 1922 for Herbert Spencer Graver and is now the headquarters of the Ridge Historical Society. The RHS exhibit centers on the centennial of the terraced, Tudor-influenced house, a beautiful example of the variety of buildings J.T. Hetherington built on the Ridge.
Among the J.T. Hetherington-designed buildings in Beverly/Morgan Park are the Charles Brewer house, now the Church of the Holy Nativity Parish House at 93rd and Pleasant in 1908, and the Victor H. Munnecke House across the intersection in 1913. He also designed the original Ridge Park field house in 1912. The styles of his residences ranged from a Prairie School-influenced home on 103rd Street built in 1909, an American Foursquare house built on Prospect Avenue in 1913, and elegant brick residences on Longwood Drive, Seeley and Hoyne.
J.T.’s son, Murray D. Hetherington (1891-1972), was the most prolific of the generations to design in Beverly/Morgan Park. His best known homes are designed in the English Manor style, “a term coined by students of American architecture for houses within the Tudor Revival traditions which do not have cross-timbering,” according to Wolff.
Murray graduated from the Armour Institute of Technology (now the Illinois Institute of Technology) in 1914, and set up practice in Beloit, Wisc. Before joining his father’s practice a few years later. According to Wolff, it’s not clear when the majority of work shifted over from father to son, but by the 1930s, the firm was known as Hetherington Designers & Builders. J. T. Hetherington died in 1936 from complications from an auto accident.
Among Murray Hetherington’s notable homes are several elegant residences designed in the 1920s and 1930s, and located along the winding streets of North Beverly on Pleasant and Hamilton avenues and Hopkins Place. Hetherington evidently paid close attention to the landscapes his buildings were to occupy, with many of them set atop hills, along curving streets and nestled by the Dan Ryan Woods. He also favored building materials that added texture and contrast to his designs, such as clinker brick and limestone elements.
“Murray Hetherington had a special talent for giving individuality to all of his houses,” Wolff said.
Several Murray Hetherington-designed homes were built in central Beverly along Hamilton. Winchester, Hoyne, Seeley and Longwood; in east Beverly along Wood Street; and in Morgan Park along Bell and Hoyne avenues.
He designed the remodeling and expansion of the Ridge Park fieldhouse that his father designed more than a decade earlier, and designed the Graver Park field house at 1518 W. 103rd St., as well as the Episcopal Church of the Mediator parish house at 10961 S. Hoyne.
Murray’s son, John Murray Hetherington (1926-2004), was a veteran of the U. S. Army Air Corps (World War II). His father worked for many years as Hetherington Architects from a studio on Prospect Avenue, son John joined him the practice. He spent much of his career in the western suburbs. His contributions to our community include helping to design Barker Hall and the original Beverly Arts Center, both on the campus of Morgan Park Academy.
Do You Own a Hetherington Home?
If you own a Hetherington home and would like to have it considered for inclusion on BAPA’s Beverly Morgan Park Home Tour in May, contact Grace Kuikman, firstname.lastname@example.org for details. To share information about your Hetherington home for the Ridge Historical Society’s spring exhibit, email email@example.com.