Thursday, April 19, 2018

Those Places Thursday: "The Big House," 7000 Ridge, Chicago, Illinois, 1927-28

The house pictured below shows up numerous times in the 1927-28 home movie I found a few months ago.  I have confirmed that this is 7000 Ridge Blvd., and I'll explain how I figured that out later in this post.  This is a view of the south and east sides of the house (which was on the northwest corner of the intersection of Ridge and Lunt Avenue) from the opposite (southeast) corner:

Here is what the house looks like on its north side, from further north on Ridge:

And a little closer...

And this is the east end of the house, facing Ridge:

Although the address was 7000 Ridge, the front door actually faced Lunt Avenue.  The picture below has Great Aunt Frances (Franziska) Ernestine Johanne Lina Massmann (1874-1958), my great-grandfather Frederick Henry Massmann (1875-1948), and my grandmother Elizabeth Florence Massmann Pape (1902-2000).

This view is further west on the Lunt side of the house.  That's my grandmother on the left, and (I think) her best friend Marian Udelhofen (1904-1939) on the right.  You can see a small child standing in the window in the background; I'm pretty sure that's my uncle Paul Robert "Bob" Pape Jr. (1926-2008).

So how did I figure out this was 7000 Ridge?  Well, one scene in the movie has Frederick, Elizabeth, and other family members (plus the Massmann family dog) walking along the east (Lunt) side of the house, heading towards Ridge.  Two buildings are visible in the background.

Lucky for me, those two buildings still existed when we visited Chicago in August 2017, and there haven't been many changes to them.  Here is the house pictured on the right in the black-and-white film still, on the northeast corner of Ridge and Lunt:

7001 N. Ridge Blvd was built about 1906 (photo below from Cook County Assessor's Office website).

The building next door, at 7003 N. Ridge, is an apartment building that had just been completed in 1927:

(Photo below from Cook County Property Assessor's website):

My father's sister, my aunt Marilyn Pape Hedger, looked at the still photo at the beginning of this post and confirmed that this was the "Big House" that belonged to her Massmann grandparents.

The house originally at 7000 Ridge was built sometime between January 1920 (it does not appear on the Census of that date) and May 31, 1927, the address of Frederick and Elizabeth Massmann on a passenger list with that date.  Likely it was built sometime after August 1924.  The Massmann family address that month (when my grandmother's engagement announcement appeared in the newspaper) was the nearby 7731 Eastlake Terrace.

Here's the footprint of the house on the 1937 Sanborn fire insurance map:

By August 24, 1936, Frederick and Elizabeth Massmann had moved to 1123 Hull Terrace in Evanston, according to a Chicago Tribune article on this date.  Another family was living at 7000 Ridge Blvd. on the 1940 Census, and they were still there on April 27, 1942, based on World War II draft registration cards.  Therefore, the house was not torn down until after that date.  It was replaced by an apartment building.

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

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