August 6, 2011

731-741 W. Buena Ave., Buena Park, Chicago

William J. Bryson Residence
731-741 W. Buena Ave. (originally 169-173 Buena Ave)

From the Inland Architect and News Record, 1906

1 comment:

adgorn said...

This one is interesting to me because I grew up across the street. Today the main house is long gone and replaced by an apt building that fronts on Gordon Terrace. When we moved on to Buena back in the 60s this area was gravel covered and used as a parking lot on the Buena side and a kids playground (complete with dangerous things like a merrygoround, tall metal side and seesaws)on the Gordon side. You could walk through the block here to the playground from the parking lot. I remember the parking lot also had at least one tall stone pillar along Buena, on which I would sit and guard the neighborhood with my wooden toy rifle. (I have another picture of old Buena that shows a similar pillar towards the corner at Marine Drive, so maybe these were a feature back in the day.)

The smaller house (coachhouse) remains to this day. I had a grade school chum who lived there and I visited often.

I learned from research in the Trib archives that Bryson was a civil engineer from 1865 until he retired in 1900, who became wealthy and with his wife became popular socialites. (His sister also lived with them.) They never had children but sponsored a popular annual ball and dinner dance for young people. His wife died around 1924, soon William (at age 80) then married his nurse whom he had hired to assist as he got older, then he died in 1928. The nurse inherited the property and sold it in 1937. Checking Historic Aerials it looks like the main house was torn down btw 1952-62.

It is wonderful now-a-days to be able to uncover such interesting things about your own block.


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