The two-block stretch of Hutchinson Street was a part of the parcel of land James Waller bought in 1850. This parcel was outside of the city of Chicago in an area commonly known as Lakeview. Later, Lakeview was incorporated as a city in 1887. Two years later (1889), Lakeview was annexed by the city of Chicago. In the ensuing years, the Waller family sold some of the Waller property for development. The lakefront properties were sold at a premium to wealthy buyers. And, German and Scandinavian farmers bought much of the inland properties.
Charles Scales, a Civil War veteran, bought a parcel of land that includes present day Hutchinson Street. Scales developed his parcel with a sense of purpose. To encourage development, he installed a road down the middle of his land. He called the road Kenesaw as an homage to the battle at Kenesaw Mountain, a fight in which he was a combatant. Scales built the first house on Kenesaw Street. Intended as a family residence, Scales hired Chicago architect George Washington Maher to design the home and it was completed in 1894. This remarkable Queen Anne style house stands today and is located 840 W Hutchinson. There are other remarkable homes on the former Scales parcel that were designed by G. W. Maher: the Mosser house at 750 W. Hutchinson (1902); the Lake House at 832 W. Hutchinson (1904); the Seymour house at 839 W. Hutchinson (1909); and the Brackebush house at 817 W. Hutchinson (1913).
In 1936, Kenesaw was renamed Hutchinson Street after Charles L. Hutchinson, a Chicago businessman and civic leader. Hutchinson was president of the Corn Exchange National Bank and was a director on several boards, including the Northern Trust, the Chicago Street Railway Company, and the Chicago Packing and Provision Company. He was president of the Chicago Art Institute and treasurer of the University of Chicago. He was involved with Hull House and the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.
At various times, community volunteers give tours of the exteriors of the George Washington Maher homes. Further, the Buena Park Neighborhood Association offers information on the Hutchinson Street Historical District. The tours are free and open to the public. The dates will be published in a later newsletter.
1 thought on “The History of Hutchinson Street”
I did some minor garden work for a family on this street back in 1963 when I was 22. I remember the gentleman who was I think the head of the family, told me he liked my work in his garden very much I remember also how nice he treated me aside from this compliment. This gentleman was one who was nice to people he did not have to be nice to.