Lakewood Balmoral—20 Best Towns and Neighborhoods in Chicago and the Suburbs

Handsome older homes are a hallmark of the Lakewood Balmoral neighborhood
Handsome older homes are a hallmark of the Lakewood Balmoral neighborhood

 

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: $615,876
TRANSPORTATION: * * * (out of 4) CTA buses and Red Line, but no nearby expressways
SCHOOLS: * * * The Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies (pre-K–8) has a modern addition and an enriched curriculum.
SHOPPING: * * * An eclectic assortment of stores, boutiques, and restaurants line Clark Street in Andersonville.
PLUS: The tree-lined streets with their old, variously styled houses can transport walkers back to an earlier era.

History offers its ironic twists. The Lakewood Balmoral neighborhood was originally developed as a modest alternative to the lakefront mansions half a mile to the east. Today, though, most of those big houses have been replaced by high-rises, while Lakewood Balmoral remains the place to go in Edgewater to find impressively kept older homes.

Walking west to the shopping in Andersonville or east to the CTA Red Line stops at Bryn Mawr and Berwyn is like touring a North Shore suburb for the rich architectural variety and nice gardens—but with city prices and an urban character. Deep setbacks for the houses and a smattering of traffic-calming intersections preserve the tranquillity, but this is no sleepy village: The streets are busy with foot and car traffic. In addition to the Peirce school, Trumbull Elementary also serves the surrounding neighborhood.

Named for two of its central streets, Lakewood Balmoral grew in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. John Lewis Cochran, the area’s original developer, put in place the diverse housing stock, offering homes in Flemish, Gothic, Queen Anne, and other styles. That thoughtful approach ensured that monotony wouldn’t set in, and the proximity to train lines, Lake Shore Drive, and Loyola University has kept the neighborhood vital.

 

Photography: © 2009, Jeremy Atherton

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