I grew up in rural Missouri, but these days I live in Evanston, Illinois. Evanston was first settled in the 1850's, and began life as a small town well outside Chicago. Today, when you drive across the Chicago-Evanston city line, nothing but the road signs give you any indication that you have moved from city to suburb.
In other words, Evanston is a very "urban" suburb. Many of the streets are narrow, one-way affairs, lined with classy courtyard-style apartment buildings from the 1920's and 1940's. There is a monumental crunch on parking space in many parts of the city, because the classy old apartment buildings were built for a populace that rode in public streetcars, not private automobiles.
The north side of the Chicago area has been the moneyed side of town for a long time, and the houses in Evanston reflect that. Alas, like most cities, Evanston has seen the majority of its Victorian houses buried by bulldozers — but the city's period of greatest growth occurred just after the Civil War, so Evanston had a lot of Victorian houses to bulldoze. All things considered, we have more than our fair share of survivors.
Evanston has a permanent population of about 75,000 and a semi-permanent population of about 80,000 when Northwestern University is in session. It is not a small town, so you can't just drive through and expect to see lovely old Victorians clustered on every street corner. You have to look for them.
I have, and some of the ones I like are pictured in the Evanston Gallery.
N.B. — I do not publicize the addresses of the houses pictured on this Web site, except for those that are open to the public. I take all my photos from the sidewalk, and I am pretty scrupulous about not walking onto people's lawns or driveways. In other words, I haven't asked the folks living in these houses for permission to display them before 100,000,000 web surfers. The vast majority of owners enjoy the publicity, but if anyone surfing the Web sees their house here and would like it removed, just drop me an e-mail and it will disappear.
Contact me by e-mail at: David Taylor
All photos in this web site (except as specifically designated) are copyright 1997 and 2001 by David Taylor. Permission to use them for one-time private or educational use is granted. All commercial use without permission is prohibited.
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