I had initially ignored Illinois Avenue in Marine Villa due to the presence of its little bungalows, clearly built in the mid Twentieth Century. But I finally took a look, realizing that there must be an interesting story, and simultaneously acquired an appreciation for the little guys. Starting at Osage Street on the south and working north, I looked at what are each individualized houses.
It turns out the reason the land was freed up was due to the location of a dairy farm and brick works on these blocks. They closed, and while there might have been other businesses on the wide open spaces left behind, it was clearly eventually converted into housing.
It explains why there was so much room, because the rest of the housing stock in the neighborhood can be very, very old, with lots of wood frame vernacular buildings. The Marine Hospital located out here before the Civil War, and there were rock quarries that required housing.
In fact, I suspect many of these wood frame houses date to before the Civil War, as well.
They’re not well-documented at all.
And they often sit unnoticed between more famous styles of later architecture such as Dutch Colonials, as seen below.
And if you look closely, before we get to Chippewa Street, there is an old brick half flounder hiding in the background.
As well as a classic Second Empire house, with a striking tree trunk bleached in the sun.