The Eugene S. Pike House, Future Home of the Pike House Community Cultural Center 

“The Watchman’s Residence” watercolor by Judie Anderson
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The Eugene S. Pike House Foundation and the Beverly Area Arts Alliance (the Alliance) are working in cooperation with the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) in the fundraising, planning, and rehabilitation process, which is expected to unfold in phases over the next 2-3 years and is supported by local and state historic preservation agencies, as well as community stakeholders. 

History 

The Pike House, designed by Harry Hale Waterman, is part of the National Register of Historic Places Ridge Historic District and was built for Eugene Pike and his family in 1894. Waterman had worked in Joseph Lyman Silsbee’s office with preeminent prairie school architects Frank Lloyd Wright and George Maher. 

Eugene S. Pike was a prominent Chicago real estate developer and financier, and a leader in rebuilding the city following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.  Originally part of Pike’s private estate at the edge of the woods, the house and 32-acre grounds were purchased by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County in 1921 and was used as a watchman’s residence for many years. The home has sat empty since 2015 and its condition has significantly declined during that time.

Vision

The Pike House Community Cultural Center will be a space for building community through the arts. Once the fundraising and rehabilitation are complete, the facility will include exhibition, event, and artmaking spaces, as well as creative residencies for artists, writers, poets, and musicians that will draw local, national, and international artists. Programming will include art exhibitions, concerts, artist talks, meetups, pop-up dining and other events at the Pike House connected to themes including ecology, recreation, solitude, and cultural pride inspired by its unique location. 

About the Eugene S. Pike House Foundation

The Eugene S. Pike House Foundation was formed in 2023 and incorporated as a 501 c 3 not for profit organization by members of the Ridge Historical Society, the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA), The Beverly Area Arts Alliance and other community members and experts who have organized to raise funds and oversee the restoration of this important historical home for the community. 

Pike House Board

Grace Kuikman, President
Debra Nemeth, Vice President
Matt Catrara, Treasurer
Tim Blackburn, Secretary
Directors:
Sal Campbell
Bill Halvorsen
Tim Noonan
Nancy Hotchkiss
Mati Maldre
Eduardo Garza
Tim Samuelson

Planning & Renovation 

The Pike House renovation will happen in phases over the next 2-3 years with support from major donors and the community. The first priority is on “sealing the envelope” to reverse the most critical damage to the roof and foundation and to protect the home from further decay. The project will be guided by a commitment to respect the home’s history and work with union, women-owned and minority firms when possible. Follow our progress! 

The Eugene S. Pike House, known as “the Watchman’s Residence,” is a 19th century Tudor Revival-style home designed by H.H. Waterman that sits on the edge of the Dan Ryan Woods on Chicago’s far South Side. In 2022, it was listed on Landmark Illinois’s Most Endangered List of Historic Places. 

Now, The Alliance, along with historians, activists, artists, and community members are coming together to revive the home’s indelible charm and activate the space with arts and culture as The Pike House Community Cultural Center.

The Pike House is conveniently located a short distance from the 91st St. Metra station, Cosme Park, the Major Taylor Bike Trail, and the Dan Ryan Woods.