The 2019 Restoration Exchange Historic Home Tour offers opportunities to visit this eclectic neighborhood of 11 beautifully restored, preserved and renovated homes. The tour also features amazing backyards, including a nature preserve.
The October tour will be walkable and bikeable. In addition, a free shuttle will be provided from the Registration Site located at St. Joseph’s Hall Archdiocesan Retreat and Conference Center, 3300 North 60th Street. Tickets are available by clicking here.
North 58th Street will be closed to public car traffic during the tour.
Bensonhurst Neighborhood Boundaries
The Bensonhurst Neighborhood is easy to find. It surrounds North 58th Street bounded by Pratt Street on the North and Northwest Radial Highway on the South.
John H. Creighton was the original owner of the land now known as Bensonhurst. His farm covered several thousand acres. Contrary to some earlier reporting, he was not the developer of Bensonhurst lots. He sold the land for $1,896 to William Young Brown in September 1856. The property changed hands through the years, eventually being purchased in 1892 and platted by Edwin Lacey as Lacey’s Addition.
After Lacey’s passing, the estate executer sold the land to Imogen A. Benson in 1904. She and her husband Erastus A. Benson secured a $5,000 mortgage at 7.5% interest in July 1904. Erastus incorporated the Elsinore Place Company the following month with partners John B. and F.W. Carmichael. The Elsinore Place Company re-platted the land in 1905 officially creating Bensonhurst, an addition to the Village of Benson.
Mr. Benson, interested in creating a uniform suburban environment for his subdivision, established restrictive covenants that required only residential construction with a minimum street setback of 30 feet for all the homes. He also required that each home cost no less than $2,500 thereby ensuring quality construction. One of the most interesting covenants was a restriction on bartering or selling “malt or spirituous liquors” on the premises.
With covenants in place, the lots sold quickly. The lots were attractive to buyers for their proximity to the trolley line and for having large lots measuring 63 feet by 226 feet long (very deep by normal standards). The street was paved with permanent walks on both sides, and huge stone columns marked the entrance. Two of these columns are still visible on the southern end of the block today.
Construction by local builders and eager homeowners began almost immediately. Charles D. Creighton was among the first to build in the subdivision. He used three lots on the west side (2916 North 58th Street).
Photo by Nathan King