This house at 3451 W. Diversey (pre-1909 address: 822 W. Diversey) was built in 1905. Through a layer of grime, it remains quite handsome. A power-washing and some paint would help bring out the delicate ornamental stone pieces and the two-color brick scheme. The asymmetry of the portico, with only one column, is a bit odd given the overall style, but I suppose it was a practical omission given the adjacent projecting bay.
The Gebhardt family lived here in the 1940s, and found themselves in the newspapers on a number of occasions. In March 1942, Alfred, age 41, was unemployed and looking for work when he found out he would be drafted for the war. “I’d like to help lick ‘em,” he was quoted as saying.
Unfortunately, it was the years after the war that brought tragedy. In March 1946, Fred, age 71 and a retired “dress trimmings merchant”, was struck and killed by a car just down the block. The driver was only charged with unlicensed driving and lack of a “safety sticker”. In January of the next year, 15-year-old William was arrested as a truant in the bowling alley where he worked as a pin boy.