Edgewater Place

The Edgewater Place Local Historic District was designated by ordinance in 1980. The district is bounded by Lincolnway East to the south, the Saint Joseph River to the north, Monroe Street to the west, and Eddy Street to the East. The neighborhood is located southeast of the original 1830 boundaries of South Bend on a marshy and narrow peninsula extending into the river.

Alexis Coquillard purchased the land from Francis Comparet in 1835, and lost it when he went bankrupt in 1841. The land was purchased by Christopher W. Emerick in 1845. Emerick was an early pioneer (1832) and proprietor of a bakery and beer house. He was involved in real-estate investment and owned this land into the 1860s.

Development of the neighborhood began in 1871 when George A. Frantz platted the southeast section along Vistula Avenue, the road leading to the town of Mishawaka. The 1875 Atlas of South Bend depicts five houses on Frantz' plot and four other structures north of the Frantz property.

In the 1870s the area the west was developing a mixture of manufacturing plants and residences, mostly for manufacturing workers. The Birdsell Manufacturing Company straddled Columbia and Division (now Western Avenue) streets just south of the Grand Trunk Railroad line. Lumber yards, boathouses, and machine shops were added near the area, and the slowly developing peninsula was a buffer between these industries and the river.

Leslie C. Whitcomb and Frederick W. Keller platted the Edgewater Place addition in 1919. Whitcomb and Keller were two of South Bend`s early and prolific developer/realtors. The majority of district's houses were built in the 1920s by Whitcomb and Keller and each owned houses in the area. Whitcomb owned the Prairie-influenced residence at 557 Edgewater, and Keller owned the Tudor Revival home designed by Ernest Young at 815 Arch Avenue. Many Whitcomb & Keller employees and other merchants and professionals owned homes in the district.

Building Types and Styles The oldest remaining structures in the district were built in the 1880s and 1890s in vernacular styles. 639 River Avenue, a Gable and Ell, and other structures on Bronson Street represent this era. The types and styles represented in this district are:

American Foursquare: 714 and 722 Arch Avenue, 543 Edgewater Place

Bungalow: 510 River Avenue, 610 River Avenue (airplane bungalow), 549 Edgewater, 557 Edgewater

Colonial Revival: 517 Edgewater Drive

Commercial Functional: 631 Lincolnway East

Craftsman: 713 Arch Avenue, 520 River Avenue, 528 River Avenue

Dutch Colonial Revival: 718 Arch Avenue,605 Edgewater

Gable and Ell: 713 Arch Avenue, many on Bronson Street

Renaissance Revival: 709-711 Lincolnway East, designed by Freyermuth & Mauer

Tudor/English Country Revival: 644 Monroe Avenue, 815 Arch Avenue

More detailed information about each property may be available.