Author, preservationist Devereux Bowly Jr. dies

Lifelong Hyde Park resident Devereux Bowly Jr. was a man of many professions, passions and talents.  For most of his professional life, he was an attorney with the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, providing help to people living in poverty. Bowly was also a respected historian, author, preservationist, community leader and owner of two historic Michigan resort hotels.

Bowly, 71, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 6, in Michigan City, Ind., due to complications from injuries sustained in a fall.    
A prolific writer on Chicago history and architecture, his works include “The Poorhouse,” a pioneering 1978 book on the history of subsidized housing in the city, and reissued in an updated and expanded version in 2012. A biography of philanthropist Julius Rosenwald was in preparation at the time of his death.  

Community activities include being one of the founders of the Hyde Park Historical Society and overseeing the conversion of a historic cable car station on Lake Park Avenue as its headquarters. He was also one of the founders of the 57th Street Bookstore and part of the original docent group organized in 1971 to lead architectural tours for the Chicago Architecture Foundation. 

A second professional career was as owner of the Gordon Beach Inn and the Lakeside Inn, historic hotels in Union Pier and Lakeside, Mich. Both were carefully restored and furnished to reflect their early twentieth century charm, and have become popular destinations for vacationers and the Chicago art community. 

A sister, Judy Zitske of Madison, Wis., survives him.  Private interment is at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago in Hyde Park.  Memorial services in Hyde Park and Lakeside will be announced in the future.