“Beautiful 19th Century Homes on Borrowed Time”, a fascinating and troubling analysis by John Morris, ChicagoPatterns.com

742 W Buckingham, Photo Credit: John Morris/Chicago Patterns
2120 N Seminary, Photo Credit: John Morris/Chicago Patterns

From “Beautiful 19th Century Homes on Borrowed Time” by John Morris, ChicagoPatterns.com.

“In Chicago, as it is nationwide, demand for housing is outstripping supply. Speculators and wealthy individuals are eagerly rushing in to meet the top-end demand, leaving a trail of destroyed historic housing stock in their wake. Meanwhile, the supply of low and mid-range housing stock remains largely unaddressed.

This is often evident in real estate listing descriptions that say “the value is in the land,” for properties that exceed a million dollars with the implicit understanding that the home will be razed and replaced. This is playing out heavily in North Side neighborhoods like Lake View and Lincoln Park, where blocks of mostly new construction mega-mansions dot the landscape.

While the city’s Demolition Delay Ordinance creates a delay and minor hassle for those eager to erase the city’s historic housing stock, it rarely prevents it. More successful in preventing demolition are cases where the house is in a historic district. In rare cases, outcry from neighbors may lead the local alderman to push back.

But in neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Lake View such outcry is rare, and homes are lost to those with a lot of money.

Let’s look at four examples of homes which will likely be lost in the coming months. Because none are orange-rated on the Historic Resources Survey, these houses won’t be added to the Demolition Delay List.”

Link to full text and with many photos of Beautiful 19th Century Homes on Borrowed Time

This article and much more at www.ChicagoPatterns.com


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