WIN: McKinley Park Workers Cottages Surveyed

Field survey map of workers cottages in McKinley Park conducted by the Chicago Workers Cottage Initiative in partnership with Preservation Chicago and students from the Preservation Planning Studio class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Map Credit: Chicago Workers Cottage Initiative and Preservation Chicago

In April 2022, the Chicago Workers Cottage Initiative again partnered with Preservation Chicago and students from the Preservation Planning Studio class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to conduct a field survey of workers cottages. The survey of was similar to a 2021 study in Logan Square, this time examining housing in the southwest side McKinley Park neighborhood. Led again by professor Charlie Pipal, twelve grad students gathered information about workers cottages and related two-flat buildings. With a larger group of surveyors compared to the previous year, the class was able to canvass a far larger area, and indeed covered the entire McKinley Park neighborhood including more than 4,000 properties. Surveyors noted the historic character of other buildings in the area as well for future reference. Information on each building was recorded via smartphone using the Regrid parcel-mapping app by Loveland Technologies.

McKinley Park, like the Bridgeport and Brighton Park neighborhoods to the east and west, is home to a large number of workers cottages. Indeed the surveyors identified almost 1,300 houses or more than a third of the buildings in the neighborhood as workers cottages. An additional 9% of the houses in the area are the taller gable-roofed two-flats which are closely related to workers cottages.

See the full survey results at Chicago Workers Cottage Initiative

Cataloging and Celebrating the Workers Cottage, One of Chicago’s Original Affordable Homes, Nick Blumberg, WTTW Chicago, 5/12/22

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