When Preservation Chicago listed the Wrigley Rooftops as a Chicago 7, the over-commercialization of Wrigleyville immediately surrounding the ballpark on Waveland and Sheffield Avenues had already begun. Rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley Field soon after received approval to build higher—to a new height of 65 feet—to preserve their bird’s-eye view of the ballpark. These additions were granted, in part, because of a partial loss of the view of the park’s interior that resulted from the 1,790-seat expansion of the Wrigley Field bleachers.
The concern that Preservation Chicago had at the time was that The City of Chicago did not have sufficient design control over new buildings and additions. The loss of that oversight risked creating visual clutter where there was once a classic Chicago-style brick and stone streetscape.
Update:Since the 2006 Chicago 7 listing, the over-commercialization of Waveland and Sheffield Avenues is almost complete. Unrelenting rows of steel bleachers now dominate the once-intimate and pedestrian-scaled streetscape. Gigantic new buildings have replaced many of the former residences and, although some of the original buildings have been retained, many have been “facadomized” whereby only their front facade has been retained and pasted to a much larger rear addition.