CHICAGO, IL – One of Chicago’s oldest homes has been demolished. The house at 691 West Wellington Avenue in Lake View was demolished last week after standing for nearly 140 years. Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, said the house was built in the 1870s after the Great Chicago Fire.
“It was really unfortunate, because the house depicted the history and evolution of buildings and homes in Lake View before its 1889 annexation to the city of Chicago,” Miller said.
He said that certain structural details of the house, such as its asbestos cladding, prevented it from being protected as part of the Chicago Historic Resources Survey in the 1980s, and that the house had slipped. between the cracks.
“We have approached the owners in the past, but apparently one or both of the owners had health problems, and although they had been there for many years, they sold the building and then he been torn down,” Miller said. “It’s really a shame that we lost him.”
He said Preservation Chicago is dedicated to creating a better system so these homes and buildings don’t fall through the cracks.
“We looked at some type of historic neighborhood in the Lake View community,” Miller said. “We worked with the city aldermen to determine which community buildings would be included and where the boundaries would be.”
He said historic, freestanding homes such as the one demolished last week tend to attract long-term families and stakeholders to a community, and when buildings are demolished, those community members often move to the suburbs.
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