Condos Encroaching On Chicago Neighborhoods

<p>Owners of 19th Century homes in Chicago are seeing condo developments moving rapidly into their neighborhoods despite the efforts of preservationists.</p>
November 8, 2006, 5am PST | Matt Baumann
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Many of the cottages, built in the late 19th or early 20th-century for middle-class workers, are being eyed for demolition to make way for new condos. "Chicago is losing its neighborhood architecture, if we continue to allow our historic buildings to fall through the cracks like they have been, we're giving people less and less of a reason to come to our city."

Yet some argue that not everyone should wants to live in these types of homes, which tend to have small rooms and need updating to modern standards. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a lot of people don't want 19th-century buildings. I grew up in a frame house. My bedroom was 8 by 8. People don't want that now."

Chicago has a unique way of handling zoning amendments: it's done through the aldermen. The problem arises if spot zoning is amended through an alderman who is either pro-development, or strictly adheres to a preservationist's point of view.

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Published on Tuesday, November 7, 2006 in The New York Times
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