Classic Chicago Residential Architecture Disappearing Quickly

A recent report by the DePaul University Institute for Housing Studies finds the number of two-flats, three-flats, and four-flats in quick decline among the residential building stock of Chicago.

1 minute read

September 3, 2018, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Mary Schmich writes:

Over a meager span of years, from 2010 to 2016, the city lost 20,000 homes in two-flats, three-flats and four-flats, those classic buildings, typically brick, that have defined Chicago’s look and feel for more than a century.

According to Schmich, there are vital reasons to worry about the declining number of these class Chicago residential units.

The demolition of these old buildings, as noted in a recent report by DePaul University’s Institute for Housing Studies, is changing the city’s character. Affordable housing gets far harder to find. Middle-class and working-class people are priced out. Neighborhoods become less diverse.

After imparting those realities, the article addresses more of her personal attachment to these buildings, and some of the experiences that can only be earned by living in a walk up.

For more traditional news coverage of the decline of two-flats in Chicago, see an article by Tanveer Ali from April 2018, which reported on the details of the "2018 State of Rental Housing in Cook County" report by DePaul University’s Institute of Housing Studies (IHS), which lays outs the data at the center of this news. IHS was also tracking the issue in 2017.

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