A city famous for its architecture, Chicago is more than its skyscrapers. Historically, Chicago has seen some of the most brilliantly executed residential building designs built in its neighborhoods. A closer look at the city’s neighborhoods will testify to the diverse residential architecture present there. Of course, some sections of the city are undergoing rapid transformation. As developers tear down vintage home styles to bring modernized, innovative designs to life, we bring to you some of the classical home structures and styles in Chicago. If you are a long-term Chicago resident, chances are that you have called one of these designs home once. In addition, if you looking to renovate or build a new home, contact our new home builders at Icon Building Group. For now, let’s learn about some of the Chicago classic homes.
- The Bungalow:
The bungalow was the new worker’s cottage for the entirety of 20th century. There are more than 100,000 bungalows in the Chicago Metro Area. This structure was constructed within 1910 and 1940, and was originally intended for working-class families. Its noticeable characteristics are its one-and-a-half-storey build, street-facing verandas, brick construction and full basements. It was usually constructed with dormered rook, concrete entry stairs and limestone accents. The bungalow was divided into two parts. One part contained a living room, dining rooms, and kitchen, while the other part housed a series of bedrooms and a washroom. It also had a roomy attic and a woodworked back porch.
- The Frame Two-Flat:
The Two-Flats came to be known as the workhorse of Chicago residential housing. These structures acted as a bridge between the working class apartment life and one-family bungalows. These homes were built during the 1900-1920 period. The two floor units were almost identical, the floor unit housing the owner and the second unit acting as a rental unit. Common materials used were wood, brick, or stone, and used various architectural styles.
- The Chicago Greystone:
The Chicago Greystone can be termed the New York brownstone equivalent. The construction period of this structure was from 1890 to 1930. Among the various ornamental styles this home was constructed, the most common style was called the Classical revival. The multi-flat Chicago Greystone had a distinctive limestone façade. The street-facing entrance and stacked apartments made it difficult to distinguish between the single-family variant from the multi-family working class variant. The Greystones gave an outer appearance of spacious, grand living, but also allowed unprecedented high density.
- The Courtyard Building:
The Courtyard buildings, prominently constructed between 1910 and 1930, had a distinct U-shape, encapsulating a green yard visible from the streets. These were luxury residential properties, allowing for comfortable city living. The front-entrance stairwell was shared by only 5 residents, along with a prominent back staircase and well ventilated designs. Chicago fire-code restrictions and elevator requirements prevented developers to construct Courtyard buildings to have more than three storeys.
- The Worker Cottage:
The worker cottages were the original, utilitarian Chicago homes, built from early 1830s into the start of the 20th Century. The usually modestly-scaled wooden constructions (later brick-made after the Chicago Fire of 1871) were one-and-a-half storeyed buildings with street-facing gabled roofs. These structures were ubiquitous around the grid-like Chicago sub-divisions. Over time, the Worker Cottage retained its original shape, while many ornamental styles were evident in the designs. These buildings were considered as the backbone of early Chicago housing.
Chicago is a city that built itself around its workers. Through several boom periods after the devastating Chicago Fire, the city left behind an architectural legacy that is still durable and dependable.