Like any city with longevity, Chicago is a city of history. One way it communicates its history is through its architecture. Layers upon layers of architecture that overlap, overwhelm, and sometimes slip through the cracks of time.
One of those time capsules is going away soon. It’s a worker’s cottage at 1241 North State Street. Worker’s cottages are to Chicago in the late 1800’s what prairie bungalows were to the city in the middle of the 1900’s — Affordable, capable, and massively popular.
If you don’t know much about Chicago’s worker’s cottages, here’s a fine article from Moss Design gives you the basics and some sources for extra credit. It also paints a picture:
In June of this year, an application was filed to tear down 1241 North State and its associated garage. Because of the age of the home (built just after the the Great Fire of 1871 according to the internet, or built well before the Great Fire, according to these things called “books”), it automatically landed on the city’s Holy Crap Let’s Take a Second Look List, also known as the Demolition Hold List.
Three months later, the hold has been lifted and crews from Mulroy Demolition are expected to show up soon to erase the building from the Gold Coast cityscape. Chatter on the interwebs is that this is the last worker’s cottage in the Gold Coast. Whether that is true or not, it’s worth cruising by, even pausing, to appreciate the form and function of this workhorse of Windy City architecture.