Established in 2003, West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors is a voluntary group of neighbors in Chicago who desire to assist each other in preserving and appreciating the homes in our neighborhood; educating each other and the broader public in the value and the story of our neighborhood; and providing resources to each other to improve the quality of our homes, enrich our lives and assure our neighborhood's future.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Richard Nickel

It was my turn for jury duty today. I headed down to 26th & California with my summons and a big bag of library books to help pass time. The one I really wanted to read was Richard Nickel's Chicago: Photographs of a Lost City by Richard Cahan and West Ridge resident Michael Williams.

If you have any interest in Chicago architecture and / or preservation, you've probably already read this book. I'm about a year behind due to the activities around the past election here in the 50th Ward. If you haven't read it, put it on your list.

It's maddening in 2007 to continue to see our history being torn down around us. I can only begin to imagine what it was like for Nickel - one man trying to save the masterpieces of Adler & Sullivan.

"From one of the most distinguished cities architecturally we are rapidly moving toward anonymity, or, what is worse, a city of contrast: the superficial glitter of the new mixed with the slum of the old." - Richard Nickel
He's my hero.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


...and very soon to be gone. After years of neglect and decay, a permit for demolition of the Nortown Theater was issued on June 7. Driving by this morning, it appeared that work has already begun.

The developer's plans call for construction of a five story condo and commercial building in its place. Unlike the high quality brick masonry construction going up throughout the city, this project will be primarily painted cast-in-place concrete.

Although the development will include parking for the condos (just under one space per unit), it will not provide any parking for the commercial space due to a generous manipulation of the zoning requirements by Alderman Stone.

Another sad day in the 50th Ward, and another piece of West Ridge history headed to the landfill.

Monday, June 11, 2007

June 12th Meeting - Goats and Gods

Greetings, Bungalow Neighbors!

Reminder that our June 12 meeting, 7 pm at the Northtown Library, will feature architect Chris Turley on ways to add living space to your bungalow.

Chris' presentation, entitled Goats & Gods: A Study of Bungalow Additions Done Wrong & Right, was given at the Sulzer Library in April as part of the HCBA seminar series. It's full of great information, and is extremely entertaining at the same time. Chris includes West Ridge examples of bungalow additions in his slide show; some that maintain the character of the bungalow, as well as some that do not.

See you Tuesday!

Maribeth and Jo

Friday, June 8, 2007

The next Chicago teardown - Saturday June 9th

I look at this place and just have to ask "why?". It seems fine and in fact was newly rehabbed. The up side is that the entire house is potentially being recycled. Visit for more information and to find out how you can literally have a piece of it.