The 5100 block of South Harper Avenue in Hyde Park has been growing emptier these last few months.
The Chicago bungalow—sturdy, low slung and emblematic—is here to stay. Perfect roosts for big shoulders, bungalows account for almost one-third of Chicago’s single family housing today, and have been an aesthetic and residential staple in the lives of Chicago communities and families for over one hundred years. Most sit arced in a crescent framing the western swath of Chicago—from Lincoln Square in the north, through the West Side to Auburn Gresham in the southwest and down to kiss the lake at South Shore. This so-called “bungalow belt” fosters some 80,000 residences and eighteen historic neighborhoods. A true Chicago bungalow must meet several criteria, including a construction date between 1910-1940, a brick face with a stone trim, a low-pitched roof, and an offset entrance, often on the side. These, among others, allow for conservationists to identify and help preserve historic bungalows as a distinctly Chicago architectural style. (Jack Nuelle)
The Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods are much more than a pit stop for architectural tours of Chicago. Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts get a special kick in witnessing not one, but two of the architect’s most acclaimed works located within just six blocks of one another: the Robie House and the Isidore H. Heller House. As classic examples of Wright’s Prairie School style—a design intended to evoke prairie surroundings and meld with the Midwestern landscape—the cultural significance of these two homes speaks for itself, without any tour guide explanations. Continue reading