In a bid to save one of the oldest homes in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood from demolition, city preservation officials are seeking someone who will buy the 19th Century cottage for $1—but one buck—and then pay to move the entire structure to another lot in the community.
The city will even throw-in that other lot for an additional dollar.
The 1870s home, 3223 S. Indiana, is owned by the neighboring Illinois College of Optometry which seeks to demolish the house for expansion. But the demo request is subject to an automatic 90-day delay because the 130-year-old cottage is a highly-rated “orange” building in the city’s Chicago Historical Resources Survey. The orange rating—second to a “red” rating—means the house possesses “some architectural feature or historical association that made [it] potentially significant in the context of the surrounding community,” according to the survey. There are 9,600 orange-rated buildings in the survey. The hold essentially buys the city time to seek alternatives to demolition.
The weathered Italianate cottage has a fair amount of original detail on its front, including five prominent roof brackets on the gable roof. The frames of the front door and two adjacent first floor windows are also original. The house was enlarged with an architecturally-sympathetic brick addition in 1902.
As the TV pitchmen say, this deal won’t last forever. The demolition hold expires on December 1. Want to buy the place? Contact Eleanor Gorski, Zoning and Land Use Planning assistant commissioner at (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-744-9143).
The Department of Community Development’s list of eligible lots can be found here.