Welcome to CornerSpotter, Curbed's regular game in which you, fair readers, consult archival streetscape photos or postcard illustrations to identify the building(s) and/or location presented. Time to tap that reservoir of urban minutiae and flaunt it before your fellow readers. Fire away in the comments, and we'll reveal the correct identity and backstory tomorrow.
One of the many settlement projects of a resourceful 19th Century Chicagoan, we're asking you to identify the plot where this house once stood. The land was first developed as a private grove in the 1850s and the owner built the above house in the 1890s just before the whole shebang joined the city's park system. It served as valued neighborhood greenspace for another 50 years until being sold to single-family home developers. Prior to its ignoble end, the parkland was on a short list for the city's first PWA housing project which would've gone up in the early 1930s. Had it been built to specifications (or built at all), 420 units in four 4-story buildings would now occupy the site instead of 29 detached houses. Design-wise, it might have resembled Frank Lloyd Wright's Francisco Terrace apartments. By all accounts, neighborhood opposition to such a density of low-income housing torpedoed the plan.
·CornerSpotter [Curbed Chicago]