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Rare post-fire worker cottage in Old Town saved

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks has voted in favor of protecting the small home

We’re not quite two full weeks into the new year, but Chicago can already claim one big preservation win. Last year, the owners of the Old Town cottage at 1639 N. North Park Avenue applied for a demolition permit, citing that the home was in dilapidated condition and did not fit in with the surrounding housing stock, Chicago Patterns says. However, preservationists argued that the home is representative of the cottages built in the area directly following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and worthy of protection. And as of this week, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks agrees. According to DNAinfo, the city voted in favor of saving the building at the most recent Landmarks hearing agreeing that it represents a “contributing” property to the Old Town Triangle Landmark District.

The home is not unlike the thousands of other cottages built in the area following the fire. While many were built at the time, they are becoming more and more scarce causing concern among preservationists circles. The small home features a balloon-frame construction and 19th century details like Federal-style windows. The home is a physical connection to the Great Chicago Fire and a representation of the city’s ability to rebuild after the disaster, and it appears that it will survive on into the new year.