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Thread: Chicago's Garfield Ridge neighborhood (Beware: many pics)

  1. #1
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Chicago's Garfield Ridge neighborhood (Beware: many pics)

    So, I had to take my mother-in-law to Midway airport earlier this month, and I was able to drive thorugh one of Chicago's outer neighborhoods - Garfield Ridge. It mainly consists of 1950s-60s single family ranch and cape cod houses with the main commercial corridor along W. Archer, which is mostly single story and (mostly) pedestrian oriented (with parking to rear or back).

    It has been very stable over the years and is starting to gain popularity because of its location (next to Midway and easy access to I-55) and the quality of the housing stock.

    The following gives you a good idea of the general composition and architecture. The neighborhood was platted in the 1920s (I presume) so the urban form is relatively "urban" (30 feet by 125 foot lots with alleys).

    Here's an aerial of the neighborhood:
































    I particularly like this one - it's very original

















    Did I mention there are many immigrants in this neighborhood - Polish, I think.



























    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  2. #2
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Nice tour, thank you. Does the commercial area get good use or do these residents drive elsewhere? It looks as if it might be a bit slighted.

    Why so few trees? There were almost none in backyards, in particular.

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Nice tour, thank you. Does the commercial area get good use or do these residents drive elsewhere? It looks as if it might be a bit slighted.

    Why so few trees? There were almost none in backyards, in particular.
    I haven't spent a alot of time in the neighborhood, but the commercial corridor does appear to be somewhat marignal and services mainly the immediate neighborhood. Heavy "shopping" in most likely done outside the neighborhood.

    As for trees, there is actually very good tree cover in the parkway along the residential streets. The yards individually are a little to small to accommodatea tree because once the tree starts getting big, you don't have much of a yard left.

    The commercial street is mostly barren of trees and would be rather unhospitable in sunny hot weather.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  4. #4

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    Dead ringer for my neighborhood, which is maybe five miles southeast of Garfield Ridge.

    Great job of showcasing one of Chicago's "typical" neighborhoods.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I wouldn't call it typical. It's typical for the southwest bungalow belt, but the majority of Chicagoans don't live in the bungalow belt (although it uses up a lot of room for obvious reasons).

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
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    Nice-

    Classic 1st generation post war development, what I always considered the bridge between the 19th century and what we call suburbia from the mid 60's through the late 90's. This neighborhood is almost identical to the South Hampton neighborhood I grew up in, in STL. with the exception that SH had more trees, but I have often found trees lacking in Chicagoland.
    She has been a bad girl, she is like a chemical, though you try and stop it she is like a narcotic.

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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    I wouldn't call it typical. It's typical for the southwest bungalow belt, but the majority of Chicagoans don't live in the bungalow belt (although it uses up a lot of room for obvious reasons).
    Maybe a little North Side bias showing, jordanb? True, the majority of Chicagoans don't live in the pre-war or post-war bungalow belt around the city -- the density is much less around here -- but it does take up a huge footprint of the city. I'd estimate that maybe a third of Chicago looks something like this, on the northwest, southwest, far south and southeast sides. And it is the side that most tourists/visitors don't see.

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    I wouldn't call it typical. It's typical for the southwest bungalow belt, but the majority of Chicagoans don't live in the bungalow belt (although it uses up a lot of room for obvious reasons).
    Then what would be the "typical" Chicago neighborhood, if there could even be one?

    This neighborhood is definitely the early US post-WWII type of place. Here, one still had to develop the land in the manner of small lot increments (25'x100' lots), but in just a very short time the style of development shifted once developers were able to acquire large parcels (10+ acre) to create the form we more closely associate with "suburban" development today.
    Last edited by mendelman; 31 May 2005 at 9:57 AM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Well I agree that there isn't really a "typical" Chicago neighborhood. The city is too eclectic. You could have a "typical" threeflat neighborhood, "typical" twoflat neighborhood, and "typical" bungalow neighborhood though. It seems to me that those are the primary divisions in building type.

    There are actually very few neighborhoods like that at all on the Northwest Side. The true pre-war bungalow belt is very thin in that area because the area was nearly cationic beyond the Logan Square and Ravenswood L lines until O'Hare was built (in the late 50s?) The twoflat belt extends with some bungalows mixed in well past Pulaski, and then there's the pre-bungalow commuter rail suburbs like Portage Park and Norwood Park, and then beyond that, Jefferson Park and points further west, are O'Hare sprawl. The bungalows are left to inhabit pockets between the old commuter suburbs and the L induced twoflats.

  10. #10
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Well I agree that there isn't really a "typical" Chicago neighborhood. The city is too eclectic. You could have a "typical" threeflat neighborhood, "typical" twoflat neighborhood, and "typical" bungalow neighborhood though. It seems to me that those are the primary divisions in building type.
    That's a good way to define Chicago "typical".
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

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    This area reminds me alot of parts of the Northwest Side...particularly the areas west of Central Ave....or even parts of Skokie and Des Plaines...

    ..what you are seeing is pretty much the pre WWII building types, but in "modern" drag on pre WWII lots.

    Also, one can see these "modern" commercial buildings in prewar neighborhoods as Chicago overzoned its busy streets commercial in the 1920s.... and they werent built-out until after the war....

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Trinity Moses
    Also, one can see these "modern" commercial buildings in prewar neighborhoods as Chicago overzoned its busy streets commercial in the 1920s.... and they werent built-out until after the war....
    Chicago didn't have a zoning code until the 1940s or so. The newer buildings in older neighborhoods are redevelopment/infill.

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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Chicago didn't have a zoning code until the 1940s or so. The newer buildings in older neighborhoods are redevelopment/infill.

    Chicago got its first zoning code in the 1920s, and it was amended in the early 1940s.

    The newer buildings, built in the 1950s, in the older neighborhoods on the Northwest Side are in many cases built on vacant lots dating from the 20s/30s (which used to be called in local slang "prairies"), which is why one can see a 1950s "modern" building next to a 1920s commercial building on busy streets like Fullerton and Belmont and Diversey and so forth

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
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    Love all that Fifties styling. Hate that it's being expunged most places in the name of modernization. Almost all of it's been improved into unrecognizability where I live. When it's almost all gone, we'll set up historic districts to preserve the remnants.

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    Capecod Additions

    Hello All-

    Would anyone be able to provide me some information on adding an addition to capecods or other style homes in the area. I am considering moving to the area. I understand there are a variety of options one can chose, for example facade overhaul, brick vs siding etc. Can anyone send me the name of a few companies along with a ball park figure of what it might cost to add-on to a capecod, ranch or bungalow? I can be reached via e-mail at mrchicago2323 (at) aol.com, Thanks!

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