This is not at all unusual. Read Streetcar Suburbs sometime. It describes the growth of Boston at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.jordanb said:An interesting thing to remember is that Chicago would not exist in its current form had zoning existed back then. The city was settled as a series of suburbs (which were eventually annexed), many created by developers as housing settlements for commuters. The lack of zoning allowed them to naturally become mixed-use and mixed-income over time.