I never saw what was here before; it was gone by mid-2005 when I first saw the sign. Whatever it was, it was nice enough to inspire this protest from the neighbors:
The shame of it all…
1830 West Lunt was an 1890s single family farmhouse SOLD and DEMOLISHED to be replaced with TWO houses
“May those who love us, love us
And those that don’t love us, may God turn their hearts.
If he doesn’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles,
so we will know them by their limping.” — an old Irish saying
Pleaes let us know if you see any developers, realtors, solicitors, or profiteers limping about.
Contact Alderman Joe Moore at the 49th Ward Office…with your opinions about zoning that allows this type of development to continue.
Neighbors for Responsible Zoning (“The Zoners”)
The new houses aren’t much to write home about, at least from the outside. They’ve got stagefront brick facades, with vinyl siding behind (because no one can see the side of the house. It’s invisible, don’tchaknow.) Why brick? I don’t know!! None of the houses around them have brick. I guess brick automatically equates to “quality”, and who can argue with quality?
They’re not out of scale with the neighborhood or anything; in fact they’re a bit too small to stand comfortably alongside the three-story older houses that surround them.
What makes the whole thing even more darkly hilarious is that the two new houses have sat empty for over two years now. One isn’t even finished — it only recently got its front porch, which still hasn’t been painted. One of the houses finally sold a month or two back, and the builder’s sign now reads “Only one left!” Yeah, better hurry there, folks.
The larger issue, of course, is how one should handle the eternal flux of city neighborhoods. This particular block is immensely valuable, because it’s right next to a Metra stop. 20 minute access to downtown? That’s an irresistible pull for developers. It’s amazing this hasn’t happened to the rest of the block.
Cities are always changing. Sometimes it happens slowly, in small bits and pieces like this. I don’t always like the results, but I have my doubts about the alternatives. Can you really constrain a city, tell it where to grow and where not to? Should the city remain physically stagnant? Where should growth be allowed? At what point does a building have enough architectural and historical merit to be worth curbing that growth?
All are questions with no fixed answer, but as I see endless protests and complaints about the supposed scourge of condominiums (people with money are moving into the city?! OH NOEZ!!), I find myself wondering just what people do want to happen in their city. Should it remain the same forever?