Abandoned House on the Prairie



Although clearly appearing abandoned (see update), this house in Bridgeport is not on a real prairie. To its left is the Stevenson Expressway, to the right is Palmisano Park. The park features rolling hills and grassland, and only opened a few years ago. The land was at one time used as a quarry, and later a landfill.

The effects of a highway are clearly visible in the nearby parcels. Surrounding vacant lots and overgrown sidewalks indicate a past long forgotten.

Southwest Route

The arrival of the Southwest Route Expressway (later Stevenson) in 1964 undoubtedly dealt a blow to the neighborhood around it. Today, the neighborhood is again being transformed, beyond the beautiful new park. This cottage on South Green Street is a block away from Archer Avenue, which made Preservation Chicago’s 2007 list of seven endangered buildings:

Disinvestment, neglect, and the construction of the Stevenson Expressway in the 1950’s all took their toll on Archer Avenue. To that end, there has been very little new construction along Archer Avenue from c.1905 until the present. However, there have been some demolitions as well as a few unfortunate façade alterations. Most notablywas the demolition ofthe early Irish community’s historic St. Bridget’s Church, where Mayor Richard J. Daley married Eleanor (Sis) Guilfoyle Daley.


Built in the late 1870s, this house is representative of the working class neighborhood it’s in. A worker’s cottage, it’s a style that once represented upward mobility:

It is likely that the term “worker’s cottage” came to be used when even families of very modest income were able to afford their own house. By comparison with the crowded “tenements” and other buildings at the core of cities like Chicago, the large tracts of land developed with cottages at the expanding edge of the metropolitan area were comparatively low in density and considered a great improvement for working class families.


Today, this worker’s cottage is the only structure on South Green Street between 26th and 27th Streets. Instead of kudzu vines coming through the windows, it’s thistles and prairie flowers taking over this home.

UPDATE 09/19:

A reader contacted us to note that the house featured here is not abandoned:

Just a heads up, 2618 green is not abandoned. there is a fellow who lives there and has for quite a few years. forget his name, but after bringing up the house at a recent caps meeting, and doing some ‘investigating,’ we got a hold of him and he actually showed up to the meeting in september. an honest mistake – we thought it was abandoned too.

2 responses to “Abandoned House on the Prairie”

  1. Gi says:

    I was with some friends one day and they thought it’d be a good idea to explore this “abandoned” house. We didn’t go inside or anything, didn’t vandalize either. Just a couple of curious teenagers looking for an adventure. An old man that looked a bit like Santa came around the side of the house and started cursing at us telling us to get lost. My friends ditched me but I didn’t want to run because I really felt bad! I tried apologizing to the man explaining that we didn’t think anyone lived there and we were just looking around, but he wasn’t having it. Cursed me out some more and threatened to call the police. This probably happens a lot to the guy so I don’t blame him. Just wish he was a little nicer about it, I know I was.

  2. Noah says:

    I biked by the property this morning (1/2/16) and the house is gone, probably demolished within the past week or so (a guess.) All that is there now is a large muddy hole in the ground.

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