Historic Chicago Subdivision in Decay: Samuel Eberly Gross Rowhouses of Fifth Avenue

Gabriel X. Michael 5 comments

2900 block of West Monroe Street, viewing northwest from an alley connecting Fifth Avenue and Monroe Street, April 2015. (Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns)

When renowned Chicago real estate developer Samuel Eberly Gross purchased swaths of land near present-day Fifth Avenue and Sacramento Boulevard, the area was not much of a neighborhood, but the undeveloped outskirts of western Chicago—very rural and surrounded by farms.

With the assistance of architect Lars Gustav Hallberg in 1887, he erected a series of upscale Queen Anne-style rowhouses to serve a growing, fashionable professional population working downtown; Chicago’s central business district was 3 miles to the east down Madison Street, and the recently established Garfield (then “Central”) Park was 4 blocks to the west at Homan Avenue (3400 West) for city residents’ enjoyment.

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Tribute: 124 North Sacramento Boulevard

Gabriel X. Michael 2 comments
124 North Sacramento Boulevard. January 4, 2014.

124 North Sacramento Boulevard. January 4, 2014.

For years, possibly decades, the two-story brick flat at 124 North Sacramento Boulevard, just south of once-bustling Lake Street, has stood isolated and surrounded by vacancy. Bordered by an alley to the south and an overgrown fenced lot to the north and existing here since approximately 1889, it provides a glimpse into the former life of this block, neighborhood, and the greater West Side of Chicago.

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Lone Gothic Mansion on Washington Boulevard

John Morris Leave a comment

gothic (2)

This is the only grand home left on Washington Boulevard near Union Park. Built in 1890 in the Gothic Revival style, it’s a relic among empty lots of new construction.


1880s Rowhouses on Maypole Avenue in East Garfield Park

Gabriel X. Michael Leave a comment

2743 – 2759 West Maypole Avenue, built from 1883 – 1889

In the northeast corner of the East Garfield Park community area, an array of picturesque, nearly-continuous Queen Anne-style rowhomes (and a couple of workers’ cottages) line the 2600 – 2800 blocks of West Maypole Avenue.

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