Should Chicago Real Estate Sacrifice History for Growth?

by Chicago Agent

Chicago's lakefront is at the center of a new land sale on South Shore Drive.

We all know that cities must continue growing to remain relevant, but at what cost? A land sale along South Shore Drive is engaging that very argument. A three-plot land sale just north of 77th Street, the 2/3 acre-sale hit the market in March for $3 million, and put a historic property and the lakefront’s character at risk.

As Curbed pointed out in a recent blurb, two historic homes sit on the land, including the Field Pullman Heyworth House, which dates back to 1890.

The house is not landmarked, so any developer would have the right to tear it down and build large multifamily developments, which are probably the intention of the land owners.

The developments would not ruin the area’s image (Curbed noted that nearby areas have already built “clumsy mid-rises”), and the Heyworth House has been moved a number of times before, but the two sides of the debate – modest housing that complements the lake, and more modern multifamily units that confront it – have rarely been more pronounced.

And then there’s the fact that if more mid-rises are built, more residents will have access to the lakefront we all adore so much. So are we stuck in a battle between character and practicality? What do you think?

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