The house at 1444 W. Farwell, destroyed by fire last January, was damaged beyond repair and had to be demolished. Fortunately, it is now being rebuilt to look as it did before. This is good news for the neighborhood, restoring the property to its former beauty. The house next door to it, which shared a common wall and a unified design, looked sadly incomplete without it.
Unfortunately, it is rare to see a rehab project of this scope give this much attention to a residence's history unless it has landmark status, and i applaud the effort. During the last real estate boom, we saw many of our beautiful old single-family homes torn down and replaced with bland six-unit buildings, identifiable by their cheap, orangey-brick facades that are somehow supposed to look "authentic;" many of our larger apartment buildings suffered get-rich-quick, slap-dash rehabs that turned those elegant old Rogers Park apartments into bland, characterless condos. Then there's the soon-to-be parking palace on the site of the former Shambala Meditation Center on Sheridan Road and the Loyola Juggernaut. With so much "progress" in the neighborhood, it's refreshing to see that this one corner of Rogers Park will maintain the look that has made this such a beautiful and interesting place to live.
Check out Curbed Chicago for more stories and pictures of Rogers Park architecture.
And here are links to my earlier posts on this property: