Are you interested in who designed your house? How old it might be? What materials and construction techniques were used? How it fits into the architectural and social history of the city of Chicago? Here are some websites, databases, and publications to help you research the houses and buildings of Chicago.
Starting Points: From the Commission on Chicago Landmarks
City of Chicago website that includes maps, an architectural style guide, a database of architecturally and historically significant structures, landmark status of each listed building, and an extensive bibliography.
General information about residential building in Chicago and Cook County, including PIN numbers and date of construction. Although not always accurate, information from this site is a good starting point for house research.
Encyclopedic history of Chicago and its neighborhoods. This site is a good source for maps, including an annexation map of the city. [A print version of the Encyclopedia is available in the Ryerson Library Reading Room.]
Website with searchable index to archival collections of more than 20 Chicago-area cultural institutions. More than 100,000 digitized images are available. Tabs for Cities and Neighborhoods help locate resources, images and finding aids for a particular community.
Website maintained by an organization that seeks to document little-known elements of Chicago’s infrastructure, architecture, neighborhoods, and general cityscape. It provides links to an excellent collection of Chicago neighborhood maps.
Online database of significant architectural resources for Northern Cook County. Information in the survey database is based on field inspections conducted by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. The dates of construction for a building are often approximate and are not based on detailed permit research. Some information is based on interviews with property owners, period publications, and other background research.
59 min 2 sec ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SUNDAY—Rodney McMillian: a great society
Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, Rodney McMillian employs elements of performance, public speaking, oral history—and his interest in the science fiction genre—to expose the social and psychological consequences of economic inequality and endemic racism. While his work engages the often stark realities of history and contemporary culture, it is motivated by the potential for alternative realities and future transformation.
1 day 2 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago “One day, I had a dream… there were three black boots in the middle of the road, with very high houses."
These are the words of Tarsila do Amaral, one of the leaders behind Anthropophagy, a national art movement that arose in 1920s Brazil with the goal of “cannibalizing” aspects of European modern art in order to make a new, more distinctly indigenous style. #5WomenArtists
Explore Tarsila’s work in depth when Tarsila do Amaral: Reinventing Modern Art in Brazil opens at the Art Institute this October.
Image: Tarsila do Amaral. City (The Street), 1929. Collection of Bolsa de Arte.