Wood Street buildings slated for demolition

814 N Wood820 N Wood
814 N. Wood820 N. Wood

By Scott Rappe 

Two lovely buildings are coming down in the 800 block of Wood, one an iconic East Village four-flat, the other a unique Empire-style structure.

The new owner will build "standard three flats" on each lot, according to Raymond Valadez, chief of staff to 1st Ward Ald. Proco Joe Moreno. Valadez said the designs can be built as of right. East Village Association volunteers are attempting to meet with Moreno and the developer.

It is sad to note that this block was on the preliminary 2005 map for the city's East Village Landmark District and later removed. Ironically, the Empire-style building at 820 N. Wood was featured on the city's landmarks website to illustrate the East Village district. The photo was removed after EVA made inquiries Monday about demolition permits at the two addresses.

These will be the fourth and fifth vintage buildings to be demolished on Wood Street between Chicago & Armitage in the past month.


  1. Man, that stinks. I assume that it's going to be a tear-down for a large SFH as well, that will reduce the vibrancy of the block for 100' and trade 4-6 families of the street in place of one. There are still plenty of asbestos-shingled claptraps in East Village. Why not tear those down instead of these fine quality buildings we can never get back? Killing the golden goose...

    Is there a hope of expanding the Historic District sometime in the future?

  2. Makes me sick. That's the problem with Chicago (and many other U.S. cities for that matter). We have no respect for history. Look at other European cities, they respect architecture and the places of the past generations . Buildings last for hundreds of years there and those structures create the culture and foundation of those cities. In the U.S. everything is disposable. Tear it down throw it away and build it new so i can have modern convenience and more space. We're a wasteful nation and people don't give a shit about the character of the neighborhood.

    It really pisses me off living in the neighborhood that these buildings will be destroyed.

  3. And they're gone. Very sad -- looked like there were at least three layers of brick on the one left half-standing right now. Probably could have lasted another 300 years.

  4. A neighbor alerted me to this posting, and thought I would like to weigh in.
    We own the house to the immediate north to the now demolished properties. My house is of the same vintage.
    For five years, we have worked to keep this block nice, and kept the squatters away for the past two while they went into bankruptcy, and were finally bought by the development company. They are decent people and they're doing their work. Would we have preferred these houses were repurposed and occupied with their original foundations and facades? Of course. I sent letters, went to caps meetings to run off the gangbangers, etc etc. It saddens me, though, as people come by and wonder why they came down? They came down because the only people to purchase--at a rather modest price, btw--were developers. And why the block was removed by the landmark committee has never been clear. Maybe someone could illuminate. I do hope my house is still standing 300 years from now. And for the record, a small army of friends and neighbors have been pulling out all the wonderful limestone from the foundations, and you'll see it throughout the neighborhood. We also salvaged the doors and trim and shutters from inside the houses, to use in various vintage homes in the hood


The webmaster must approve your comments. Please be neighborly.