Lakeview home built in the 1870s has been demolished

It stood near the corner of Clark Street and Wellington for nearly 140 years. But last week, one of Chicago’s oldest homes fell to the wrecking ball.

While the house was not protected, preservationists say it's yet another example of why the city needs to do a better job identifying and saving its history.

Ed Hoban admired it every day as he walked his dog through Lakeview.

"Wow, cool old house. and then two days ago I saw cool old house gone now,” he said.

Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago says the wood frame cottage home was built in the 1870's following The Great Chicago Fire when Lakeview was still outside the city limits.

"We thought this was amongst the earliest houses that still exist in the Lakeview community,” Miller said. "We would have loved to have seen this building saved, restored. it would have been a fine family home."

Miller says it serves as an example of how many historic buildings fall through the preservation cracks. It wasn't part of the historic survey compiled 30 years ago, designating what should be saved, so it had no legal protections.

But Miller says that list was compiled before Northside property values skyrocketed, prompting a massive wave of demolitions.

"Every time we lose one of these we lose a little bit of that specialness and special qualities of a community that make it so unique,” Miller said.

"They were all built about the same time,” said Alderman Tom Tunney.

Tunney says that's why he's working with the city and community groups to create an East Lakeview Historic District, which would protect some of the neighborhood's oldest homes

Property records show the historic home sold for $1.2 million and will be replaced by a tall residential building similar to those popping up all over the North Side.

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