Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hideous gargoyles and a step down memory lane

We spent Saturday doing a little exploration on our house and preserving our street. First, we attended our Alderman's community fair which had a number of different community development organizations and representatives from the Illinois Historic Preservation Committee. We had quite the enlightening conversation with the Preservation guy informing us that basically there's nothing we could do to preserve our street. (though we can try contacting our alderman-the alderman's office already knows me, as I seem to be calling his office once a month or so). Our little bone to pick is with this hideous concrete monstrosity that our neighbor (thankfully end of the block neighbor) put up complete with gargoyles. Yes, gargoyles. Does that sound like it fits on the same block as our house?? The building itself is ugly with no redeeming qualities from an architectural standpoint-but liveable. The gargoyles though is what makes the place look so hideous. Technically, our block is on the national historic registry. However, without protection on the state level, there's really no way to enforce that. If we see something happening, we need to go lobby our alderman.

I'll try to post pictures of this monstrosity-but someone's always around when I am. I have thought about submitting it for the "What's with that house" show on HGTV.

More fruitful, was our trip to UIC to look at the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps to see what the footprint was of our house back in 1917 and 1950. For those of you who don't know, these maps were prepared to show the possibility of fire for each dwelling. They have a legend on them showing that some dwellings were brick, or frame, or frame plus brick, etc. It was a nice trip down our house's memory lane. In a couple weeks we are going to head to the Art Institute where they are having a seminar on tracing your houses history. Should be fun. I really wish we could get old photos of what the house looked like, but realize that realistically isn't going to happen.

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