Over neighbors’ objections, couple seeks to tear down Lincoln Park home to build rentals

The couple bought the house for $1.2 million in 2014, then realized it would require extensive renovations

Chicago /
May.May 10, 2022 01:20 PM
1317 W Wrightwood Avenue (Google Maps)

1317 W Wrightwood Avenue (Google Maps)

Bucking trends, and annoying their neighbors, a couple in Lincoln Park is seeking to tear down their $1.2 million home and replace it with a four-unit rental building.

Blair Dawson and Bob Adolfson presented plans to tear down their Italianate 19th century home to their Alderman and neighbors — many of whom live in similar rentals or condo buildings, according to Crain’s.

The couple purchased the house for $1.2 million in 2014, but soon realized that the home would require extensive renovations and that much of the previous work had been done without permits.

“The house has outlived its useful life,” Adolfson, an @properties agent, said to Crain’s.

Adolfson said much of the previous work didn’t meet building codes and could be dangerous. Updating the house would cost upwards of $250,000.
Several other homes on the block have been torn down and replaced with new condo buildings, but that doesn’t mean the neighbors in those buildings support this teardown.

“It’s an incredible house, and they want to raze it,” Jeff McKinney, who lives next door in a new condo building, said to Crain’s.

Adolfson said tearing down the home, where they held their wedding reception in the back yard, would be hard given its ornate details. In its place they want to build a four-unit brick building, with the couple occupying one and three others rented out. The project would resemble the other new developments on the street.

“That’s the way the neighborhood is going,” Adolfson told Crain’s. “We decided we should, too.”

Many teardown projects, especially in high-end neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, are the opposite of this one, with developers tearing down multi-unit buildings to develop megamansions, further limiting housing and rental stock in the city.

[Crain’s] — Miranda Davis






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