Friday, May 9, 2008
Save This Building
This is an exceptionally pretty 1920s-vintage courtyard located at 1422-32 W. Farwell Ave in Rogers Park. It is managed by the notorious Bil Mar management company, but until a couple of years ago, was reasonably well-maintained, and inhabited by nice people.
WCM Farwell Apt. LLC
1422-1432 W Farwell Chicago, IL 60626
Address PIN Structure ID
1422-1432 W FARWELL PIN: 11-32-116-015 01132116015000
Now, the place is looking less well, and seems to be harboring undesirable people and activities. I am getting informal reports of drug dealing in and around the building, and see a lot of unsavory-looking young men milling about the property. The maintenance has also slipped, as evidenced by extremely dry-rotted windows.
This is one of Rogers Park's huge supply of really beautiful courtyard buildings. Notice the exceptional terracotta ornamentation and tile roof. The floorplans of the apartments are standard for the era in which the building went up, with spacious, well-proportioned rooms, high ceilings, large windows, and beautiful millwork. Buildings like this are irreplaceable, and when they are deteriorated enough to need a complete gut, their beauty is completely lost when some greed-monger developer guts the place, re-arranges the original floorplan, and makes the place look like a cheap "villa" townhouse in Antioch.
Here's hoping that the ownership of this fine building decides to unload the place and free itself of the burden of properly screening tenants and maintaining the property decently, either by doing a "soft" conversion to condos (a conversion with no rehab) or co-op, or by selling to a more caring and responsible owner who operates on longer time horizons and is committed to the area.
However, there are so many government-sponsored inducements to greed and mismanagement, such as the poorly-run Section 8 voucher program in combination with minimal HUD and City of Chicago oversight of landlords who benefit from this and other socialized housing programs, that, at this time, there exist more incentives to exploit the property to the maximum advantage while giving nothing back to it, until the property is so trashed that a gut rehab and conversion (with government-guaranteed loans, of course) are the only ways to salvage it.