Gage Park Historic Bungalow District Added to National Register for Historic Places

Twelve Illinois sites were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2020, including Gage Park’s Historic Bungalow District on the city’s Southwest Side.

Bungalows have been an essential part of Chicago’s landscape for more than a century.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

As the city’s population grew in the early 1900s, subdivisions of brick bungalows were built in the neighborhoods surrounding Chicago’s center.

It came to be known as the bungalow belt, sweeping across the city from the Far South Side, to the Far North.

The single-family home provided an affordable opportunity for homeownership.

“We had a huge population boom because we had a huge immigration boom, and bungalows filled in this gap,” said Carla Bruni of the Chicago Bungalow Association. “The city was responding by having these luxury high rises, and also tenement housing. So the bungalow comes along and it’s this surprisingly affordable alternative to that.”

Located roughly 7 miles southwest of the Loop, many of Gage Park’s bungalows were built between 1924 and 1927.

The historic district in Gage Park is bounded to the north and south by 55th and 59th streets, and by Washtenaw and Sacramento avenues to the east and west.

Adapted from the west coast bungalows, in the 19th century, local architects modified the bungalow style to match the city’s narrow lot size, creating what is now known as the Chicago bungalow.

The single-family home is marked by a narrow rectangular shape, low roof overhang and generous window space.

Gage Park resident Adriana Vargas and her mom have owned their bungalow for six years.

Located just outside the bounds of the historic district, the home was built in 1920.

“For us it’s like the American dream, we want to look for that single-family home where you can stay forever, and this has been it,” Vargas said.

Community Reporting Series

“Chicago Tonight” is expanding its community reporting. We’re hitting the streets to speak with your neighbors, local businesses, agencies and leaders about COVID-19, the economy, racial justice, education and more. See where we’ve been and what we’ve learned by using the map below. Or select a community using the drop-down menu. Points in red represent our series COVID-19 Across Chicago; blue marks our series “Chicago Tonight” in Your Neighborhood.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors