Edgeville Buzz

Demolition Of Historic Andersonville Home Put On Hold After Community Backlash, Its Future Still Unclear

After EVB broke the story about the scheduled demolition of the historic home at 1436 W. Berwyn to make way for a six-condo development, area residents voiced intense concern about the situation.

Since then, over 500 people have signed a online petition and Alderman Harry Osterman has received many emails and phone calls expressing opposition to the demolition and proposed development.

Wednesday night, the East Andersonville Residents Council (EARC) met and voted to also oppose the demolition of the house. After the president of EARC met with the Alderman, developer (Aidan Development) and their architect Thursday afternoon, it was agreed to put the demolition and development on hold.

“Thank you to ward residents who have reached out with concerns regarding a proposed development that includes the tear down of the historic building at 1436 W. Berwyn Ave,” said the Alderman in a statement. “I agree wholeheartedly with the concerns that have been raised and that the building should be preserved.”

According to the Alderman, the developer and his architect have agreed to work with the 48th Ward office on a revised plan that would include preservation of the existing building as part of the development.

Some residents however, feel that the structure is not yet completely saved. With no plans yet submitted detailing if the current structure will remain fully intact during the development, more battles could be in the works.  Future meetings are planned to continue pressure on the developer to move forward with sensitivity to the home’s historic English Gothic and Romanesque architecture.

1436 W. Berwyn was built in 1908 by two local Swedish immigrant brothers, Christ and John Christiansen. The rare 2-flat graystone is one of the most ornamental buildings in Edgewater. The building, which was recently sold at a bargain price of $875,000 sits on an extra large 50′ x 125′ lot, is a perfect candidate for a tear-down. The low purchase price mixed with the wide lot means a developer can come in, demolish the property, construct a condo building and make a nice profit. In addition, most of East Andersonville is zoned R4, which means larger multi-story buildings can be built on the site.

The Alderman says he will give weekly updates on the progress and that he welcomes continued input.

To sign the petition,  click here.


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