Italianate and Second Empire on Compton Avenue

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I’ve always been mystified why there’s a stretch of Italianate/Second Empire houses on Compton Aveneue just south of I-44; the houses were all built between 1883 and 1885, but the majority of the houses around them date from 1915 to 1931.


I looked to the Sanborn maps, and discovered that much of the area around Compton Avenue developed very late compared to the rest of the area.  In fact, the reason the houses across the street from the row, seen here in between Russell and Geyer Avenues, is that a large mansion occupied the property, and it was obviously demolished sometime in the first two decades of the Twentieth Century.

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I have no idea why, but I was taking all of my pictures crooked that day.

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But I’m so glad they survived, as much of the housing stock from the central corridor and the Near South Side was demolished for being outdated and in poor condition.  These houses are really wonderful.

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Look how the two dwarf Mansard roods have aged differently over the last century; the one on the left might even be new shingles.

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The house below is stunning, and surely could fit in perfectly fine in Lafayette Square.

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One Response

  1. Jenn, South City

    01/25/2013, 09:09 am

    It would be fascinating to find out more about that mansion and its builder. Is that a carriage house and servant’s quarters out back? And would that small yellow square with a “1” be a privy?

    I imagine that the homes were built when that area was considered the countryside. When the land became built up the wealthy moved further away. Lots were split up and newer homes were constructed. And so it continues…


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