A Project by
Rod Sellers
Chicago's East Side Residential Architecture
East Side Welcome
Residential Architecture
Early Real Estate Developers
Post WWII Residential Architecture
Block Study 11300 Avenue L
Curriculum Materials

East Side
Residential Architecture

The residential growth of the East Side and the surrounding communities of South Chicago, South Deering, and Hegewisch closely paralleled the development of the steel industry in the area.  The first steel mill to open was the Joseph H. Brown Mill which opened in 1875 at 109th Street and the Calumet River.  This mill later became the Wisconsin Steel Mill and coincidentally was the first major area mill to close in 1980.  The North Chicago Rolling Mill opened in South Chicago in 1880 and later became the mammoth United States Steel South Works which at its peak employed almost 20,000 workers.  It closed its doors in 1992.  Although these two mills were not technically located on the East Side, they employed many residents of the community.  The East Side's own steel mill was the Republic Steel Mill located on the east side of the Calumet River stretching over a mile in length.  Although the mill is still open it employs a fraction of its original work force and has also suffered from the decline of the domestic steel industry in the "Rust Belt".  However when these mills and other smaller mills were operating in their heyday the jobs they offered were the drawing card which attracted residents to the community. 

Current new home construction on the East Side is concentrated on the far southern portion of the community on land that was formerly under water and covered by a shallow body of water known as Hyde Lake.  This new construction is located east of Ewing Avenue and south of 114th Street.  There are also a couple of other blocks being developed between 110th Street and 112th Street on Avenue F since the closing and removal of a railroad track that ran through the heart of the community.  The railroad right of way is scheduled to be converted to a bicycle trail in the near future.  The new construction includes ranch style, bilevel and trilevel homes, as well as a few specialty houses which are larger and more luxurious than the surrounding homes. 

 Click on the links at the left to tour residential architecture of 
Chicago's East Side.

Teachers' Center
National Endowment for the Humanities
Illinois University