In the late 1990s, the 7-acre parcel of land at 89th & Indiana on Chicago’s south side presented the opportunity to add the first significant new construction in many years to this well-established community. The older core of the Chatham neighborhood that lies to the north of the site consists primarily of one and a half story bungalows–a common and beloved housing type in Chicago. At the time of development, however, market surveys indicated a strong consumer desire for larger 2.5-story homes with a greater number of bedrooms. FitzGerald designed a plan for 142 single family homes, the reinstatement of a lost street grid, and a wide range of possible home customizations.
FitzGerald’s solution was to provide a plan for 142 single family homes with generous single story living spaces at the front of each home that echoed the architectural character of existing homes in the area. Twelve distinct plans were created to offer a wide range of home sizes two, three, four, or five bedrooms. Finished basements, a variety of formal and informal family spaces, and detached two car garages were some of the many options offered to give buyers a high degree of control over the customization. The exteriors of the homes were differentiated with combinations of brick and stucco and recessed entries that recall typical Chicago bungalow features.
The site plan extended the area’s previously interrupted grid of streets and alleys, allowing perimeter homes to be placed along the large site’s existing street frontage, and homes on the new interior streets enjoying wide, landscaped boulevards. The site amenities included a play lot and an open, green park area to accommodate community gatherings and recreation.