General Question

majorrich's avatar

How did they build houses so close together in Chicago?

Asked by majorrich (12259 points ) December 29th, 2010

On a visit to Chicago, My son and I drove through some areas where multi-story homes were built virtually touching one another. More often, a gap of 6 to 8 inches for many homes in a row. How was this accomplished?

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6 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

It’s just like building anywhere else, but you have to work from the inside out. For example, the bricklayers’ scaffolding is inside the wall, not outside.

A friend of mine recently showed me pictures of a new place he built between two older buildings. They knocked down a house and put up a four-flat.

Here is the building. The car wash and two-flat alongside are at least 90 years old, probably more – Google Streetview

P.S. Quiroga’s car wash on Southport, in the picture, is the best car wash anywhere! (Disclaimer: I have no interest in the place except as a satisfied customer.)

jaytkay's avatar

And I meant to say, he showed me pictures of the whole project – the old house, the demolition, clearing the site, building a foundation and erecting the four-flat.

Just like any other site, but you can only access it from the front and back, not the sides.

YARNLADY's avatar

There are several sections in San Diego where houses are built on what is called a zero lot plan, where the house is literally on the lot line on one side, and the houses are only about 5 feet apart at the base.

I haven’t seen any closer than that, except for the large condo type buildings downtown.

In San Francisco, you see the same thing. The houses are only a few inches apart.

uleesgold1's avatar

NYC is twice as dense as Chicago.

RareDenver's avatar

Seriously, come to Europe, you will see some crazy old shit not 1 inch from a steel and glass monster.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

Thats a good damn question

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