It’s true Chicago is split up into a number of very different neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character. In Washington Heights you’ll find modest brick homes sitting atop small lots, with a row of bushes or flowerbeds standing between the homes and a thin plot of grass leading to the road. Many places have one-car garages but since a lot of households have multiple vehicles it leads to streets lined with residential parking. Back alleys offer quick routes about the neighborhood, as well as access to your garbage cans on pickup day.
There are very few multi-unit residential buildings in Washington Heights, instead the blocks are comprised of a mix of two- and three-bedroom brick ranches and bungalows, and two-story redbrick houses and split-levels. A new homebuyer can easily find properties for under $100,000 here, although many of those structures are older and would require some renovation, but the majority of the houses still maintain a quaintness that is inviting and desirable. Plus, if you’re willing to put in the time, they could very well become that perfect home for you and your family.
In addition to the lovable fixer-upper, Washington Heights neighborhood boasts a good number of well-maintained Chicago bungalows that sport attractive exterior stone accents and historical beauty. Scattered in among the more traditional architecture are a few new-construction homes that bring all the amenities of downtown living to the south side. Many of these properties are priced between the low to upper $200,000s, but there are some very nice, good-size homes in Washington Heights for $150,000 or less.
A number of Chicago neighborhoods can boast a historic home or two. Washington Heights has a whole street of them! The Walter Burley Griffin Place District (1600-1800 blocks of W 104th Pl) covers two entire blocks of West 104th Place (which is also known as Griffin Place depending on the age of your map or cartographical software). Whatever you call it, this area houses the largest concentration of Prairie-style dwellings in Chicago. The eight homes that comprise the district were designed by Walter Burley Griffin, a Chicago architect who started his career studying under local super-architect Frank Lloyd Wright (who founded the Prairie School of architecture). Between 1909 and 1914, Griffin constructed the homes of his namesake district with his own unique variation on the Prairie-style of architecture. The typical Prairie School involved lots of horizontal lines, flat roofs with overhanging eaves, discipline in the use of ornament, and natural materials. The horizontal lines were meant to blend into the Midwest prairie landscape. The homes of the Griffin Place District epitomize this style, and were granted historic landmark status by the city of Chicago in 1981. As for Griffin himself, after designing a number of private residences in Chicago, Griffin moved to Australia in 1912 to design an entire city, called Canberra. Never one to settle in complacency, Griffin moved again in 1936, this time to India, where he continued to design many private structures.