The City of Chicago's Official Site



An inventory of architecturally and historically significant structures.

The Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS), completed in 1995, was a decade-long research effort by the City of Chicago to analyze the historic and architectural importance of all buildings constructed in the city prior to 1940. During 12 years of field work and follow-up research that started in 1983, CHRS surveyors identified 17,371 properties which were considered to have some historic or architectural importance. The CHRS database identifies each property's date of construction, architect, building style and type, Chicago Landmark status (LM), inclusion in the Illinois Historic Structures Survey (ISS), and property identification numbers (PIN). A color-coded ranking system was used to identify historic and architectural significance relative to age, degree of external physical integrity, and level of possible significance.

RED (RD) properties possess some architectural feature or historical association that made them potentially significant in the broader context of the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, or the United States of America. About 300 properties are categorized as "Red" in the CHRS.

ORANGE (OR) properties possess some architectural feature or historical association that made them potentially significant in the context of the surrounding community. About 9,600 properties are categorized as "Orange" in the CHRS.

GREEN (GN), YELLOW-GREEN (YG), and YELLOW (YL) properties are those generally considered either too altered or lacking individual significance to be included in the CHRS database. However, properties with this color ranking that are included in the ISS or located within designated or potential Chicago Landmark districts were included in the CHRS.

BLUE (BL) properties are those constructed after 1940. These properties are considered too recent to be properly evaluated for architectural and historical significance and were generally not included in the CHRS database. However, properties already considered for individual Chicago Landmark designation and properties located within designated Chicago Landmark districts are included in the CHRS.

The on-line version of the CHRS is designed to provide Chicago residents, community groups, businesses and other interested parties with easy access to the database. By making it available on the Internet, the Department of Housing and Economic Development, Historic Preservation Division, hopes to increase architectural awareness in city neighborhoods, assist independent preservation efforts, and provide greater insight into city history. The CHRS was published in book form in 1996. It is no longer available for sale, but bound copies may be found at Chicago Public Libraries, university libraries, historical societies, and major research institutions in Chicago. (Search the database)

In addition to the information contained in the on-line version, the published report includes community histories, a guide to various architectural styles in Chicago, and more than 1,000 photos and illustrations, as well as cross-indexes by such categories as street names, community areas, architects, building styles, and building types. The published report also contains a complete explanation of the methodology and research information that was used by the CHRS surveyors.