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In the bustling metropolitan area of Old Town Chicago is this cute cottage. It’s home to David Hawkanson, executive director of the Steppenwolf Theater Company.

In early 2007, shortly after becoming the executive director, Hawkanson realized it was time to put down some roots in the town. With the help of a local real estate agent he found this cottage.

Having to downsize to fit in this small home Hawkanson soon realized his new home was also a historic tourist attraction.

In this particular area, Menomonee Street, only this cottage and one other like it still exist. Back in the fall of 1871, thousands of lives and homes were lost in the Great Chicago Fire that lasted for two days.

To help the city recover from this tragedy the Chicago Relief and Aid Society offered homeowners who lost their homes in the fire a prefab housing kit to reconstruct their houses at an affordable rate of $75-100 depending on the size they choose. Sometimes it was even given away for free.

Fast forward in time to 2002, the cottage has been updated with current modifications but has still kept its small size and charm. Hawkanson acquired the property in 2007 at a mid-six figure range.

Now the cottage is somewhat of a tourist attraction. For Hawkanson he has come to terms with the local tour guides to give him more privacy.

Hawkanson says, “I threatened to get out the garden hose”. It seems to have worked.

Please enjoy the photos below courtesy of the New York Times.

780 Sq. Ft. Historic Old Town Chicago Cottage


Images © Jane Beiles for The New York Times

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