Shedding some light on the luminiferous California Estates

To the best of my recollection, the first time I ever encountered the word luminiferous was nearly six years ago, on the sign pictured above. The only other time I’ve seen the word was yesterday – the sign is still in place on a series of vacant lots at the corner of California and Bloomingdale in Logan Square.

We first wrote about California Estates, a development where 16 single-family homes were offered for sale, in April of 2006. The homes were priced from the $670s, but quickly bumped up into the low $700s. We revisited the project in November of that year, and again in January of 2008, when six of the seven homes that had been built had been sold. Joe Askins shot a video tour of the seventh home, which was priced at $949,000.

It appears that California Estates produced a lot more heat than light for the original buyers.

1822 N California sold for $668,500 in July of 2006. It went through a foreclosure, and resold early last year for $435,000.

1830 N California sold for $718,000 in September of 2006, and resold last April for $435,000.

1828 N California sold for $707,500 in August of 2006. The 4-bedroom, 4-bath home has been on the market since last July, and is currently priced at $549,000.

And the remaining 9 lots? According to public records, 7 are still owned by the original developer, and two were apparently sold to a third party.


  • Buster 5 years

    These fellows also bought the alleyway on the south end of this property. Unfortunately, it was a nice, almost 100% intact cobblestone alley (or brick…whatever you refer to it as), used by many from the neighborhood to get to/from school. As soon as they took over the property, they ripped up and sold the cobblestone and fenced off the area. This did nothing to make the area luminiferous. It’s been a weedy mud pit ever since. I see they have the remaining empty lots listed on MLS now with some new homes planned. I see other developers building a lot of bigger rental buildings on this stretch of California, there and further north. That’s what this site’s developer wanted to do, but the neighborhood really rallied against them for some reason in regard to the density at a series of community meetings.

  • Thanks for the info, Buster.

    I shot video at the new rental 6-flat just up the block yesterday, and will be posting it later today or tomorrow.