ChicagoNorth Side

The CHA’s Britton Budd apartments in Lakeview East

by Joe Zekas on 10/15/12

The Chicago Housing Authority operates a number of seniors’ housing projects that receive little attention.

One of those projects began its life in 1917 as the Surf Apartment Hotel, at the southwest corner of Surf and Pine Grove in Lakeview East. The ornate 10-story building currently houses 173 studio and one-bedroom apartments restricted to residents at least 62 years of age and is known as the Britton Budd Apartments.

Britton Budd was a key figure in the development of Chicago’s elevated lines, and a man of action. According to one account:

Budd’s no-nonsense personality was often reflected in the way he conducted his job. One particularly illustrative incident occurred when the Northwestern notified Wilmette officials of their intention to extend their line into the city. Opposition to the plan quickly developed and the village wanted Budd’s company to obtain a franchise to enter the village, provide 24-hour police protection and charge five cents for travel into Evanston and ten for trips into Chicago. Budd refused. On the night of April 1, 1912, he ordered a construction crew to the village and under the cover of darkness, they closed off Laurel Avenue and built a half-car long platform on a short spur track just south of Linden, 150 feet west of 4th Street. Wilmette awoke the next morning to rapid transit service. Later, when the Northwestern requested to build a permanent station facility, Wilmette, ego still bruised, refused. Budd ordered the station and yard built anyway, successfully arguing in court that the Northwestern was acting under a franchise granted to the Chicago Evanston & Lake Superior Railway.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

pedro October 15, 2012 at 9:53 AM

The horror!


Mike October 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Imagine how much property tax the city, county, CPS, CPL, and parks dept. could collect if the free market was allowed to work in the city. Next time they cry poor over not collecting enough revenue they should be reminded that properties like these are not collecting property taxes. Then they go and raise your homes annual bill.


Michelle Gardner April 12, 2015 at 9:22 AM

Mike, your comment is decidly one sided. These seniors are ” your” grandparents, parents, relatives that live and exist primarily on their social security and their monthly rental payments are based on that total monthly amount. Their total income (jobs, family, soc sec, etc) is the determining factor in that monthly rental amount they pay, which the CHA receives which in turn pays for all other CHA services throughout the City Of Chicago. Many seniors cannot afford the Chicago rentals and a free market rate is beyond many Seniors means . No senior I know would live in a Senior Housing owned by the CHA if their income allowed them to live in the free market zone.


evelyn August 23, 2015 at 12:58 PM

Many of these buildings are mixed income and open only to senior citizens. Safety is a big factor here, because crimes of various kinds target seniors. Seniors also face many health issues, and problems with accessibility. These buildings address many of these issues for senior citizens.

Wait until you get old Mike and perhaps become disabled, or need accessible housing, then you will not be so against this type of housing that you or your loved ones will need. This nations gives away billions of dollars to countries from which we derive no benefit, and some of them are working against us. So I cannot imagine what makes you so hostile against caring for our own old people, many of them whose tax dollars sent you to free public schools, and provided you with perhaps free, or low cost tuition. Huh, they should not receive any benefits because they are now old?.


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