Located at the southwest corner of 63rd Street and S. Cottage Grove Avenue, beneath the terminus of the Chicago L’s Green Line, the Washington Park National Bank Building is a microcosm of the surrounding Woodlawn neighborhood, from its early prosperity followed by a long, slow period of disinvestment and decline. Constructed in the 1920s, by 2015 the building had been vacant for around forty years, with a tree growing through the roof, a flooded basement, and $3.7 million in delinquent property taxes. Maybe not a developer’s first choice of property. But the Cook County Land Bank Authority saw opportunity.
Photo by Oscar Perry Abello