Great news! Chicago Building Permits for 1872-1954 have been digitized and available free online! No more going to the Chicago History Museum or the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Library to sit at the microfilm reader to find this information.
The collection includes:
The Chicago Building Permit Street Index
The Chicago Building Permit Ledgers
City of Chicago Fire Reports
Building Construction Data
This collection is handwritten and not searchable. There is a “Browse Building Permits” button. We highly recommend reading all of the guide to get a clear understand of the collection to help you with a successful search.
Included is an informative guide and how to:
Find a permit
- Using the digital reel
- Using the street index – Note which direction you are looking for (North, South, East and West). Number addresses will be next to each other. Some are really hard to read.
- Using the ledger Books
- Ledger detail for pre-1912
- Ledger detail for post-1912
Supplementary information – **important to read to understand the collection
Fire reports for 1933-1968 – 12 ledgers, handwritten index in front of each ledger, helpful reel index that shows date ranges and index starting page.
Building construction data from 1917-1925 – 4 ledger books
So, locate those addresses and dig in to see what you can find.
Introduction - Chicago Building Permits Digital Collection 1872-1954 - Subject and Course Guides at University of Illinois at Chicago (uic.edu)
Thank you UIC – University Library for digitalizing this collection and making it available free online.