Remembering Lost Houses of Des Plaines

As the city continues changing in the 21st century, we look back at what used to be.

The 1960’s were a turbulent time in America. Many longtime Des Plaines residents recall that as the decade when Des Plaines lost much of its small-town feel.

Facing competition from nearby malls like Randhurst Shopping Center, downtown began to lose its luster, and plans were prepared to redevelop large parts of downtown. Lee Street and Graceland Avenue shifted from the fine homes of the city's elite to new shopping and office buildings. Condominiums and apartments began to spring up.

Of course, with changes come growing pains, and many of the older homes of Des Plaines fell to the wrecking ball. Here are slides of several of those lost homes, taken from 1968 to 1969 by David R. Wolf, my grandfather.


has a large collection of old photographs to view.

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