Research Resources

This page is intended to provide access to research resources that I routinely use when writing my blog posts about Chicago’s built environment. It’s hardly an exhaustive list, and will be a work in progress. Suggestions are always welcome.


  • City News Chicago: easy address search and mapping browsing. Look up property PINs and find construction dates, drawn from tax records. May not have info on parcels that were built as or have long been tax exempt.
  • Cook County Assessor Property Search: Easiest if you search on PIN. Mostly same info as City News Chicago, but can be useful for confirming that you’ve correctly identified a building’s address by looking at a photo. Again, only good for property that is taxable.
  • Chicago Historic Resources Survey: Search the city’s database of significant buildings by street name, architect, or community area. Only has info for select buildings.
  • Cook County Recorder of Deeds: Search by PIN to see property transactions in recent decades.
  • Cook County Assessor Exempt Property Search: May be useful for looking up tax-exempt properties such as churches, schools, etc. I have not used it yet.
  • Encyclopedia of Chicago: Articles about neighborhoods and many other topics of historical significance in Chicago.

National Register/Landmark Info

Street Name and Number Changes (all PDFs)

Other Research Guides