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Owner Fined $7,500 For Illegally Knocking Down Historic Workers Cottage

By Paul Biasco | November 17, 2014 5:37am
 The workers cottage at 625 W. Armitage Ave. was torn down in September.
The workers cottage at 625 W. Armitage Ave. was torn down in September.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

LINCOLN PARK — The owner of the little blue cottage on Armitage Avenue who demolished the building illegally has been fined $7,500 by the city.

Construction crews demolished the home in mid-September without the proper permits.

The owner of the 128-year-old property, John Novak of Novak Construction, originally sought to build an addition to the historic home and obtained the proper permits to do so in April.

Instead, Novak tore down the building and one-car garage, prompting the city to issue a stop-work order on the property at 625 W. Armitage Ave.

Paul Biasco says neighbors enjoyed how the cottage stood out from the mansions and condos:

The city's Law and Building departments reviewed the project and levied a fine of $7,500 on Novak for failing to obtain the proper permits.

Novak also was required to resubmit plans for new permits, according to an email from 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith's office.

The Building Department issued new permits to Novak on Thursday for a two-story frame and masonry project with a one-car detached garage.

The original permits were for a second-story addition to the existing one-story building as well as an addition in the rear of the home.

In an email to neighbors, Matt Allee, the 43rd Ward's director of zoning and urban development, said the project is now fully compliant with all requisite permits.

"I want to thank you again for your outreach to our office to let us know of the illegal construction that was taking place at this address," Allee said in the email to neighbors.

The cottage was one of the last homes of its kind in the neighborhood.

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