Address: 5760 S. Lafayette Ave.
Year Built: 1870; major alterations
1894 / Architect: Thomas Wing
Date Designated a Chicago
Landmark: April 16, 1996
Color photo by Eleanor B. Hall June 1967
Raber House
One of the city's few remaining pre-1871 Chicago fire residences.
This is a rare surviving example on the edge of the Englewood community of a multi acre estate.
The Italian style brick residence, which is capped by a wooden cupola, was built for John Raber, a prominent area businessman, real-estate
developer, and politician.

The residence's original 6 acre grounds were so vast that the house's original address was 5700 south plank road (State Street), which is one
block to the east.
Jerry Pittman's ; Pittman's Chicago, By whO did a external photo documentary of the Raber House and the surrounding property.   
Shortly afterwards By whO was contacted by the great great great grand daughter of John Raber Ms. Hol Hartman.
Ms. Hartman revealed a historical account of the Raber house that contradicts the Chicago landmark's published records. She also supplied
never before published photographs taken by a one time resident of Raber House, her Grandmother Eleanor B. Hall in the summer of 1967
Color photo by Eleanor B. Hall June 1967

Raber House By Hol Hartman great great
great grand daughter of  John  Raber

"Contrary to common belief,  John Raber
did not build the house. It was built by
Rudolph Walenta, a doctor, around 1860
and purchased by Raber in 1862. I think
Rabers name stuck because of a drawing
made of it in 1874, while Raber owned it;
He sold it not long afterward. Around 1894
the house was enlarged ( a third floor and
bay windows were added ) and turned into
an apartment house. Even while Raber
lived there there were about as many
lodgers as family menbers at the house, so
the house has a long history of being very
full of people. The Rabers, the Walentas,
and the Rosenmerkel family who owned the
land before the Walenta were all
German-speaking immigrants, as were
some of Rabers lodgers".
All but forgotten an
erroding time capsule
of the past. The Raber
House has seen many
changes in life and
lifestyles. It began its
existance as a grand
house sitting on a
enormous plantation
size lot.
Today it has been reduced to a
eyesore and safety hazard. It has
however been designated as a
city landmark. The question now
is, when is it going to get
landmark treatment and restored
to its original design? This area,
once vacant land, was sold lot by
lot and filled up with private
residences and businesses.
Over the years these homes  
have also been torn down and
abandoned.
The rear of the Raber house from one   block away. Like a wounded animal waiting to be put out of it misery The structure sits abandoned......for decades
Time is non discriminating. It slashes across all economic levels with equally devastating effects. The difference is  "whO cares". If no one
cares memories and lessons of the past will be forgotten.
Someone cared enough
to make it a landmark
now the question is,
"whO cares" enough to
restore it ?  
From 58th and Wabash the view across State street. An entire block separates State
street from the front door. Lafayette street was added years later after the land had
been cut up and sold to developers.
This view along
Lafayette is in
actuality a very
revealing story about
the entire
neighborhood in
general. Lack of jobs
and opportunity
created an
environment where
poverty and crime
flurished,
From a time of plenty
to a era when whole generations were
decimated by the extremely harsh living
conditions that begin in the late 20s with
the over-crowding of the neighborhood
with the erection of massive housing
projects in and around Bronzeville.
The CHA was the kiss of death to
Bronzeville.
Photo  documentary by Jerry Pittman
ALR APC 360ID
7cc Vial ONESTEP ALR UV LAYER SAFE
NON ABRASIVE ACRYLIC LENS DEOXIDIZER
7cc Vial VAPORWAX APC 360ID ACRYLIC PAINT>>>>>>>
>
CONDITIONER
DEOXIDIZE & CONDITION 50 HEADLIGHTS

****************************************************

7cc Vial ONESTEP
ALR*C UV LAYER SAFE
NON ABRASIVE ACRYLIC LENS DEOXIDIZER
7cc Vial VAPORWAX APC 360ID ACRYLIC PAINT>>>>>>>>
CONDITIONER
DEOXIDIZE & CONDITION 50 HEADLIGHTS
ALR*C APC 360ID