The Standard Chicago Lot Size

Part of a Chicago Plat Map with Standard Chicago LotsIf you see the term, “Standard Chicago Lot”, on listings and don’t know what it means, you’re not alone. In fact, a lot Chicago sellers’ agents don’t know what it means either!

In a very non-scientific test yesterday, I picked 3 areas of Chicago and searched for listings with a lot size of Standard Chicago Lot. I went through the first 50 listings noting the lot dimension for these homes with Standard Chicago Lots. (I really do have a life, but one of my pet peeves is listings where the lot size (e.g. 0.25 to 0.50 acres) isn’t supported by the lot dimensions. (e.g. 85×150).

Here are all the different lot dimensions I found:

22×50 (This must be a REALLY SMALL house!)
30X115.65X41.96X85.78 (I’m pretty sure this isn’t any kind of standard lot!)

Out of 50 listings with a lot size of Standard Chicago Lot size, only half of them had the correct dimensions, 25×125! Now you know something that many Chicago sellers’ agents don’t!


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Fran Bailey Fran Bailey is a Realtor who has been quoted in numerous Chicago and national publications. To schedule showings for any listings, get a free market analysis for your home or to contact Fran email her at or call 773.793.4516. Learn More


  1. says

    The Chicago lot size question is really kind of fascinating. If you consider that the long block is 1/8 of a mile (1 furlong, 660 ft, ) from center of street to center of street. If you deduct 30 feet on each end for half the street and right of way, you get 600 feet for property, which yields 12 50 ft wide lots, 24 25 ft wide lots or 20 30 ft wide lots per block.
    When you look at the short side of the block, you get 16s block per mile (half with length of the long side, 1/16 of a mile, 1/2 furlong) Those blocks then measure out at 330 ft. Subtract 30 feet from each end for 1/2 of the streets (60 ft), and then 20 feet for the alley, and you get 330-80=250 ft. Since that encompasses both sides of the alley, divide that by 2 and you get 125 feet for the length of a standard lot.
    So you wind up with a standard set of lot sizes being either 50, 25 or 30 ft by 125 ft. That fits a lot of the “findings.” Fran Bailey’s lot sizes in the above diagram, being 12 lots to the block, would figure out to be 50′ x 125′. Of course, some lots were split or combined one way or another, which can account for many of the odd lot sizes.
    It is all rather elegant to my way of thinking. Kudos to those city planners who came up with the idea.

  2. says

    Thank you Fran Bailey and Mel Hansen for the research and “doing the math.” I looked it up as background info for some ideas I want to submit to the Tribune’s crowdsourcing project for a “New Plan of Chicago.”

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