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The #StopThePop Campaign is an educational campaign in response to the onslaught of developers threatening Chicago’s iconic bungalows by tearing off the entire upstairs levels and popping them up with full second stories in lieu of sensible additions. We call these incompatible additions "pop tops".

Pop tops are a concern in regards to...

  • Quality — pop tops are built with inferior, short-lived materials

  • Property values — an addition that is lower quality than the rest of the house can pull down the value of the home

  • Utility bills — unnecessary overhead space in pop tops means more energy and money is needed for heating and cooling, plus old buildings can be made just as energy efficient as new construction

  • The middle class — when developers flip bungalows for major profit, they are taking away affordable housing stock

  • Architecture & streetscapes — pop tops visually overwhelm the house and stick out in a bungalow row


Most importantly, we know the question on everyone’s minds, and here is the answer: yes, you can add full spacious rooms upstairs without popping the top. Because there are sensible alternatives, we believe pop tops and all of their consequences are preventable. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about and offer educational materials on those sensible alternatives.

“Most often, Chicago Bungalows are found side-by-side lining each side of the street, creating a neighborhood of similar yet distinct homes, where the entire view is as great as is the view of a single home. The similarity of homes helped neighbors build strong and unified communities.”

Defining the Chicago Bungalow by Scott Sonoc

Published by the Chicago Architecture Foundation

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Available Resources

Bungalow Expansion Project

Like a puzzle, use pieces of these design schemes to explore the various paths that can be taken to expand your bungalow living, both inside and outside of its original footprint. The Bungalow Expansion Project design schemes were created in partnership with AIA Chicago residential architects and can be applied as an approach to your Chicago Bungalow. 

Qualified Specialists

View our list of qualified and affordable architects, engineers and contractors experienced in creating second story additions in accordance with CBA's Design Guidelines.

Architect Vision Boards

Draw inspiration from Architect and Designer submitted Vision Boards showcasing exceptional bungalow projects.

Sign The Petition!

Bring awareness to Aldermen and the City of Chicago Department of Buildings through our campaign petition.


Our campaign went viral in July, 2016. Take a look at some of the coverage we received!

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Addition DO's & DON'T's

Before constructing or altering additions, carefully consider how the existing space may be reworked by modifying the interior walls or expanding into the existing attic or basement space. If an addition is the best solution, it should respect the original design of the existing building and streetscape.

  • Build additions that are compatible to the original
    building in material, style and proportions

  • Construct dormers and second floor additions to be set back a
    minimum of 20 feet
    from the front edge of building to minimize the
    impact on the building and streetscape

  • Build dormers and second floor additions with a similar roof pitch
    and height as the original structure

  • Match window openings, trim, eaves and other details as closely
    as possible to the original building

  • Erect garages and rear additions that match the existing house in
    materials, scale, colors and details​

  • Build attic expansions that are uncharacteristic of the period and
    style of the building and surrounding neighborhood

  • Construct dormers and second floor additions that overwhelm the original
    building in scale and height

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