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.
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