Posted by: Kchi (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: March 22, 2015 12:59PM

I grew up in a old neighborhood that had some vaulted sidewalks. I went to school with someone who had a house with a storage area under the sidewalk. I was told that at one time some of the vaulted sidewalks had outhouses under them. Does anybody know when city laws were changed to outlaw outhouses? The house I lived in was old, and I was told the house was built without bathrooms. In order to install the bathrooms, a wall was built with space taken from the kitchen. The toilet was built on a six inch high platform to make room for the pipes. The house also had capped gas pipes that once were used for lighting. I have to assume that there were deadlines as to when all houses had to have indoor toilets and had to convert to electric from gas.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2015 01:06PM by Kchi.

Re: Outhouses
Posted by: b.a.hoarder (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: March 22, 2015 01:29PM

I think you will find this of interest-


Re: Outhouses
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: March 22, 2015 08:46PM

[b]There are still some unused outhouses in Oak Lawn usd as tool sheds. There was an out house on 35th & honore back in the 70's . I don't know if it was being used. [/b]

Re: Outhouses
Posted by: SWEDE (---.lightspeed.iplsin.sbcglobal.net)
Date: March 23, 2015 12:09AM

I know that my grandparents, my dad and his brothers and sisters lived on 47th and Justine and sometime in the late 30's they converted to inside toilets when they built a second floor on to the house.

Re: Outhouses
Posted by: nordsider (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: March 23, 2015 02:12PM

According to the book: City of American Dreams: A History of Home Ownership and Housing Reform in Chicago, 1871-1919 by Margaret Garb


"In 1893, a U.S. Commissioner of Labor Study found that 73 percent of Chicagoans had access only to an outside privy."

Re: Outhouses
Posted by: davey7 (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: March 23, 2015 03:27PM

Did "outside privy" mean outhouse/earth closet/other or a non-in-unit water closet? I was thinking that was somewhat surprising, in comparison to UK standards*, but then again, Chicago was on a, or just beginning a, building boom at that time.

*They were ahead in WC provision per dwelling unit, but not inside/indoor plumbing, especially bathrooms. Italian POW's who were billeted with families asked "why isn't your bathroom inside?" or why people didn't have full bathrooms. Sometimes being first means being behind too.

Re: Outhouses
Posted by: nordsider (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: March 23, 2015 05:26PM


A definition of privy: ' a toilet located in a small shed outside a house or other building; an outhouse.'

For more information see:


Re: Outhouses
Posted by: thimmaker (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 17, 2015 07:02PM

There were a few of those under the sidewalk outhouses on LeMoyne and Ashland in the 1950s.

Re: Outhouses
Posted by: andrewjohn1317 (66.187.64.---)
Date: April 18, 2015 07:11AM

yes i think I am interested in this

Re: Outhouses
Posted by: Kchi (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 31, 2016 12:43PM


Re: Outhouses
Posted by: Dunning1 (---.dhs.gov)
Date: February 01, 2016 04:55PM


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