Property Research

Researching property in Cook County can be challenging and time consuming. These sites will help you get started.

Annexations and Additions - As Chicago grew, it annexed the neighboring areas, growing from 10 square miles to over 185 square miles.

Architecture and Building History - The Chicago History Museum's Research Center provides access to many resources for those researching architecture and building history.

Chicago Architectural Foundation - The Chicago Architecture Foundation is the leading organization devoted to celebrating and promoting Chicago as a center of architectural innovation.

Chicago Landmarks - Information on specific buildings, architects and styles.

Cook County Assessor's Office - Search specific properties by address or PIN number.

Cook County Recorder of Deeds - Search by grantor/grantee or PIN number. Records online from 1985. 

Fire Insurance Maps - Fire insurance maps show the footprints of buildings and other structures, as well as the construction material, use, and other information. This site contains a guide to fire insurance maps of Chicago.

Street Renumbering and Name Changes - As the city grew, street addressing schemes changed. Street name changes were also common as annexations resulted in numerous streets with the same names.

  • 1909 Street Numbering Guide - The 1909 changes primarily impacted the northern and western sections of the city.
  • 1911 Street Numbering Guide - The 1911 changes primarily impacted the downtown area.
  • Street name changes - This guide documents many of the street name changes, but does not provide information as to what year the changes occurred.
  • Honorary Street Names - Designations made by the Chicago City Council to honor individuals for their contributions to the city.