The city of Chicago has approved the demolition of the house featured in the opening credits of the 1990s sitcom “Family Matters.”
The house at 1516 W. Wrightwood Ave. ostensibly belonged to the Winslow family. Ultra-dorky and ultra-klutzy teen neighbor Steve Urkel frequently visited. He quickly became the show’s iconic character — and essentially its main character.
City officials authorized the demolition permit to “wreck and remove” the slightly dilapidated beige and yellow “two-story frame multi-unit residence” on Tuesday, reports DNA Info.
“Family Matters” was supposed to be set in some Chicago suburb but the house at 1516 W. Wrightwood used to stage the show geographically is located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood — just up the street from DePaul University and unequivocally within the city limits.
The long-running show first appeared on ABC in the fall of 1989 and briefly moved to CBS before ending after nine years.
The show was actually filmed in California.
Urkel, played by actor Jaleel White, had a crush on Laura Winslow, the daughter of Carl Winslow, a Chicago police officer. Urkel eventually moved in with the Winslow family, which allowed him to utter his big catchphrase — “Did I do that?” — as frequently as possible.
Coldwell Banker realtor Lissa Weinstein said the current owners of the property plan to replace the demolished house with a new three-unit building.
The owners aren’t going to let Urkel’s sacred relationship with the land disappear, though.
“In honoring the site’s past, they plan to decorate the entry with framed photographs of the original house and the show’s beloved cast,” Weinstein told DNA Info.
The neighborhood surrounding the soon-to-be-demolished Winslow house has changed dramatically in the last couple decades as Lincoln Park has undergone an incredible renaissance.
There are two Whole Foods Markets and five Starbucks coffee locations within an easy walk.
Just next door, there is already a huge, new mini-mansion that is a disastrous hodgepodge of grossly incompatible architectural concepts.
— Ted Cox (@tedcoxchicago) September 20, 2017
There is a gargantuan members-only fitness facility down the street. It is home to tennis courts, basketball courts, a restaurant, two swimming pools and a rooftop playground where throngs of yuppie parents and their kids flock.