The City of Chicago is the “Alley Capital of America.” With more miles of alleys than any other municipality in the nation, it’s no wonder so many detached garages are built along Chicago’s alleys.

Chicago’s Grid Pattern Perfect for Alleys

In the 1800s, the large open spaces in the Midwest meant urban planning followed a grid pattern. City blocks were big squares with alleys cutting through the middle of the blog.

Skyline of Chicago
Chicago has more miles of alleys than any other American city.

Alleys sprung up as a way to hide the more utilitarian and less attractive functions of urban life. Horses were a primary mode of transportation. By building barns and stables along alleyways, urban dwellers had a place to bring in hay and take out muck.

Keeping a service lane at the back of the property meant homes faced well-kept, respectable streets.

Chicago the ‘Alley Capital of America’

Today, the alleys of Chicago are utilitarian areas used for parking, garages, utility lines, refuse collection and more.

The Chicago Reader said the city’s alleys were the “Swiss army knife of urban space.”

All told, Chicago has more than 1,900 miles of alleys – enough to stretch to Mexico City. 

Urban Properties Call for Detached Garages

The alley space allows for narrower urban lots. Instead of garages attached to the front of a home – a “garage forward” approach common in many suburban areas, urban lots can have garages accessed from the rear of the property.

It’s common to find detached garages along the 1,900 miles of Chicago alleys. At Heartland Garage Builders, we serve the greater Chicagoland area, including the City of Chicago proper.

We’re garage experts and can build a one-car, two-car or three-car detached garage to fit your property’s needs. 

Schedule your FREE consultation or contact us for more information.