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Chicago Building Permits Digital Collection 1872-1954

Building Construction Data

Chicago Building Construction Data

The Chicago Building Permits Collection also includes ledgers of building construction data from 1917 to 1925.  This data is conveyed in four ledger books on two reels of digitized microfilm. This data was drawn from the permits issued, and was intended to help the Building Department track permit and inspection activity on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. 

The data tracks: 

  • Daily, monthly and yearly revenue from permits, both in total and per city section (North, Northwest, South, Southwest).
  • Number of brick or frame structures.
  • Activity by "class". Class is indicated by roman numerals, and there is no key as to what these mean.


Daily Tallies

These show only counts, organized by roman numbers we don't know the significance of. If there are no numbers to report for a given date, there is an explanation as to why (i.e. "Sunday", "Holiday")


Daily/Monthly Detail Tallies

These show more detail for daily activity, including street addresses. They indicate the class of permit, and keep a running total of revenue by city section.  At the end of the month they include a monthly total.


Year-End Total

These are pasted in to the ledger books at the end of each year.