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Chicago Cityscape turns 6

Published on Mar. 29, 2020 by Steven Vance

On March 30, 2014, Chicago Cityscape sent the first edition of our free newsletter, called “1909” after the Plan of Chicago published that year. It was sent to two people. The second edition was sent six days later to nine people, and the third edition was sent nine days after that to 15 people.

Within a year, 27 editions of the free “1909” newsletters had been sent, bringing a new look at Chicago real estate data, and informing Chicagoans about new construction projects that were proposed or starting up. Newsletter #27 was sent to 343 people.

Chicago Cityscape sent its first newsletter for paying subscribers on May 11, 2014 — two people received it. Back then, the newsletter was the only service for subscribers, who paid $40 per year to receive real estate information news and construction activity summaries each week. A year later, 35 people were receiving the paid newsletter.

SCREENSHOT: When the first newsletter was sent, Chicago Cityscape was known as Licensed Chicago Contractors and this dashboard was the only website feature. All interaction was done via paid and free newsletters sent weekly.

The two newsletters were how Chicago Cityscape — known until fall 2015 as “Licensed Chicago Contractors” — started as a business. The newsletter for paying subscribers was phased out as the information was published on a new website, and automated location-based notifications and newsletters (like for demolitions and new businesses) were instituted.

The last weekly paid newsletter was sent on Monday, November 6, 2017, three years after the website had been established.

“1909”, the free newsletter, still goes out every week or so, to over 7,000 people, but it goes more by “Cityscape newsletter” than “1909”. There have been 226 editions sent between the first one on March 30, 2014, and the most recent one on March 26, 2020. That’s an average of 37 newsletters per year, or one every 2.8 weeks.

I thank everyone who has contributed articles over the years (16 of them are listed here), and I give special thanks to Samantha Kearney who wrote most of “1909” for two years.

The paid newsletter no longer exists, but 185 people subscribe to Cityscape Permits, Cityscape Pro, or Cityscape Enterprise to access real estate information from over 75 sources in one place. Many more have gained access to the same information on a limited basis by making a one-time purchase of an Address Snapshot, Place page, or Company Profile.

🥂 Here’s to another six years!


Chicago Cityscape turns 6 🍰 was originally published in Chicago Cityscape on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.