Sometimes, developers have to get creative to sell homes. With North Side’s Laburnum Court, they got downright revolutionary. The 24 houses in the community (bounded by Palmyra, Gloucester, Westwood and Chatham avenues) shared a hot-water heating plant and a central electrical distribution system, and the residents jointly owned the community’s common areas, including a playground. The revolutionary strategy worked. The first houses in Laburnum Court went on the market in July 1919, and all but two were sold by February 1920. The heating plant was shut down in the 1970s, but Laburnum Court is still a cooperative today. And it remains especially popular with homebuyers looking for a tight-knit community in an urban setting.

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