Prepare to start yelling, "Whoa, momma," at your screen because the Family Matters house is about to be demolished, and it feels like an important part of our childhoods is being taken with it. Even sadder, the Winslow family home is set to be demolished to make way for luxury condos, which is particularly heartbreaking for fans to hear because the Winslows were a working class family, and their home, which is based in Lincoln Park, Chicago, proudly articulated that fact.
A representative for the property owners revealed in a statement that, though an evaluation had taken place to determine if the house could be saved, sadly, "renovating the home wasn't a viable option." They also revealed, however, that the beloved memory of the Family Matters home will be paid a small tribute within the new three-unit residence. To honor the history of the site, the entryway will apparently be decorated with framed pictures of the original house and the cast of Family Matters. So at least we'll have that.
It's sad to hear that the Winslow family home was past the point of renovation, but especially so when you consider that the area it's based in, Lincoln Park, has experienced vast amounts of gentrification since the '90s. A working class family like the Winslows would likely not even be able to afford to live there anymore. So, while the demolition is sad for Family Matters fans, it's also sad for how it represents the changing neighborhood, and the departure of similar working class families like the Winslows from it.
Like many other '90s sitcoms homes, such as the Tanner house from Fuller House or the Banks residence from Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, the Family Matters home was used only for exterior shots. All interior shots of the house, of course, were filmed on a studio set. But the property has still taken on a strong identity, regardless of whether the Winslows were actually ever in it or not.
As an establishing part of the show's credit sequence, you could even consider the Family Matters home to be a character of the show, too. It didn't just house the family, it also reflected their dynamic as a unit — humble, proud, and full of comfort. To fans, the property (and possibly even the site itself) will also always be home to all of the relatable, hilarious issues that the Winslows had to face.
It's the setting for all of the loving heart-to-hearts they'd share, the colossal food fights that would occasionally break out there (so much pie,), and, of course, all of Steve Urkel's ridiculous inventions and the inevitable fallout that would lead from them. It was, in a sense, a magical place, both a traditional working class household and also a playground that stepped beyond those boundaries. As such, it reflected the working class experience with the sort of playfulness and fun that meant a great deal to the working class families who would watch it together on a weekly basis.
The demolition of the Winslow home is crushing for anyone who remembers the show as a crucial part of their childhood. However, if you're looking for a positive to gain from this, then then there might still be some comfort we can grab from this devastating news. Because now, at the very least, the horrors that Stevil inflicted upon the family during those two terrifying Halloween specials won't be able to metaphorically haunt the place. And that's something we should all rest easy about.
Goodbye to Winslow family home. You housed one of the best family sitcoms of the '90s, and served us all well. (But, please, take Stevil with you.)