The development was the work of Samuel Gross, who was responsible for several other real estate developments in Chicago. He was inspired to build Alta Vista Terrace after a trip to Europe, in which he looked at the rowhouses of London. The street is one block long and contains 40 small, single-family rowhouses, each on a lot about 24 feet wide and 40 feet deep. There were 20 different exterior styles based on various adaptations of architectural styles. Some of the features included Doric and Ionic wood pilasters, Gothic arches, Palladian windows, stained and leaded-glass fanlights, bay and bow windows, and various decorative woodwork.
Houses on the street were constructed to match with the house diagonally opposite on the street