May 2022 Month-in-Review Newsletter
Pride Flag House, 1716 W. Balmoral Avenue. 2021 Pride Month Display. Photo Credit: Debbie Mercer
Table of Contents
  1. PETITION: Save the Century & Consumers Buildings!
  2. WIN: Chicago Collaborative Archive Center Press Conference
  3. OPPORTUNITY LOST: Lakeside Center Passed Over for Casino
  4. WIN: Epworth Church Demolition Permit Hastily Withdrawn
  5. WIN: Federal Funding for Promontory Point Engineering Study 
  6. LOSS: Antioch Missionary Baptist Demolished Following Fire
  7. WIN: Washington Park National Bank Façade Will Be Preserved
  8. POTENTIAL WIN: Plan for Hotel at Salvation Army Building
  9. THREATENED: Alderman's St. Adalbert Downzone Blocked 
  10. PARTIAL WIN: Second Church Development Will Save Façade
  11. WIN: U.S. Assistant Secretary Visits the Emmett Till Home
  12. THREATENED: Palmer Mansion Restoration Blocked by Alderman
  13. PARTIAL WIN: Target to Anchor Sears Building at Six Corners 
  14. PARTIAL WIN: No Calder Sculpture in Willis Tower Renovation 
  15. WIN: Studebaker Theater to Reopen After Two-Year Renovation
  16. THREATENED: Latin School Assembles Properties Dearborn Pkwy
  17. WIN: Bronzeville Marshall Field Warehouse to be Arts Center  
  18. WIN: St. Laurence Church School to Become Arts Incubator 
  19. WIN: Xquina Adaptive Reuse Project to Break Ground
  20. WIN: Renovated Apartment Buildings Honor Mattie Butler
  21. WIN: Chicago YIMBY Celebrates Recent Preservation Wins 
  22. WIN: Chicago Workers Cottage Initiative Completes 3rd Survey
  23. POTENTIAL WIN: Milshire Hotel Neon Sign Auction Cancelled
  24. PARTIAL WIN: PC's Viral Tweet Leads Saves Orange Garden Sign
  25. LOSS: Beloved Dinkel’s Sign Sold For $6k to Unknown Buyer
  26. LOSS: Demolition of Cassidy Tire / Tyler & Hippach Underway
  27. LOSS: 4155 S. Packers Industrial Building Demolition
  28. BUYER WANTED: Beverly Bungalow by Walter Burley Griffin
  29. BUYER WANTED: Austin Foursquare at 5400 W. Washington Blvd
  30. BUYER WANTED: Woodlawn Victorian at 6627 S. Woodlawn Ave
  31. THREATENED: Early Warning Signs
  32. THREATENED: 90-Day Demolition Delay Watch List
  33. LOSS: Spotlight on Demolition (63 demolitions in May 2022)

  • Sun-Times Editorial: A federal case: U.S. government shouldn’t wreck two Loop skyscrapers in the name of safety
  • Sun-Times Editorial: Explore preservation group’s plan to save two doomed Loop towers
  • Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Bad times at Antioch Baptist: A roofer’s torch claims another landmark Chicago church
  • Chicago Reader: Chicago’s blessed with a motherlode of stunning churches; Fire is not their greatest danger
  • Chicago Tribune Celebrates 175th Anniversary: From canoes to skyscrapers: A newspaper is born, and Chicago is catapulted to the world’s stage
  • Chicago Tribune: Whiskey Point, Slag Valley and Black Bottom: Chicago’s ‘layers upon layers’ of forgotten neighborhood names
  • WTTW Chicago: The Richard Nickel Story
  • Glessner House: Richard Nickel and Glessner House by William Tyre
  • Chicago Magazine: Think TikTok is Obsessed with Goth Target? Meet Ward Miller
  • Daily Southtown: A North Sider who embraced life in Pullman becomes national monument’s newest park ranger
  • Hyde Park Herald: The Armory
  • WGN Radio: Chicago’s historic Motor Row – A new book about a lesser known part of Chicago’s rich history

  • A Walk Through Time House Walk by Glessner House 
  • 'Live at Mr. Kelly's' by Chicago Jewish Historical Society 
  • Unity Temple Guided Interior Tours by Frank Lloyd Wright Trust 
  • Neighborhood Walking Tours by Edgewater Historical Society 
  • “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” by Pullman National Monument 
  • HERE’S CHICAGO! THE CITY OF DREAMS, a travelog of Chicago from 1983 presented by the Music Box Theatre’s 70mm Film Festival  
  • Life Behind the Wire: Prisoners of War by Pritzker Military Museum 
  • American Framing by Wrightwood 659
  • A Tale of Today by Driehaus Museum

  • "Early Chicago Skyscrapers" for UNESCO World Heritage Site Designation by AIA Chicago and Preservation Chicago
  • "Uptown: Portrait of a Palace," A Documentary by Pappas & Bisberg
  • "Lost Chicago Department Stores," by Leslie Goddard
  • Schiller/Garrick Theatre Visualization by Wrightwood 659
  • Starship Chicago: Thompson Center: A Film by Nathan Eddy
  • At Home In Chicago; A Living History of Domestic Architecture by Cannon and Caulfield
  • WATCH: Short Cuts of the Preservation Chicago 2022 Chicago 7 Most Endangered (Length 0:34)
  • WATCH: Video Overview of the Preservation Chicago 2022 "Chicago 7 Most Endangered" (Length 5:00)

  • Chicago 7 Posters and Swag
  • Please Support Preservation Chicago
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SAVE the Century & Consumers Buildings!
STOP the $52M Demolition!
(Chicago 7 2011, 2013 & 2022)
Save the Century & Consumers Buildings! 
Stop the $52M Demolition!

Chicago’s Early Chicago Skyscrapers are currently being considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But the possible demolition of the Century and Consumers Buildings would jeopardize this extraordinary designation and international recognition.

And just as the historic buildings were on the verge of being beautifully restored, the Feds earmarked $52 million taxpayers dollars to demolish these two outstanding Early Chicago Skyscrapers and replace them with...a permanent fenced security zone with perimeter landscaping, which will become a permanent void in State Street's historic streetwall.

Their claim is that the demolition is required because there is no plan for reuse and that the rear windows endanger the adjacent courthouse security.

But there IS an adaptive reuse plan that addresses the security concerns. It's brilliant, creative, and its stakeholders are highly motivated to move forward.

After two years of planning, the Chicago Collaborative Archives Center's adaptive reuse plan has motivated leadership, support from nearly 20 archives, and interest from financial strong institutions. Detailed plans and architectural drawings were presented at the widely covered press conference on May 18, 2022.

Most importantly, this creative and innovative adaptive reuse plan was specifically designed to meet known security related issues, including bricking up rear windows and limiting access to upper floors.

Landmark or Landfill?

So after being vacant and mothballed for nearly twenty years, the fate of the historic Century and Consumers Buildings is about to be determined.

These proud and elegant Chicago School skyscrapers are located on State Street in the vibrant and thriving heart of Chicago’s Loop. The 16-story Century Building was built in 1915 and designed by Holabird and Roche. The 22-story Consumers Building was built in 1913 and designed by Jenney, Mundie & Jensen. Both are on listed on the National Register for Historic Places.

In 2005, the Federal Government took ownership of these buildings through its power of eminent domain with plans to renovate and reuse these buildings. But due to the lack of federal funding, the renovation never happened.

All will be lost if the $52 million dollars of federal funds are used to demolish the Century and Consumers Buildings.

1. We encourage the Illinois Delegation in Washington D.C. including Senator Dick Durbin (202-224-2152), Senator Tammy Duckworth (202-224-2854), and Congressman Danny Davis (202-225-5006) to take urgent action to support this effort.

2. We encourage the City of Chicago to take immediate steps to designate the Century and Consumers Buildings as Chicago Landmarks which would protect them from demolition.

WIN: Chicago Collaborative Archive Center Press Conference for Reuse of Century and Consumers Building Generates Stong Media Coverage
(Chicago 7 2011, 2013 & 2022)
Rendering of Proposed Chicago Collaborative Archive Center at the Century and Consumers Buildings. Rendering Credit: JLK Architects / Chicago Collaborative Archive Center
Century Building, 1915, Holabird and Roche, 202 S. State Street and the Consumers Building, 1913, Jenney, Mundie & Jensen, 220 S. State Street with Dirksen Federal Building visible to the rear. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Interior Lobby Photo of Consumers Building, 1913, Jenney, Mundie & Jensen, 220 S. State Street. Photo Credit: John O'Dwyer
Interior Lobby Photo of Consumers Building, 1913, Jenney, Mundie & Jensen, 220 S. State Street. Photo Credit: John O'Dwyer
The Chicago Collaborative Archive Center leadership at the May 18, 2022 press conference in the Brunswick Room at St. Ignatius College Prep High School to introduce the details of the adaptive reuse plan for the Century and Consumers Buildings. Photo Credit: Chicago Collaborative Archive Center
"A coalition of organizations, uniting around what they call a “sustainable vision” to save two State Street skyscrapers from the wrecking ball, plans to propose on Wednesday that they be turned into an archives center for scholarly research.

"Around 20 religious orders along with Dominican University in River Forest have expressed interest in taking space in the towers, built in the early 20th century, said Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago. He said nonreligious organizations, such as museums, also could join what’s being called the Chicago Collaborative Archive Center.

"The federal government owns the vacant towers, in the 200 block of South State Street, and wants them demolished, saying they pose a security risk to the neighboring Dirksen Federal Building. Advocates for saving them argue that archival storage would minimize any security threat and allow windows facing the federal building to be sealed off.

"'A collaborative archive of this proposed size is rare in the country,' said Christopher Allison, a historian and director of the McGreal Center at Dominican University. 'It would become a major hub for archive-based research and would consolidate precious sources in one space.'

"Miller said the various groups would form a tax-exempt nonprofit to manage its affairs and raise money, as well as apply for grants to get the project started. But he said costs for the redevelopment are unknown. The manager of federal property, the General Services Administration, handles the buildings.

"'I think we would really engage the GSA to be our partner,' especially with maintaining the buildings’ terra cotta skin, Miller said. JLK Architects and the engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti have helped with the preservation plan.

"But Miller and others argue an archives center, with limited staff and tightly controlled access, represents an ideal use for the situation. They said it’s a better alternative than demolition. Taking down the buildings would leave an empty stretch on State Street, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Chicago Loop Alliance, representing downtown businesses, also prefers saving the buildings.

"'There is strength in a collaborative archive. The value of the individual collections within such a repository are increased by the presence of the others,' said Holly Fiedler, province archivist at Sisters of St. Francis of the Sacred Heart Province. 'There are certainly many challenges in making this vision a reality, but we are taking actionable steps forward to achieve the ultimate goal.'" (Roeder, Chicago Sun-Times, 5/18/22)

OPPORTUNITY LOST: After McPier's Veto, Lakeside Center is Passed Over for Chicago Casino (Chicago 7 2016 & 2021)
An architect's rendering of the Rivers Casino proposal for McCormick Place. Lakeside Center at McCormick Place, 1971, C.F. Murphy and architect Gene Summers. Rendering Credit: JAHN
"Some experts are calling Bally’s River West – the much-ballyhooed site for Chicago’s $1.6 billion gaming extravaganza – Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 'casino-for-dummies.' Mr. Zak observed, a veteran professional gambler, 'The Chicago & Halsted site is the worst possible place they could put it.'

"This bustling intersection is boxed in by the Chicago River, bridges, and Metra railroad tracks – not an ideal site for a mega development. Traffic congestion on Chicago Avenue west of Halsted Street also includes a steady flow of trucks from a cement plant on Goose Island.

"The Chicago Tribune’s 30-acre Freedom Center printing plant at 777 West Chicago Avenue currently occupies the proposed casino location along with the newspaper’s newsroom.

"Bally also plans to open a temporary casino in the Medinah Temple building at 600 North Wabash Avenue in the third quarter of 2023. That’s a crazy idea because of River North’s traffic congestion

"However, Mr. Zak – and this writer – agree that the only logical startup casino site is Lakeside Center – the original McCormick Place East – for an instant 'pop-up' downtown casino that could raise millions in gaming tax dollars for the city by late 2022.

"Construction experts say Lakeside Center originally was designed and wired decades ago for a future casino, and there is plenty of nearby parking.

"High-tech construction perks, along with other cosmetic upgrades, could create hundreds of jobs, and the work could create an instant gambling casino.

"Move in 1,000 slots and video poker machines, add 200 manned gaming tables, toss in a few restaurants and bars, and Mayor Lightfoot’s cash register could start going ka-ching by late 2022.

"The seldom-used, 50-year-old Lakeside Center has 583,000 square feet of exhibit space. It is located near 2,900 hotel rooms, designed for high-traffic events, and would help draw thousands of eager conventioneer gamblers.

"However, to make Lakeside Center work – as a common sense, temporary casino – a two-year lease would have to be drafted between Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, managers of McCormick Place, and Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming. The company is headed by Chicago real estate developer Neil Bluhm, who owns four casinos, including Rivers Casino Des Plaines, the top grossing venue in Illinois.

"Scott Goodman, principal of Chicago-based Farpoint Development, Rush Street Gaming’s partner, said Lakeside Center – also known as Rivers Chicago at McCormick – is 'a perfect adjunct to what’s already there, infrastructure, parking, and access.'

"And there are no traffic problems because Lakeside Center is conveniently situated on Lake Shore Drive. (DeBat, Loop North News, 5/23/22)

“The city passed on the two proposals involving the McCormick Place campus after the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which owns the convention center complex, said it was not interested in transforming any of its facilities into a casino.

“The rejected proposals for what is expected to be Illinois’ largest gambling establishment include a $1.3 billion Rivers Chicago McCormick bid to redevelop Lakeside Center, which developers touted as an opportunity to repurpose and renovate the 50-year-old steel-and-glass exhibition hall. McCormick Place said it has 235 events scheduled there that could not be rescheduled without a replacement.” (Channick and Pratt, Chicago Tribune, 3/22/22)

"But full disclosure: I thought Rivers McCormick Place was the front-runner, too, until convention officials declared they couldn’t possibly do without the crumbling Lakeside East building Rivers wanted. So officials get to keep the money trap. I wish them luck finding the $400 million-plus needed to repair it without raising taxes, a political nonstarter anymore.” (Hinz, Crain’s Chicago Business, 3/28/22)

WIN: Major Reversal for Epworth Church as Demolition Permit is Hastily Withdrawn and Landmark Process Begins
Epworth United Methodist Church, 1890, designed by architect Frederick Townsend, with additions by Fred J. Thielbar of the architectural firm of Theilbar & Fugard, 5253 N. Kenmore Ave. Photo credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
Epworth United Methodist Church, 1890, designed by architect Frederick Townsend, with additions by Fred J. Thielbar of the architectural firm of Theilbar & Fugard, 5253 N. Kenmore Ave. Photo credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
Epworth United Methodist Church, 1890, designed by architect Frederick Townsend, with additions by Fred J. Thielbar of the architectural firm of Theilbar & Fugard, 5253 N. Kenmore Ave. Photo credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
Detail of the the large Healy and Millet stained glass window at Epworth Church. Epworth United Methodist Church, 1890, Frederick Townsend, 5253 N. Kenmore Ave. Photo credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
Landmark Epworth Church Petition. Image Credit: Edgewater Historical Society
"The buyer of Edgewater’s Epworth Church has withdrawn a demolition permit application for the historical church campus slated for redevelopment.

"The owner applied for a demolition permit for the 130-year-old church at 5253 N. Kenmore Ave. last week, angering some neighbors and preservationists.

"The news of the demolition request came as Epworth was hosting an estate sale and planning for its last services at the church. Pastor Max Kuecker said the congregation had to leave the building this week and its new owner was planning a condo development.

"But after Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said he would seek landmark status for Epworth Church, the demolition permit was rescinded, the alderman announced. The permit request was withdrawn Tuesday, city records show.

"'I am deeply committed to preserving the historic Epworth Church building,' Osterman said on Facebook. 'I am working with the city of Chicago’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks to landmark Epworth and ensure it will not be demolished.'

"The church building was completed in 1891, with noted architect Frederick B. Townsend donating his services, according to the Edgewater Historical Society. In the 1930s, the building was expanded and a community house added to accommodate a growing congregation. For decades, the church has also housed a homeless shelter from Uptown organization Cornerstone Community Outreach.

"Epworth’s orange-rated status also meant any demolition permit requests were subject to a 90-day delay for city officials to determine if tearing down the structure was appropriate.

"Neighbors and preservationists have sought to landmark the building as its future became uncertain. That campaign officially got the support of Osterman last week.

"The demolition request 'flies in the face of what the community wants,' Osterman said." (Ward, Block Club Chicago, 5/19/22)

Preservation Chicago has been working to find good preservation outcome for Epworth United Methodist Church for over two years with congregants, neighbors, the Edgewater Historical Society, and Ald. Harry Osterman (48th). A petition and periodic news articles maintained wider awareness of the threats to Epworth Church. The announcement of the closing of Epworth and a "demolition sale" sounded the alarm bells.

Despite assurances from the developer that demolition was not being considered, the receipt of the demolition permit application by the City of Chicago confirmed the true intentions of the developer. Due to extensive neighborhood advocacy, coordination and preparation, a rapid response took the developer by surprise and forced a withdrawal of the demolition permit application.

Despite the loss of many interior features due to the demolition sale, Preservation Chicago strongly supports the Chicago Landmark Designation of Epworth United Methodist Church and will continue to strongly support the neighborhood throughout this process.

During the demolition sale, neighbors and Preservation Chicago monitored the Epworth Church closely as any exterior features and fixtures would be protected by a future Chicago Landmark Designation. The Alderman's office and City of Chicago Landmarks Division was updated throughout the process.

Preservation Chicago notified the estate sale company that it would be improper to sell any fixed objects and elements visible from on the exterior, especially the stained glass windows from legendary Chicago artists Healy and Millet. While these large windows appear to be intact, six significant rose windows in the tower appear to have been sold and removed. Ward Miller quickly contacted the St. Louis based architectural salvage company responsible and negotiated an agreement to return them to the building in the event that it is landmarked and restored. We are optimistic that they will be restored as part of the reuse of the building.

WIN: Rep. Kelly Confirms $550k in Federal Funding for Mission-Critical Promontory Point Engineering Study (Chicago 7 2022)
Promontory Point, 1937, Alfred Caldwell, Chicago Lakefront between 54th and 56th Streets. Photo Credit: Adam Natenshon / Preservation Chicago
Promontory Point, 1937, Alfred Caldwell, Chicago Lakefront between 54th and 56th Streets. Photo Credit: ABC 7 Chicago
First Annual Point Day Celebrations on May 28, 2022. Promontory Point, 1937, Alfred Caldwell, Chicago Lakefront between 54th and 56th Streets. Image Credit: Save Promontory Point (Again) Twitter
"Ruth Knack’s memories of Promontory Point begin in the early 1940s.

"In March, the Point was named to Preservation Chicago’s 'most endangered' list. The group also said the city and Chicago Park District planned to replace the limestone with concrete, which conservationists vehemently oppose.

"Knack was among the interested residents on hand Thursday, as the Promontory Point Conservancy announced U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., had earmarked $550,000 in federal funding to authorize a “much delayed and much needed” third-party engineering study of the limestone at the Point.

"'For 22 years, the community has been fighting to protect and preserve the historic limestone revetment and its enjoyment of Promontory Point,' said Jack Spicer of The Conservancy. 'Our local elected representatives listened and have answered our call.'

"Now, with Kelly’s help, the money could be on the way. The city and park district have said they will support Kelly’s latest request, leaving activists hopeful the argument over limestone v. concrete finally can be resolved.

"'This is miraculously good news,” Spicer said.

"The funding would be disbursed to the park district in March 2023. The U.S. Army Corps then would select an independent marine engineer to conduct the study of the revetment’s preservation.

"'Chicago is a gem on the Great Lakes,' said Debra Hammond of The Conservancy. 'This moment opens the potential for the city, the Chicago Park District and the community to make something harmoniously, beautifully world class at Promontory Point.'" (Daniels, Chicago Sun-Times, 5/21/22)

"The Promontory Point Conservancy hosted the first annual Point Day this Saturday, an event celebrating the 'past, present and future' of the historic park, now in its 85th year. The mission of the conservancy is to 'protect and preserve Promontory Point Park,' primarily focusing on its historic limestone revetment.

"Beginning with a 9 a.m. water show by Swimmers at the Point o May 28, 2022, the event featured all-day activities for adults and families, such as lawn games, music and theater performances, pet blessings and educational walking tours of the Limestone steps." (Monaghan, Hyde Park Herald, 5/31/22)

LOSS: Antioch Missionary Baptist Demolished Following Massive Good Friday Fire
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church fire on April 15, 2022. Built 1890, Bell and Swift, 6248 S. Stewart Ave. Photo Credit: Chicago Fire Department
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1890, Bell and Swift, 6248 S. Stewart Ave. Photo Credit: Adam L. Stanley
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Englewood, gutted by a large fire on Good Friday, still stands on April 19, 2022. Built 1890, Bell and Swift, 6248 S. Stewart Ave. Photo Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Built 1890, Bell and Swift, 6248 S. Stewart Ave. Photo Credit: Noah Vaughn
'We need to find an alternative': Preservation Chicago wants city to do more to protect historic structures from fires." Image Credit: CBS Chicago
"The walls are still being brought down at the old Antioch Baptist Church in Englewood after a fire last month, but that does not mean the fight to preserve its legacy is waning.

"When Ward Miller with Preservation Chicago thinks about iconic city and Englewood architecture, he said this is it.

"'This is really a remarkable first class structure.'

"So when the historic Antioch Baptist Church, which is not designated as a landmark, went up in flames last month, one of its biggest fans was devastated.

"'It's another vacant lot in our city. It's another challenge to overcome,' Miller lamented.

"Chicago city inspectors and engineers said the building is too unstable to rebuild. Miller was fighting to save a tower, but he said the pastor told him it was too costly. He still comes to the site often to see if other parts can be saved.

"'It's just a terrible loss to lose these structures time, and time again, to fire,' said Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation Chicago. 'And we need to find an alternative.'

"His organization is proposing that Chicago follow a decades-old New York City law, banning propane torch use on wooden roofs. The practice is blamed for starting the fire at Antioch and Bronzeville's Pilgrim Baptist church back in 2006.

"'If propane torches were made illegal by city ordinance, that would have never occurred,' Miller said.

"For now, the immediate focus of taking care of the history still in the city, according to Miller. In his mind, there's even the possibility of moving the Antioch congregation to the St. Martin de Tours church that's vacant sitting right off of the Dan Ryan in Englewood.

"'I have had a conversation with the pastor about if this would be an interesting alternative,' Miller said. Preservation Chicago is also working to designate more buildings as historic landmarks." (Graves, CBS 2 Chicago, 5/12/22)

WIN: Spared From Demolition, Washington Park National Bank Plan Now Includes Façade Preservation! (Chicago 7 2016 & 2020)
Washington Park National Bank Building, 1924, Albert Schwartz, 6300 South Cottage Grove, Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Historic photo of Washington Park National Bank Building, 1924, Albert Schwartz, 6300 South Cottage Grove. Photo Credit: Indiana University Archives
Washington Park National Bank Building, 1924, Albert Schwartz, 6300 South Cottage Grove, Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Rendering of newly proposed facade preservation plan by DL3 Realty for Washington Park National Bank. Rendering Credit: DL3 Realty
Rejected New Development by DL3 Realty for Washington Park National Bank Site. Rendering Credit: DL3 Realty
"In January 2020, developer Leon Walker was eager to start a project that could have heralded a turnaround for the Woodlawn community on the South Side. He was anxious to close on a deal for a decrepit but well-located old bank building at the southwest corner of 63rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.

"The veteran developer, with many successes on the South Side, said people who wanted the old building saved were unrealistic. The property remained in the hands of the Cook County Land Bank Authority, whose mission is to encourage development of difficult properties, especially in poor areas.

"Eleanor Gorski took over as executive director of the land bank last year and took a fresh look at the property. An architect and former staff member at Chicago’s Planning Department, Gorski kept in touch with Walker because the land bank felt he had submitted the best proposal when it advertised the property’s sale. She used the pandemic pause to urge Walker to think anew.

"I wanted the whole building preserved. The numbers just didn’t allow it. And yet, it’s such an iconic structure in the neighborhood,' Gorski said.

"The numbers penciled out for that old friend of disparate views: the compromise. Walker has agreed to preserve the building’s limestone façade and its once elegant windows and entrances. Behind the five-story façade would be new construction, about 75,000 square feet, for offices Walker wants to market to neighborhood entrepreneurs.

"Walker has retained bKL Architecture for the new plan, which will be shown to the community later this month. Feedback there could change things. But Gorski said if all goes well, she hopes the land bank’s board can approve the property’s sale in June. She and Walker said the price is yet to be settled. Construction could start late this year and be done in 2024, Walker said.

"Architectural enthusiasts and many in the area had wanted the neoclassical design from 1924 to be saved. It was originally the Washington Park National Bank. In its prime, it projected class and stability at a neighborhood crossroads, like the bank buildings of yore in other parts of Chicago. But this bank, like many others, had trouble in the Depression and eventually disappeared. As the neighborhood declined, so did the building.

"It’s been empty for years. Its skylit atrium caved in long ago. Those who have been through the ruins describe it as like a setting for a dystopian movie. The group Preservation Chicago has researched the building’s history and placed it on its 'most endangered' lists.

"He would replace the old atrium with wider floors for offices geared to today’s demand. The building’s original offices were off narrow corridors built around the atrium in a C shape. You could imagine them having a dentist, lawyer or insurance agent long ago. A consultant’s report for the land bank in 2018 concluded the façade was sound and salvageable.

"His swing toward preservation is a change of heart, yes, but possibly good for a neighborhood’s soul." (Roeder, Chicago Sun-Times, 5/2/22)

POTENTIAL WIN: Plans Emerging for Adaptive Reuse of Salvation Army Building as Boutique Hotel (Chicago 7 2021)
Braun & Fitts Butterine Factory / Wrigley Lodge / Salvation Army, Furst & Rudolph in 1891, with Art Deco/Art Moderne Remodeling by Albert C. Fehlow in 1947, 509 N. Union Avenue. Photo Credit: Serhii Chrucky
Braun & Fitts Butterine Factory / Wrigley Lodge / Salvation Army, Furst & Rudolph in 1891, with Art Deco/Art Moderne Remodeling by Albert C. Fehlow in 1947, 509 N. Union Avenue. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Braun & Fitts Butterine Factory / Wrigley Lodge / Salvation Army, Furst & Rudolph in 1891, with Art Deco/Art Moderne Remodeling by Albert C. Fehlow in 1947, 509 N. Union Avenue. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Braun & Fitts Butterine Factory / Wrigley Lodge / Salvation Army, Furst & Rudolph in 1891, with Art Deco/Art Moderne Remodeling by Albert C. Fehlow in 1947, 509 N. Union Avenue. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
"Chicago developer Jeff Shapack has purchased the Salvation Army's main downtown campus in the River West neighborhood, a move that lines up what could be a massive redevelopment of the property.

"A venture controlled by Shapack Partners last month bought the charity's longtime property along Grand Avenue between Des Plaines Street and Union Avenue, according to people familiar with the transaction. The sale price was not immediately clear, but sources with knowledge of the deal said Shapack paid close to $25 million for the property, which the Salvation Army had owned since 1931, and most recently served as its family store and donation center as well as an adult rehabilitation center.

"Shapack did not respond to a request for comment on his plans for the property, but sources familiar with the purchase said he intends to convert a six-story building at 509 Union Ave. into a hotel. Known for its high-profile projects in the Fulton Market District, Shapack Partners developed the Hoxton Hotel in the former meatpacking district and previously transformed a former manufacturing building in the neighborhood into a Soho House hotel and private club.

The Salvation Army put its property up for sale in 2019, framing it as an opportunity for a buyer to redevelop the site with a project as large as nearly 570,000 square feet, according to a marketing flyer from SVN Chicago Commercial, which brokered the sale to Shapack. In addition to the main building, the acquisition includes a property along Des Plaines Street with buildings that could be demolished to make room for a new, larger development. The site's development prospects grew in 2017 after the city added more areas of the central business district that were eligible for higher-density zoning.

The property, along the southern edge of the Ohio Street feeder ramp to the Kennedy Expressway, stands between the trendy Fulton Market District and a 37-acre site along the Chicago River that is now home to the Chicago Tribune's Freedom Center printing plant. That parcel is owned by Irving, Texas-based Nexstar—which took over the property as part of its acquisition of Tribune Media in 2019—and is one of three finalist properties that could be redeveloped with the city's first casino.

"Shapack's purchase comes as the developer looks to cash out on a big office project in nearby Fulton Market at 167 N. Green St. After leasing up all of the office space in the 750,000-square-foot building, Shapack and co-developer Focus recently hired the Chicago capital markets team at Jones Lang LaSalle to market it to investors, with bids expected to approach $550 million.

"The Salvation Army closed the River West property in March and has relocated some of its services to the charity's other area locations, including one at 2258 N. Clybourn Ave. in Lincoln Park. (Ecker, Crain's Chicago Business, 5/2/22)

THREATENED: Ald. Sigcho-Lopez Attempts to Downzone St. Adalbert Church But is Blocked by Mayor Lightfoot
(Chicago 7 2014 & 2016)
St. Adalbert Church, Henry J. Schlacks, 1636 W. 17th Street. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
25th Ward Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez announces plans to downzone St. Adalbert Church following the final services at the Pilsen church in 2019 and is joined by Ward Miller and Julie Sawicki. Photo Credit: Mauricio Pena / Block Club Chicago
"Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) has filed a complaint against Mayor Lori Lightfoot with the city inspector general’s office, accusing her of intervening in a zoning matter to favor the Archdiocese of Chicago over his constituents.

"On May 24, Sigcho-Lopez successfully got his long-sought plan to downzone St. Adalbert Church, 1650 W. 17th St., from residential to public space through the city’s Zoning Committee, but it faced scrutiny during a City Council meeting the next day and has been put off until next month’s council meeting.

"'Mayor Lightfoot has taken it upon herself to intervene despite this being vetted in committee, so I don’t understand why she is intervening in a 25th Ward item,' Sigcho-Lopez told the Sun-Times. 'We need Lightfoot to focus on important matters like addressing violent crime and stop meddling in what we want to see in our community.'

"The council member accused Lightfoot of taking cues from the archdiocese and Cardinal Blase Cupich over what parishioners are asking for — a transparent process for the future of the church and property.

"Sigcho-Lopez’s complaint accuses the archdiocese and a lobbyist of 'pushing a real estate deal without any communications to our office, parishioners or residents, despite multiple attempts, including a formal request to meet and discuss plans for the site. Other affluent communities are given meetings and consideration all the time.'

"St. Adalbert was built by Polish immigrants in the early 1900s and opened its doors to parishioners in 1914. It was announced in 2016 the church would close, and on July 14, 2019, St. Adalbert held its last Mass.

"Sigcho-Lopez said the move to downsize the church from residential to an open space designation would ensure the community has input in what happens to the church, which has been left deteriorating.

"Eric Wollan, chief capital assets officer for the archdiocese, said they would seek a legal remedy if the council approves the downsizing.

"Julie Sawicki, president of the Society of St. Adalbert, has fought to save the church since its announced closure over five years ago. She called it a “slap in the face” to the Mexican and Polish community that city officials aren’t doing more to preserve the church.

"She accused the archdiocese of 'lying' about the restoration cost. Architects and contractors, she said, had visited the church and estimated the job could be done for under $6 million.

"'The church and property were built by immigrants who turned it over to the diocese for stewardship,' Sawicki said. 'They were poor stewards, and now they want $4 million for it.'

"'Public and open space zoning is not a perfect zone, but that’s OK. It is enough to deter real estate developers from tearing down the church and building a massive real estate project,' Sawicki said. 'It doesn’t matter what the downzone is. It is the spirit of it to deter any buyers.' (Ramos, Chicago Sun-Times, 5/28/22)

Despite assurances in 2020 from the City of Chicago that a Chicago Landmark Designation of St. Adalbert would proceed, it has been mysteriously stalled without explanation. Preservation Chicago has been advocating for Chicago Landmark Designation of the St. Adalbert Church in Pilsen for years. It was a Chicago 7 Most Endangered in 2014 and 2016. It was also included in the Chicago 7 Most Endangered Roman Catholic Church categories in 2019 and 2021.

We have worked closely with local leaders in the Latinx and Polish communities to resist the closure and possible demolition of the building. Since the Archdiocese of Chicago deconsecrated the church and ceased holding religious services within the building, we have strongly encouraged stakeholders and the City of Chicago to move forward with Chicago Landmark Designation.

Ward Miller testified in support of the downzoning proposal at the City of Chicago Zoning Hearing. Preservation Chicago strongly supports Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez in his effort to protect St. Adalbert and to ensure that the community of Pilsen has a voice to determine its future.

PARTIAL WIN: After Rejecting Community Performance Arts Center Proposal Which Would Have Restored Interior and Dome, Second Church of Christ, Scientist Development Will At Least Incorporate Historic Façade
(Chicago 7 2019)
Second Church of Christ, Scientist, 1901, Solon S. Beman, 2700 N. Pine Grove Avenue. A Chicago 7 Most Endangered 2019. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Second Church of Christ, Scientist, 1901, Solon S. Beman, 2700 N. Pine Grove Avenue. A Chicago 7 Most Endangered 2019. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Magnificent dome of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, 1901, Solon S. Beman, 2700 N. Pine Grove Avenue. A Chicago 7 Most Endangered 2019. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Magnificent dome and interior of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, 1901, Solon S. Beman, 2700 N. Pine Grove Avenue. A Chicago 7 Most Endangered 2019. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Rendering of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, 2700 N. Pine Grove Ave., showing the proposed six-story addition for residences. Rendering credit: Booth Hansen Associates
"The project is a blend of historic preservation and new construction. It would save the Second Church of Christ, Scientist, at 2700 N. Pine Grove Ave. — by grafting on a six-story residential addition. The church, built in 1901 in the style of a Greek temple, is a typically standout design of architect Solon S. Beman, famous for his work on George Pullman’s factory town. The church has showed up on landmark groups’ 'most endangered' lists.

"Changes at the property have been kicked around for years. Many in the neighborhood didn’t want another tall building to replace the church. City documents about the project say the congregation has dwindled and has a harder time supporting the building.

"The church has struck a deal with Ogden Partners to build an addition containing 22 homes and 31 parking spaces, according to material prepared for the plan commission. The church would remain in about 5,000 square feet. Representatives of the church and the developer could not be reached for comment.

"'This saves the exterior and the whole front part of the building so that the congregation can still worship. It’s a compromise and it’s a good one,' said local Ald. Michele Smith (43rd). She said the homes will be for sale, not rentals.

"Current zoning would allow a developer to plop 77 units on the site, so the lower density represents a concession to the neighborhood. Booth Hansen Associates, the architecture firm on the job, made several changes in response to critiques from planning officials, Smith said. The addition is designed 'not to compete with the existing façade, but to subtly complement it,' the development team said in its report to the city."

Preservation Chicago has long been advocating to save the Second Church of Christ Scientist and it was a 2019 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Second Church of Christ was designed by Solon S. Beman in 1901. By any measure, it should be protected by a Chicago Landmark designation.

In 2020, Preservation Chicago was able to secure the interest of a major philanthropic foundation to purchase and restore the magnificent church building and convert it into a cultural arts center.

Additionally, the congregation would have continued to have access for religious services. The congregation flatly rejected the offer preferring to monetize the value of the land.

The decision of the development team to save the exterior walls is an improvement over the initial plans, but the building, including its magnificent dome, should be preserved in its entirety. This building presented a unique opportunity that has been squandered.

Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation Chicago, spoke at the public meeting to encourage preservation and landmarking of the historic building and for a cultural use for the historic gem in November 2017

As reported by Peter von Buol in the Skyline in 2017, Ward Miller said, “We do not need another residential high-rise at this site. It will adversely affect the quality of life, sunlight, air and throw shadows on adjacent buildings. What we do need collectively, is a great and amazing resource and cultural center, for an already dense neighborhood. This is a once-in-a-life-time chance. Let’s not blow it, with another embarrassing loss and demolition of one of Chicago’s great architectural treasures.”

“‘The church mentioned they will consider a donation of the building to a good steward, so let that steward be all of us collectively and let’s all advocate for a collective reuse that benefits all Chicagoans, looking to the near future,’ said Miller, who added that Preservation Chicago will work with the congregation and the community to help make the community-center vision a reality.

“Built in 1901, the classical façade of the building recalls one of Beman’s most celebrated design, the ‘Merchant and Tailors’ Building” of Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. “The World’s Fair building had received numerous awards for its designs. Beman worked with members of the Christian Science Movement and its leaders, including Mary Eddy Baker, the faith’s founder and leader, to design “a most perfect church prototype’ for subsequent Christian Science buildings. Beman included few, if any, traditional religious symbols and symbolism, in designing a beautiful light-filled sanctuary and with an auditorium and assembly-space as a sanctuary,” added Miller.

“‘The sanctuary of the church, with its art glass and gilded dome, its magnificent column-free space, with wide arches and honey-colored art windows; its rare Austin organ, could be an unparalleled space for concerts, cultural events, music, lectures, presentations affiliated with the local museums and institutions, including The Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Zoo and The Peggy Notebaert Nature Center. This would all be located a mere half-block from Lincoln Park, and would be an amazing resource for the Lincoln Park community, and for all of Chicago,’ suggested Miller.

“‘The Chicago Cultural Center was constructed as the Chicago Public Central Library in 1897. It was rethought as the Chicago Cultural Center in 1977 and has been one of the best reuse projects in the city’s history. It’s still a remarkable center and proof of a visionary series of decisions that were made in the 1970s, by elected officials, city leaders, and philanthropic organizations. Let’s continue to have that visionary outlook and reuse the church building for everything both cultural and imaginative. Let’s ask the church, city, elected officials to work together with our Chicago philanthropy community to make this vision a reality,’ Miller said.” (Von Buol, Skyline, 11/22/17)

WIN: U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Shannon Estenoz Visits Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley Home and Roberts Temple Church
Naomi Davis from BIG! Blacks in Green speaking with Shannon Estenoz, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks during a site visit to the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Home on May 10, 2022. Photo Credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz Visits Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Home on May 10, 2022 and meets with Till relatives, community leaders, historic preservation advocates, architects, and historians working to preserve this important site. Photo Credit: Naomi Davis / BIG! Blacks in Green
Tiffany Tolbert from African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund at National Trust for Historic Preservation, Naomi Davis from BIG! Blacks in Green, Shannon Estenoz, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Park and Ward Miller from Preservation Chicago during a site visit to the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Home on May 10, 2022. Photo Credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
"Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz visited Illinois today, where she toured several sites that honor individuals and events that advanced the Civil Rights Movement and discussed the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing work to strengthen equity and social justice, including efforts to help tell a more complete story of America.

"During her trip, Assistant Secretary Estenoz visited sites associated with the lives of Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley. She met with Till relatives, including Dr. Marvel Parker and Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr., as well as historians, historic preservation advocates, and other community leaders working to preserve those sites. In 1955, the kidnapping and murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till while visiting relatives in Mississippi captured national attention and helped galvanize the Civil Rights Movement across the nation.

"Congressman Bobby Rush joined Assistant Secretary Estenoz during her visit to Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ on Chicago’s South Side. The temple is where tens of thousands of mourners visited over the course of a four-day visitation and funeral. Mamie Till-Mobley’s decision to have an open-casket funeral helped expose Americans to the injustices facing black people in the United States. The site is recognized as a City of Chicago Landmark, and there is bipartisan legislation pending in Congress to designate Roberts Temple as a unit of the National Park System. Assistant Secretary Estenoz also visited Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois — Emmett and Mamie Till’s final resting place.

"Assistant Secretary Estenoz wrapped up her trip with a visit to the Pullman National Monument and the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, named for the prominent leader A. Philip Randolph, who founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and successfully negotiated a labor contract for the porters from the Pullman Company. The agreement served as a model for other African American workers and significantly contributed to the rise of the civil rights and labor movements in the United States. President Obama designated Pullman National Monument in 2015, using his authorities under the Antiquities Act."

THREATENED: Despite Excessive Aldermanic Delays, Obsidian Collection Remains Committed to Palmer Mansion Restoration
(Chicago 7 2019)
Angela Ford, executive director of The Obsidian Collection, poses for a photo in front of the Lutrelle ‘Lu’ & Jorja Palmer Mansion / The Obsidian Collection / Justice D. Harry Hammer Mansion. 3654 S. King Drive. Photo credit: Alberta Dean
"A year after buying the Lu and Jorja Palmer mansion, the owner is still waiting to move forward with an ambitious renovation — and she blames Ald. Sophia King (4th) for the holdup.

"Bronzeville native Angela Ford took over the 133-year-old mansion at 3654 S. King Drive in April 2021 with the aim of converting it into a coworking and community space. It would also house the records of The Obsidian Collection, a nonprofit that archives Black media.

"The local block club and other influential figures back the project, but Ford said King is refusing to bring it to City Council for necessary approvals. King, who last year introduced an unsuccessful ordinance to restrict projects like the Palmer House renovation, denied trying to block Ford. But she said the proposal has ballooned into much more than a house museum.

"King said her office has helped Ford even though she worries about a large business being on a residential block, saying it would be like having 'a Soho House next to your home.'

"After a war of words on Facebook, the two met privately Tuesday. Ford said the alderperson has pledged to schedule a public meeting about the project soon.

"'I look at this project as a way to honor the past and inspire the future,' Ford said. 'The responses to my Facebook post show me that residents really want this, and we’re going to make it happen.'

"Lu Palmer was a reporter, columnist and radio talent who made stops at the Defender, the Daily News, WVON and other Chicago outlets. Jorja and Lu Palmer and others — including Timuel and Zenobia Black — oversaw the voter registration drive that swept Harold Washington into office as Chicago’s first Black mayor in 1983.

"The mansion was built in 1888 for Justice D. Harry Hammer, according to Preservation Chicago. The Palmers bought it in 1976 and lived there until Lu Palmer’s death in 2004. Jorja Palmer died in December 2005. The home was vacant for years and landed on Preservation Chicago’s most endangered list.

"It took Ford two years to close on the property with grants from the Chicago Community Trust, plus the organization’s help in securing a $1.25 million home loan. Ford estimates the total costs — including buying the home, extensively renovating the decaying building and creating community programs — at $3.8 million.

"Ford presented her vision last year to the Greater King Drive Block Club, whose president is Delmarie Cobb, a political strategist whose ties to the community date back 50 years. Though Ford did not know the full history of the area — other Black journalism giants, including Claude Barnett, Ida B. Wells and John H. Johnson, lived or launched publications along that stretch of King Drive — the group felt Ford’s project was 'a perfect fit,' Cobb wrote in a letter to the alderperson’s office in March 2021.

"Ford also said the delays have cost her another $100,000 in attorneys fees and consultants.

"'It feels personal. I don’t know [King]. I have no idea why it’s taking so long. Even my attorneys said that the timeline is highly unusual,' Ford said." (Nesbitt Golden, Block Club Chicago, 5/25/22)

Preservation Chicago had been concerned about the deteriorating condition of the Justice D. Harry Hammer Mansion/Lutrelle ‘Lu’ & Jorja Palmer Mansion for years. To help raise awareness and to pressure stakeholders, it became a Chicago 7 Most Endangered in 2019. We have played an active role working with community organizations, local leaders, and decisionmakers to help bring about a preservation-sensitive outcome for this building.

We are thrilled to support Angela Ford and The Obsidian Collection’s effort to adaptively reuse the Palmer Mansion for a nonprofit digital archives for photographs, video and documents to focused on making Black history more available and accessible. This is an incredibly exciting development and we will continue to do everything we can to support her effort.

LOSS: Ornate Reebie Company Warehouse Building Façade To Be Demolished
Reebie Company Warehouse Building historic facade, 5033-35 N. Broadway. Photo Credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Originally Proposed Timeline Theater Design at Reebie Building, 5033 N. Broadway. Rendering Credit: HGA
Final Timeline Theater Design at Reebie Building, 5033 N. Broadway. Rendering Credit: HGA
"The Community Development Commission has approved $10 million in TIF funding for Timeline Theatre. Currently located in a church building in Lakeview East, the company is looking to build a new theater in an existing warehouse building at 5033 N. Broadway in Uptown. Located just north of W. Argyle St, the new theater will be just around the corner from the Argyle CTA L station.

"With a design from HGA, the project will redevelop the 1910s warehouse into the new home of Timeline Theatre Company. The front 2/3rds of the building will be demolished and replaced with the newly constructed theatre space. The back third will be renovated for back of house functions. The project will include a 250-seat theatre, rehearsal rooms, a gallery space, education/community rooms, a cafe, and offices.

"To achieve the $37.6 million project, funding will come from many sources including $8.5 million from a capital campaign, $14.2 million in a bridge loan, $10 million in TIF, $2.5 million in state grants, and $2.5 million in New Market Tax Credits." (Kugler, Urbanize Chicago, 5/17/22)

Public funds should never be used to for the demolition of historic buildings, including TIF, city and state grants. In exchange for $10 million in TIF, the facade should have been preserved.

For years, Preservation Chicago has been committed to helping arts and cultural users find new homes in historic buildings. The synergy between creative uses and historic spaces is well documented and these developments often evolve into beloved neighborhood anchors.

We have strongly supported the renovation of historic theater spaces in Uptown such as the Uptown Theatre, The Riviera, and Aragon Ballroom. We strongly supported the Double Door’s renovation and reuse of the Wilson Avenue Theater. We have supported the Lifeline Theater coming to Uptown and adding to the vibrancy of this reemerging entertainment and performing arts district

We were elated in summer 2019 with the rendering released by TimeLine showing this building restored on its exterior primary elevation fronting Broadway, with a new vertical blade sign. It was an ideal fit for a theatre reuse concept, where large windows are really not required as part of the program of the theater. It was a creative and authentic revisioning project for one of Chicago’s historic storage buildings.

We were very disappointed by the more recent design changes, which include a complete demolition of the principal façade fronting Broadway. The powerful dynamism that comes from the authenticity of historic buildings is lost when the historic façade is demolished and replaced with a generic glass and metal system. So many creative options have been overlooked by abandoning the historic façade.

This decision seems surprising considering how hard the Uptown community has worked to revitalize the Broadway historic and entertainment district. We encouraged decision makers at Lifeline Theater, community groups, and 48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman to find a creative way to embrace and incorporate the historic façade into the development plans.

With its beautifully crafted brickwork and detailing, the historic façade should have been retained and incorporated into the new development. The modernist screening proposed in the latest variations could be employed on the other elevations of the building to provide a 'fresh image' but without compromising the Broadway façade.

PARTIAL WIN: Target to Anchor Sears Building at Six Corners (Chicago 7 2016)
Proposed Adaptive Reuse of Sears Building at Six Corners, 1938, George Nimmons, 4730 W. Irving Park Road. Rendering Credit: Novak Construction/MG2 Architects
Historic Photo of Six-Corners Sears Store. Photo credit: Six Corners Business Association
Historic Six-Corners Sears Christmas Window Display, Sears Store, 1938, George Nimmons, 4730 W. Irving Park Road. Historic Image Courtesy: Northwest Chicago Historical Society
"Target will be the anchor tenant of the Sears redevelopment project at Six Corners that’s also bringing luxury apartments to the area.

"Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th) announced the news in his Thursday newsletter, writing Target will bring an 'easy, safe and convenient shopping experience tailored to serve local guests in Portage Park, Old Irving Park, Jefferson Park and surrounding areas.'

"The Target, which will be at 4728 W. Irving Park Road, will be the larger of two retail tenants on the ground level of the project and be about 44,000 square feet, according to the site plans. The development will have a total of 50,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

"The store is expected to open in fall 2023, Gardiner told Nadig Newspapers.

"The residential and retail development at the former Sears, 4730 W. Irving Park Road, will bring 207 luxury apartments — a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units ranging from $2,750 to $3,000 per month.

"Portions of the art deco building, which was built in 1938 and closed in 2018, are being reused as part of the six-story development. Some interior and exterior demolition of the 1972-era portion have been happening for about a year. Officials have said the project is a multi-year project but construction could last 18 months." (Parrella-Aureli, Block Club Chicago, 5/20/22)

Preservation Chicago has long attended community meetings to advocate for a sensitive preservation treatment of the historic building and restoration of the primary facades. The Sears Stores were a Chicago 7 Most Endangered in 2016 and we’ve consistently advocated for preservation-sensitive outcomes for the Sears buildings with stakeholders including aldermen, city officials, community groups, and developers. We’ve worked closely with the Northwest Chicago Historical Society on advocacy and to help raise awareness of the high importance of these buildings by architects George Nimmons, who designed many buildings for Sears Roebuck and Company and many now Designated Chicago Landmarks. Nimmons was a notable Chicago architect who designed the Designated Chicago Landmark Sears Roebuck and Company complex on Homan Avenue on Chicago’s west side.

PARTIAL WIN: Willis Tower Lobby Renovated, But Calder’s Universe Sculpture Hasn't Returned (Chicago 7 2017)
2022 Base Remodel. Willis Tower / Sears Tower, 1973, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with Bruce Graham and Fazlur Khan, 233 S. Wacker Drive. Photo Credit: Tom Harris
2022 Base Remodel. Willis Tower / Sears Tower, 1973, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with Bruce Graham and Fazlur Khan, 233 S. Wacker Drive. Photo Credit: Lynn Becker
Wave Wall. Willis Tower / Sears Tower, 1973, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with Bruce Graham and Fazlur Khan, 233 S. Wacker Drive. Photo Credit: Garrett Rowland
The Universe, 1974, Alexander Calder, located in the Sears Tower Lobby until it vanished in 2017. Willis Tower / Sears Tower, 1973, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with Bruce Graham and Fazlur Khan, 233 S. Wacker Drive. Photo Credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
"When Sears Tower opened in 1974, its status as the tallest building in the world kept people looking upward, serving to distract from its rather awkward meeting with the ground. The tower sat amidst a sprawling plaza that only met the sidewalk along Wacker Drive. At Franklin Street, the plaza was a full story above the sidewalk, and along Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard, its slope kept sidewalks and plaza apart.

"This unfortunate situation has been revisited virtually every decade since. By the 1980s, a new front door had been installed facing Wacker, set into a glass structure that bore an unfortunate similarity to an old-fashioned mailbox. Later renovations struggled with the balance between public and private, indoors and out.

"Recently completed, the new 300,000-square-feet renovation designed by the local office of Gensler eliminates the outdoor plaza entirely in favor of a one- to three-stories-tall infill structure that surrounds the tower and brings the complex’s built form to the sidewalk’s edge on all sides.

"Most non-Willis Tower workers are likely to find the Jackson entrance easiest, as you enter into a three-story-tall skylit space that houses the bulk of downtown’s newest food hall. If you’re looking for the Skydeck, you’ll need to descend two levels via escalator within this space.

"Access to the elevators for the tower, where security has reigned supreme for the last two decades, has been discretely handled. I was able to walk rather easily from Wacker to Franklin to Jackson within the building without much obstruction or wandering into secure areas. Given that the structure of the 108-story-tall tower and its elevators are elements that can be rearranged, this isn’t an easy accomplishment.

"While there are a number of new large-scale sculptures located throughout the public spaces, the apparent loss of Alexander Calder’s kinetic Universe sculpture, part of the building’s original lobby that had remained until recently, is a sad development.

"However, the addition of Olafur Eliasson’s wave wall along the new streetscape on Jackson is a positive note. Inspired by the movement and colors of Lake Michigan, it’s an excellent addition to our Loop public sculpture.

"As we look hopefully for a new awakening of post-pandemic Chicago, the Willis Tower reboot proves that this new era of urban life is likely to be marked by more overtly private spaces masquerading as public space. We need to be more vigilant than ever in requiring that cities are places where all can be welcome and be together. To accept anything less is simply unacceptable." (Keegan, Crain's Chicago Business, 6/6/22)

WIN: Historic Studebaker Theater to Reopen After Two-Year Renovation
Fine Arts Building / formerly the Studebaker Building, 1884 and 1898, Solon Spencer Beman, 410 S. Michigan Ave. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Studebaker Theater in the Fine Arts Building / formerly the Studebaker Building, 1884 and 1898, Solon Spencer Beman, 410 S. Michigan Ave. Photo Credit: Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times
Studebaker Theater in the Fine Arts Building / formerly the Studebaker Building, 1884 and 1898, Solon Spencer Beman, 410 S. Michigan Ave. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Chicago’s Fine Arts Building, Still a Haven for Creatives, Undergoes Updates. (3:36) Image Credit: WTTW Chicago
"Brittle scraps of Scotch tape stick to the marble walls, chipped and gouged from decades of comings and goings — and if it were any darker in the lobby of the Fine Arts Building on South Michigan Avenue, a flashlight might come in handy.

"Inside, hidden almost in plain sight, is the newly renovated Studebaker Theater. With its glittering mirrored walls and ice-white lighting, the grand old theater once again radiates a kind of frosty warmth.

"'It’s unique. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I don’t know that I’ve found a true comparison [in Chicago] because there are few theaters that are this grand but of this size,' said Jacob Harvey, the theater’s managing artistic director, leading a tour last week of the all-but complete multi-million dollar, two-year renovation.

"By 'this size,' Harvey means the relatively small capacity. It has 600 seats now, though when the theater first opened back in 1898, it could seat about 1,300 people. That’s back when patrons were jammed in up to the rafters. It opened only five years before the Iroquois Theater went up in flames during a performance, killing 602 of the 1,700 attendees.

"'This was also the very early years of theater technology. There were still early experiments in terms of lighting and sound,' said Tanya Palmer, a Northwestern professor and Chicago theater historian. 'A lot of what people would go to see were music-hall kind of experiences. … It was quite an event to go to this space.'

"Though The Studebaker, 410 S. Michigan Ave., has hosted live events in recent years, it hasn’t been 'fully functional' since the early 1980s when it was chopped up and converted into an art-house cinema. It closed in 2000, Harvey said.

"'Basically everything is new, with the exception of the physical architecture itself,' Harvey said.

"What hasn’t changed, Harvey said, is the expectation the theater will return to its 125-year-old theater roots, offering locally produced shows and those coming from out of town.

"The Studebaker is also set to become the new home of the Chicago-based NPR quiz show, 'Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!'" (Esposito, Chicago Sun-Times, 6/1/22)

THREATENED: With Flurry of Purchases, Latin School Now Owns Eight of 10 Properties on a Stretch of Dearborn Parkway
1507 N. Dearborn Pkwy and 1505 N. Dearborn Pkwy. Photo Credit: Engel & Voelkers Chicago
"The Latin School of Chicago bought an 1890s building on Dearborn Street, its fourth purchase on the same block in recent weeks, and says the $10 million group of buildings will remain on property tax rolls although the school’s other properties are tax-exempt.

"On May 25, the elite private school paid $2.1 million for 1505 N. Dearborn, a greystone built in the 1890s and divided into apartments since the 1940s.

"Earlier in May, the school bought the next three addresses north, for a total of nearly $8 million.

"Randall Dunn, Latin’s head of school, said last week in a prepared statement that the school “is not planning to make any changes to the properties, aside from general upkeep and maintenance,” and that the purchases were made because “opportunities to acquire properties like these do not come up often and Latin looks forward to using these properties to continue creating an environment that meets the needs of its students and respects its place in this historic neighborhood.”

"With the latest purchase, Latin now owns eight of the 10 addresses on the east side of Dearborn between North Avenue and Burton Place.

"The four new acquisitions had property tax bills totaling $188,311 in 2021, according to the Cook County treasurer. Katie O’Dea, Latin’s director of communications, said all four buildings will remain on the property tax rolls.

"That's a different strategy than Latin took with two other properties it acquired in years past on the same block of Dearborn.

"The property at 1547 N. Dearborn, an 18,000-square-foot mansion with a side garden, had a property tax bill of $209,102 in the last year before Latin bought it for $12 million in 2017. The property has since been tax-exempt, according to the treasurer." (Rodkin, Crain's Chicago Business, 6/2/22)

For the past number of years, Preservation Chicago has been working with community groups and elected officials to create a new Gold Coast Landmark District. It would be wonderful for the Latin School of Chicago to support this effort. Now is a great time to move forward with the process of formalizing a Designated Chicago Landmark District that would include North Dearborn Parkway and North State Parkway.

WIN: Bronzeville Marshall Field Warehouse to be Transformed into The Lillian Marcie Center for the Performing Arts
Marshall Field & Company Warehouse Stable, 1904, William Ernest Walker, 4343 S. Cottage Grove Avenue. Photo Credit: Google Maps
"A much-anticipated addition to Bronzeville’s cultural corridor will receive $26 million since the 2023 state budget has been signed into law.

"The Lillian Marcie Center for the Performing Arts, 4343 S. Cottage Grove Ave., will be on the site of an old Marshall Field warehouse built in 1915. The 22,500-square-foot, two-story space is the centerpiece of a larger initiative that includes plans for a Black performing arts museum, studio space, a restaurant and jazz club.

"Construction of the center is estimated to cost $25 million. The state is providing funding via a grant from the Build Illinois Bond Fund.

"The center is planned to have a 350-seat, multi-level auditorium and a 100-seat space for more intimate performances, along with rehearsal space, dressing rooms and offices. An outdoor gathering area would offer neighbors space to meet.

"Local developer Keith Giles and investor Mike Wordlaw will oversee construction, working with Bronzeville native and actor Harry Lennix to bring his vision of a 'Black Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' to life.

"The center will complement other efforts to revitalize the 43rd Street corridor, including 4400 Grove — a mixed-use development now home to Bronzeville Winery — and restoration of The Forum, which owner Bernard Loyd hopes to transform into a cultural destination.

"'Where government has fallen short, and where the church has failed, that’s where culture can come in. I believe it’s an excellent third way, but we need both the church and the state in order to support the culture. I’m especially grateful to all of those who agreed with that sentiment,' Lennix said.

"A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for September." (Nesbitt Golden, Block Club Chicago, 4/20/22)

William Ernest Walker Walker was a well-known architect of the period who started his career as a draftsman for Henry Ives Cobb for five years. He also served as Superintendent of Construction for the City of Chicago’s Board of Education. Walker designed many types of buildings across Chicago, including a few luxury apartment towers along Lake Shore Drive. However, large scale warehouses and fireproof apartment buildings were his specialties.

In addition to the Marshall Field & Company Warehouse Stable at 4343 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, William Ernest Walker designed other stables for Marshall Fields, including:
– 3133-3137 N. Halsted – (Briar Street Theater, converted in 1993) permit issued in 1902
– 858-860 E. 63rd (SW corner of St. Lawrence Ave; Demolished), 1902

WIN: St. Laurence Church School to Become Arts Incubator (Chicago 7 2011)
Rebuild Foundation Breaks Ground for New Arts Incubator in Greater Grand Crossing. Image Credit: WTTW Chicago
Former St. Laurence Catholic School, 7200 S. Dorchester. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
St. Laurence Arts Incubator / Former St. Laurence Catholic School, 7200 S. Dorchester. Rendering Credit: The Rebuild Foundation
Former St. Laurence Catholic School, 7200 S. Dorchester in 2014 before St. Laurence Church was demolished. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Former St. Laurence Catholic School, 7200 S. Dorchester. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
"Rebuild Foundation, an arts and culture nonprofit founded by artist Theaster Gates, broke ground on a new arts incubator on the city’s South Side today.

"Rebuild has raised over $7.6 million from private investors and other organizations to begin the $10.35 million renovation of the former St. Laurence elementary school for the new 40,000-square-foot space. Rebuild bought the school in January 2016 after the site was slated for demolition.

"Those donating to the still-unnamed incubator include the city of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust, Clayco Foundation, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Kresge Foundation, Litowitz Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Mellon Foundation and Miami Foundation.

“We have invested $1 million into the repair and the remediation of the building," said Sabina Bokhari, a representative with Rebuild Foundation. She said they've raised an additional $6.6 million for the renovation. "With it being an older building that has sat vacant for many years, there are structural challenges that we need to remediate to ensure that the space is safe.”

"The site will include artist studios, classrooms for creative entrepreneurship courses and co-working floors.

“We’ve toured the St. Laurence School, and it’s obviously an amazing space; it would been a real shame to see it demolished,” said Shawn Clark, president of real estate and development firm CRG, which donated $1 million to the arts incubator.

"The arts incubator is slated to be completed in 18 months, with programming to start as early as fall 2023." (Jay, Crain's Chicago Business, 5/3/22)

Preservation Chicago applauds Theaster Gates and Rebuild Foundation for moving forward with this exciting adaptive reuse of the St. Laurence School. We had initially made contact with Theaster and Rebuild Foundation in 2011 regarding the potential adaptive reuse of the entire St. Laurence campus including the church building, convent, rectory and school. Unfortunately, the other buildings were demolished, but the St. Laurence School survived until Rebuild Foundation was able to purchase it in 2016 with plans for an eventual adaptive reuse.

WIN: Xquina Adaptive Reuse Project to Break Ground This Summer
Xquina Cafe, 3523-3525 W. 26th Street, Built 1888. Rendering Credit: Xquina Incubator & Cafe
"Construction on the long-anticipated Xquina Incubator & Cafe project is expected to start this summer, officials said. The community hub and business space, which was introduced to residents in 2018, will soon take over the rehabbed two- and three-story buildings at 3523- 3525 W. 26th St.

"Project leaders and local officials held a groundbreaking ceremony in September 2020, but construction was repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic, said Kim Close, interim executive director and chief operating officer of the Little Village Community Foundation. It was slated to wrap up last summer, but even that date was a delay from a previous expected completion of 2019.

"Close said she now anticipates the entire building will be open and operational by 2023.

“We’re just so thrilled that this is moving forward,” Close said. “At the end of the day, it’s about creating the most impactful community of Little Village, that’s the end goal. It’s a place-based entrepreneurial ecosystem that will live on 26th Street. It’s important that it has a home on this extremely important corridor.”

"The first floor will feature a cafe run by Ambrosio Gonzalez, of La Catedral Cafe, a bilingual business incubator. It will also have a shared commercial kitchen run by Little Village-based Food Hero, a culinary education startup. The second floor will have a co-working space, while the third floor will be a gallery for local artists and an event space.

"While the project was delayed most recently, officials continued funding efforts and have now fully financed it, Close said. It’s a $4.8 million endeavor with a mix of city, state and private money, Close said. (Savedra, Block Club Chicago, 5/26/22)

WIN: Renovated Apartment Buildings Honor Mattie Butler
Mattie Butler Apartments, 6146 S. Kenwood Ave. Photo Credit: Preservation of Affordable Housing
"Two affordable rental buildings in Woodlawn are being renamed in honor of the longtime neighborhood housing activist who rehabbed them in the 1990s.

"With a combined total of 102 apartments, the buildings at 6146 S. Kenwood Ave. and 6230 S. Dorchester Ave. will be rechristened the Mattie Butler Apartments at a May 26 event hosted by Preservation of Affordable Housing, their present owner.

"In the mid-1990s, the 64-unit Dorchester building was “burned out and ready for demolition,” according to archived Chicago Tribune articles, before Butler and a group she founded, Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors, or WeCan, bought it from the city for $1 and secured $2.1 million in grants and loans to rehab it into 29 studio and one-bedroom units for formerly homeless people.

"'She made it possible for so many people to have housing,' said Venus Scott, Butler’s daughter. Butler was not available for comment because of a health situation. 'I’m so proud of what she did for people in Woodlawn,' Scott said.

"Mattie Butler is the younger sister of Jerry Butler, a former Cook County commissioner. In 1995, he told the Tribune her success with community development came in part from having a personality that was 'argumentative, determined, compassionate. I don’t recall ever having won an argument with her.'

"WeCan operated the buildings as affordable rentals for two decades before Butler approached Preservation of Affordable Housing, or Poah, a nonprofit developer that has been active in Woodlawn.

"Butler was in her 70s and 'She said, ‘I think I’m ready to not do this anymore,’ ' said Bill Eager, vice president for real estate development in the Midwest for Boston-based Poah. His group bought the two buildings for about $1.5 million and in 2019 began a round of renovations that Eager said cost about $15 million.

Putting Butler’s name on the two buildings acknowledges that 'she’s been a strong advocate for affordable housing and making sure that people in Woodlawn, particularly low-income people, have a place going forward.'

"'She’s an icon of affordable housing,' said Felicia Dawson, vice president of strategic partnerships at Poah."

WIN: Chicago YIMBY Celebrates Recent Preservation Wins Across The City
1710 W. Lunt Avenue. Photo Credit: Google Maps
"Chicago YIMBY wants to highlight some of the preservation wins seen across the city in the last few years, with updates as of late having demonstrated the importance of preserving the city’s architectural legacy. Recent examples include the Washington Park National Bank redevelopment in Woodlawn where the redesign now incorporates the existing facade after locals demanded it be saved, and Epworth Church in Edgewater where buyers pulled their demolition application this week. Varying in sizes, restoration projects keep the city’s history alive in a tangible way for many.

Thompson Center – 100 W. Randolph Street – The Loop
"The Helmut Jahn-designed James R. Thompson Center has been controversial since it opened in the 1980s, but considered an important example of postmodernist architecture by many. Its massive atrium is one of Chicago’s grand civic spaces though viewed by critics as an inefficient shortcoming. Preservationists recently feared the dilapidated building would be lost to demolition as the state looked to shed its ownership, but Michael Reschke of Prime Group formally purchased the property earlier this year and is working with architecture firm Jahn on its redevelopment. Focusing on new office spaces, the redesign will also include new common areas, retail, and potentially a hotel. The finalized redevelopment plan is expected to be released later this summer.

Ramova Theater – 3518 S. Halsted Street – Bridgeport
"Sister theater to the North Side’s popular Music Box, the once 1,500-seat atmospheric space opened in 1929 to much fanfare from the community which it served until its closure in 1985. Late last year developer Our Revival Chicago LLC and general contractor McHugh Construction began work on its restoration after almost meeting the wrecking ball multiple times. Upon completion it will host a new 1,600-seat auditorium inside the original Spanish revival-style structure along with a smaller 200-seat theater, 4,000-square-foot taproom, and 800-square-foot restaurant.

The Forum – 318 E. 43rd Street – Bronzeville
"Not too far from the Ramova, the Forum once held some of the best acts to grace the South Side upon completion in 1897 like Nat King Cole and Muddy Waters but has since fallen into disrepair. The 125-year-old venue will reopen as a live performance venue after winning approval from City Council last year, also containing a restaurant, banquet hall, an art gallery focusing on the Black Metropolis, and a bookstore. Work on the building has begun led by local resident Bernard Loyd who used his retirement money to purchase the structure, with federal grants keeping the work moving. Projects like this have helped spur residential development near them, like 43Green currently being built near this site.

Morton Salt Shed – 1357 N. Elston – West Town
"Perhaps one of the most anticipated openings in recent memory, the former industrial facility whose iconic logo roof greeted visitors and locals alike will now see a new life as an entertainment and commercial complex. Blue Star Properties and R2 Companies will provide new indoor and outdoor venues, office and commercial spaces, as well as a riverwalk showing that adaptive reuse is still in demand in once industrial areas in the face of change. Many of the concerts at the outdoor venue which opens this summer have already sold out with a coveted line-up of artists inaugurating the city’s newest iconic stage.

Tribune Tower Residences – 435 N. Michigan Avenue – Magnificent Mile
"The 1925 Neo-Gothic high rise that once held the office for the namesake newspaper company has officially opened as a condominium property delivering 162 residential units. Developers Golub & Company and CIM Group preserved much of the original character including the fragments from historical sites along the base, wood-covered lobby, and the large Chicago Tribune sign along its side. Tenants like Foxtrot Market and The Museum of Ice Cream have signed leases at its base along with nearly half of the condos already spoken for, a potential glimpse at what could be done with many of the struggling historic office buildings in The Loop.

"While this list does not cover all of the projects currently active across the city, it offers a glimpse into the future of the city while preserving the structures that got us to where we are today. While sometimes more expensive than tearing it down and starting new, the return can also be greater due to the feeling of authenticity that cannot be manufactured and must be developed over time. Places like the Old Post Office and the Cook County Hospital, which for years were seen as too far gone, exemplify this even more as they now are both thriving with the Post Office reaching near full capacity at a time where office buildings struggle to sign new leases. (Achong, Chicago YIMBY, 5/21/22)

Not surprisingly, Preservation Chicago has been very active every step of the way with these selected preservation advocacy wins.

WIN: In Partnership with Preservation Chicago, Chicago Workers Cottage Initiative Completes Surveys in Logan Square, McKinley Park and South Chicago
Cataloging and Celebrating the Workers Cottage, One of Chicago’s Original Affordable Homes. Image Credit: WTTW Chicago
"Chicago, they say, is a city of neighborhoods. And the origins of those neighborhoods occupy a unique place among American cities – neither master-planned communities nor built on land controlled by old money. Much of Chicago is defined by its residential buildings, a beautiful mishmash of styles, sizes, and ages.

"In recent years, preservationists have started calling attention to a style of home known as workers cottages – an original form of affordable housing that’s facing down demolition.

"On a chilly April morning, a group of historic preservation students from the School of the Art Institute gathered in McKinley Park before heading out into the neighborhood to survey its workers cottages. They’re simple homes of four to six rooms with a gabled roof at the front of the house and an entrance off to one side – usually one story, sometimes two.

"Workers cottages are ubiquitous in Chicago, though they’re perhaps not as well known by name as their younger sibling, the bungalow.

"'But once you start recognizing this type of house, you start seeing them all over the place. They’re interesting, the history of the families that lived in them – it wasn’t famous people or rich people. They were regular Chicagoans,' said Matt Bergstrom, co-founder of the Chicago Workers Cottage Initiative.

"Bergstrom got interested in the cottages because he saw them being demolished all around his home in Logan Square – where the group launched its first survey with the help of Art Institute students and Preservation Chicago last year.

"'When they’re knocked down and they’re being replaced by much bigger houses, it is really changing the character of a lot of neighborhoods,' Bergstrom said.

"'It’s important to recognize the significance of the workers cottage not only because of who they housed in the past, but who they can house now,” said Elizabeth Blasius of Preservation Futures. “There’s still such a potential for workers cottages to fulfill our housing needs today.'

"In many places where workers cottages are knocked down, the new homes are larger and more expensive – meaning preservation isn’t just about history, it’s about holding onto the city’s rapidly declining affordable housing.

"'Chicago’s architecture is housing, because we have so much housing in Chicago. And housing, where people live, really resonates with Chicagoans,' Blasius said.

"In McKinley Park, students found nearly a quarter of the four thousand-plus parcels they surveyed were workers cottages. There’s also a survey of cottages in South Chicago that’s set to wrap up soon. And, the initiative’s planning to tackle another part of town next spring.

"'We hope to see that the houses are kept up, and that people value the houses, and that there’s a pride in living in a workers cottage, so why would you knock it down? It’s a great place to live,' Bergstrom said. (Blumberg, WTTW Chicago, 5/12/22)

POTENTIAL WIN: Milshire Hotel Neon Sign Safe for Now After Auction Cancelled
Neon Sign at the Milshire Hotel, 2525 N. Milwaukee Ave. Photo Credit: M. Fishman Co.
GoFundMe Effort to Save the Milshire Hotel Neon Sign. Image Credit: Logan Square Preservation
Tweet from Andrew Schneider, President of Logan Square Preservation regarding the withdrawal from the auction of the Milshire Hotel Neon Sign. Image Credit: Andrew Schneider / Logan Square Preservation Twitter
"The Milshire Hotel’s neon sign is no longer for sale after the building’s owner bowed to community pressure and reversed his plans, agreeing instead to work with neighbors on a plan to keep the historical sign in Logan Square.

"Well-known property investor Mark Fishman listed the 15-foot-tall sign on Live Auctioneers at the end of May with a starting bid of $5,000, rattling community leaders who feared the sign would be “shipped out” of Logan Square when the Milshire Hotel is redeveloped.

"The sign is believed to be at least 80 years old, and is a Milwaukee Avenue staple. Local leaders with the neighborhood group Logan Square Preservation launched an online fundraiser May 29 to buy the sign and preserve it.

"But not long after Block Club highlighted the fundraiser, Fishman’s real estate company, M. Fishman Co., changed course and took the listing down, according to Logan Square Preservation’s president Andrew Schneider.

"Now, Fishman’s company is pledging to work with Logan Square Preservation to make sure the sign stays in the neighborhood. M. Fishman Co. officials didn’t return messages seeking comment.

“They saw our campaign, and indicated to us that Mr. Fishman was concerned that the sign would end up sold to somebody and removed from the neighborhood,” Schneider said. “He felt that was not a desirable outcome and that, no matter what, the sign should remain in the neighborhood. I think that’s the correct impulse, and that’s something we appreciate and applaud.”(Bloom, Block Club Chicago, 6/8/22)

"The sign was installed sometime in the 1930s or 1940s. It was one of many similar signs on Milwaukee Avenue at the time, but few remain today, Logan Square Preservation’s president Andrew Schneider said.

"'We only have a few survivors left,' Schneider said. 'To see one of them removed when I don’t know that it’s strictly necessary, it’s a tremendous disappointment and a huge loss. If we can do something to prevent that loss, I think we should.'

"'When you take something out of its context, it becomes a piece of collected ephemera in someone’s private collection,” Schneider said. 'When that happens, our city’s streetscape is impoverished … the city, as a whole, loses.' (Bloom, Block Club Chicago, 6/1/22)

PARTIAL WIN: Preservation Chicago's Viral Tweet Leads to Good Outcome for Vintage Orange Garden Neon Sign
Orange Garden Restaurant, 1942 W. Irving Park Rd. Opened in 1926 and is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Chicago. Orange Garden Neon Sign, reportedly Chicago's oldest working neon sign. Image Credit: Matt Rieck Twitter
Orange Garden Restaurant, 1942 W. Irving Park Rd. Opened in 1926 and is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Chicago. Orange Garden Neon Sign, reportedly Chicago's oldest working neon sign. Image Credit: Preservation Chicago Twitter
Orange Garden Restaurant, 1942 W. Irving Park Rd. Opened in 1926 and is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Chicago. Orange Garden Neon Sign, reportedly Chicago's oldest working neon sign. Photo Credit: John Dunlevy
"On their way to a Cubs game a few years ago, Chloé Mendel asked her partner, Billy Corgan, if he wanted anything as a present. They happened to be driving down Irving Park Road and passed Orange Garden’s iconic neon 'Chop Suey' sign.

"'[Billy] pointed up and said, 'That’d be an awesome gift. I have always loved that sign,'' Mendel told Block Club Chicago in an email. 'Of course, my reaction was, 'Why do you ask me for the impossible?''

"But wait — wasn’t it the Smashing Pumpkins frontman and guitarist who crooned 'the impossible is possible' in the 1995 hit, 'Tonight, Tonight'? The lyrics proved prophetic.

"'I saw on social media a photo of the sign and the words ‘AUCTION’ and I couldn’t believe it,' Mendel said. 'I couldn’t miss this opportunity.'

"'Sold at the Chicago Joe’s auction April 30 for $17,000, the classic sign likely dates back to pre-World War II Chicago and has been an inextricable part of Irving Park’s streetscape for nearly a century. The owners of Orange Garden told Block Club they auctioned the sign in hopes it would go to a preservation-minded buyer, while they plan to retire and sell the business to someone who will keep the Cantonese restaurant going.

'I was so excited to bring home and preserve this beloved piece of history,' Mendel said. “It was meant to be.”

"'We are thrilled to keep a beautiful piece of history for our community,' Mendel wrote. 'Billy remembers walking by the sign in the late 80’s during the early days of the Smashing Pumpkins and stopping to appreciate its beauty then. And I am just so happy to bring a smile on his face and make this dream come true.'

"When news broke the sign was up for auction, Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, said he initially feared it would mark a major loss for the cityscape.

"Once a ubiquitous part of the street wall, blade signs have become much less prominent as legacy businesses close their doors. Miller said the city should consider incentives like tax breaks or subsidies for business owners to keep their historic signs, but he praised the outcome of the Orange Garden sale. Miller also said the restaurant itself has a historic facade that also should be preserved, even as the business is put on the market.

"'The Orange Garden sign is really an iconic sign for Irving Park Road, and for the community around it,” Miller said. “But the wonderful thing about this particular situation is we know that this particular sign is not to go to the scrapyard, but it’s going to somebody who has a great appreciation for it. It’d be wonderful to have that same type of interest in the restaurant itself.' (Asimow, Block Club Chicago, 5/7/22)

LOSS: Beloved Dinkel’s Sign Sold For $6k to Unknown Buyer
Dinkel's Bakery, Since 1922, 3329 N Lincoln Ave. Photo Credit: Google Maps
Sale of Dinkel’s Neon Blade Sign Sold For $6,000 to Unknown Buyer on June 3, 2022. Image credit: AuctionZip 
Dinkel's Bakery, Since 1922, 3329 N Lincoln Ave. Photo Credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
"The neon Dinkel’s sign that hung outside the century-old bakery, which closed for good last month, is being auctioned off.

"The vertical neon sign was listed on AuctionZip with a starting bid of $5,000, according to its posting. Currently with no bids, the auction is set to close at noon June 3.

"Dinkel’s Bakery, 3329 N. Lincoln Ave., closed April 30 after more than 100 years in business in Lakeview. Four generations of the Dinkel family have run the famous bakery since it opened in 1922 under Joseph and Antonie Dinkel.

"Joseph and Antonie Dinkel bought the old Hopfner’s Bakery, which later reopened after the Depression, and turned it into Dinkel’s. They moved storefronts in 1926, landing at its current building where Dutch Boy Paints were invented.

"Antonie Dinkel worked the front while Joseph Dinkel baked, and the two invented a counter-height case called the Chicago Showcase, which meant Antonie Dinkel didn’t need to bend down whenever someone ordered something, and the original unbaked frozen cheesecake.

"Long-time owner Norman Dinkel Jr., 79, said the store was closing so he could retire when he announced the closure April 5.

"Within hours of announcing the closure, fans of the bakery rushed to stock up on goods before its closure. Dinkel’s sold more than 5,000 donuts the day after announcing its closure, Dinkel said.

"When Dinkel’s opened in 1922, the city had about 7,000 bakeries because not many people had kitchens or space for making and storing baked goods, Dinkel said during an interview for 'Historic Chicago Bakeries.'" (Wittich, Block Club Chicago, 5/23/22)

LOSS: Demolition of Cassidy Tire / Tyler & Hippach Mirror Company Factory Underway
(Chicago 7 2021)
344 North Canal Street, built 1910 by Tyler Hippach Glass Company. Fencing went up around the building just recently. To be demolished/redeveloped for 33-story (375 ft.) 343-unit residential tower. Image credit: Gabriel X. Michael
One last photo of Cassidy Tire before demolition. Built as the Tyler & Hippach Mirror Company Factory (Henry J. Schlacks, 1902). Soon to be another highrise, which is fine but I wish they had found a way to incorporate this fine building. Image Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Cassidy Tire stands for just a little longer. Still bummer this handsome building isn't being incorporated into the redevelopment of the site (which is otherwise a good thing). Image Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Cassidy Tire demo. Image Credit: @BuildingChi
LOSS: Demolition Underway For 4155 S. Packers Industrial Building
Demolition Permits Issued For 4155 S. Packers Avenue, built 1953. Image credit: Eric Allix Rogers Tweet
"A demolition permit has been issued for the removal of an eight-story masonry building located at 4155 S Packers Avenue in the New City neighborhood. The permit’s owner has been listed as JEHM Financial LLC.

"Taylor Excavating and Construction is serving as the demolition contractor on this project. There is no timeline for the planned construction at this time."

BUYER WANTED: Beverly Bungalow by Architect Walter Burley Griffin
1712 W. 104th Place, Built 1909, Walter Burley Griffin. Photo Credit: Redfin
"The man who prevented the demolition of a historically significant bungalow in Beverly and spent a decade restoring it has it on the market.

"'Nobody was living there but a possum when I bought it,' David Kroll says of the 1909 bungalow on the Southwest Side.

"One of seven Prairie-style homes on one street designed by Walter Burley Griffin before he moved to Australia in 1914 to design that nation’s capital city, the house was boarded up and foreclosed by a lender before Kroll bought it in 2005 for $275,000.

"At the time, Kroll says, the house had been vacant for something like five years, and 'the next step for it was going to be demolition.'

"Kroll is now asking $489,900 for the five-bedroom, roughly 2,200-square-foot bungalow on 104th Place, which is also called Walter Burley Griffin Place.

"Over the course of a decade, Kroll restored the plaster interior walls and the stucco exterior, replaced the wood floors and rebuilt the cantilevered canopy on the front, doing much of the work himself. In some places, he did a modern take on Griffin's original, such as the stacked-stone fireplace mantel in the living room. Kroll also added two full baths and one partial bath, supplementing the original single bath.

"'It was a labor of love,' Kroll says. 'I grew up around the corner and always liked these houses.” This one, known as the Edmund C. Garrity House, is the second in the group that Kroll restored. (Rodkin, Crain's Chicago Business, 5/20/22)

BUYER WANTED: Austin Foursquare at 5400 W. Washington Boulevard
5400 W. Washington Boulevard, Built 1910. Photo Credit: Redfin / VHT Studios
5400 W. Washington Boulevard, Built 1910. Photo Credit: Redfin / VHT Studios
This HUGE stately, oversized Austin foursquare-style home on Washington Boulevard is overflowing with vintage charm and is ready for its next chapter. Five bedrooms (including finished attic w/stairs) and loads of potential!

Be sure to view the floor plan for layout. Corner lot, with side-entry garage. Needs considerable interior and exterior work, but there are many original details worth saving. Original wood paneling, light fixtures, built-ins, and stained glass. Bring your ideas for updating or restoring. Original windows, but kitchen and bathrooms are updated. Boiler is 3 years old.

Bring your contractor and see this grande dame of a home! Sold as-is.

BUYER WANTED: Woodlawn Victorian at 6627 S. Woodlawn Avenue
6627 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Built 1872. Photo Credit: / VHT Studios
6627 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Built 1872. Photo Credit: / VHT Studios
A rare find in Woodlawn is now on the market! This Victorian masterpiece built in 1872 is a one of a kind. You'll be awed by the meticulous detailing and fine craftsmanship on the exterior.

An expansive front porch is the perfect greeting spot to welcome your guests. The foyer features a wood burning fireplace and coffered ceiling indicative of the era. This grand style Victorian features three large bedrooms, two and a half baths and an updated kitchen with white shaker cabinetry. The piece de resistance awaits in the huge finished attic filled with natural light from the four skylights and the original windows.

The possibilities are endless! Don't wait, this is your opportunity to buy a piece of Chicago history. Sold AS-IS

THREATENED: Early Warning Signs
Early Warning Signs - 1325 W. Carmen Avenue, Andersonville. Photo Credit: Google Maps
Early Warning Signs - B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted building at 2519 N Halsted St is for sale. Per B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted, "we are proud to be the oldest blues bar in the world with live blues music since 1979."
Early Warning Signs - 2150 W. Monroe Street
Early Warning Signs - 115th and Michigan
Early Warning Signs - 1015 E. 82nd Street

THREATENED: 90-Day Demolition Delay List
The Demolition Delay Ordinance, adopted by City Council in 2003, establishes a hold of up to 90 days in the issuance of any demolition permit for certain historic buildings in order that the Department of Planning and Development can explore options, as appropriate, to preserve the building, including but not limited to Landmark designation.

The ordinance applies to buildings rated red and orange in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS), but it should be modified to include all buildings included in the survey. These buildings are designated on the city's zoning map. The delay period starts at the time the permit application is presented to the department's Historic Preservation Division offices and can be extended beyond the original 90 days by mutual agreement with the applicant. The purpose of the ordinance is to ensure that no important historic resource can be demolished without consideration as to whether it should and can be preserved.

Preservation Chicago is advocating to extend the existing Demolition Delay Ordinance to at least 180 days or longer, in order to create the time community members, stakeholders, decision makers, and elected officials need to conduct robust discussions regarding the fate of these historic buildings and irreplaceable Chicago assets. The support of the Mayor and City Council is necessary to advance this effort.

Additional Reading
Address: 1325 W. Carmen Avenue, Andersonville
Date Received: 05/17/2022
Ward: 47th Ald. Matt Martin
Applicant: Demox, Inc. C/O Vitalii Grygorashchujk
Owner: Jerald and Pamela Kreis
Permit Description: Wreck and removal of a 2-1/2 story frame residential building.
Status: Under review
1325 W. Carmen Avenue, Andersonville. Photo Credit: Redfin
Address: 25251-5257 N. Kenmore Avenue, Edgewater
Date Received: 05/12/2022
Ward: 48th Ald. Harry Osterman
Applicant: Heneghan Wrecking & Excavating Co., Inc.
Owner: LS 5251, LLC C/O Steve Ciaccio
Permit Description: Demolition of a one- and two-story masonry church building with a basement.
Status: Application withdrawn 05/17/2022
Epworth United Methodist Church, 1890, designed by architect Frederick Townsend, with additions by Fred J. Thielbar of the architectural firm of Theilbar & Fugard, 5253 N. Kenmore Ave. Photo credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
Address: 2109 W. Wilson Ave., Ravenswood
Date Received: 04/14/2022
Applicant: Moss Design, Inc.
Owner: Ellen Bradley
Permit Description: Partial demolition of a two-story, masonry residential building to accommodate a two-story side and rear addition.
Status: Under Review
2109 W. Wilson Ave., Ravenswood. Photo Credit: Google Maps
Address: 344-346 W. 65th St., Englewood
Date Received: 03/14/2022
Ward: 20th Ald. Jeanette Taylor
Applicant: McDonagh Demolition, Inc.
Owner: City of Chicago
Permit Description: Emergency wreck and removal of a two-story, multiple-unit, masonry building per an Administrative Order dated October 20, 2021, deemed to be imminently dangerous to the public and in hazardous condition.
Status: Released 3/17/22
344-346 W. 65th St., Englewood. Photo credit: Google Maps
Address: 3920-3922 N. Lincoln Ave., Lake View
Date Received: 02/23/2022
Ward: 47th Ald. Matt Martin
Applicant: Longford Design, Development + Construction C/O Brian Connolly
Owner: 3914 N. Lincoln
Permit Description: Demolition of a three-story masonry building.
Status: Released 05/24/2022
3920-3922 N. Lincoln Ave., Lake View. Photo credit: Google Maps
Address: New Devon Theater / Assyrian American, 1618 W. Devon Ave., Rogers Park
Date Received: 12/3/2021
Ward: 40th Ald. Andre Vasquez
Applicant: Alpine Demolition Services, LLC
Owner: Doris Eneamokwu
Permit Description: Opening of closed existing windows, install new window frame and glazing, repair existing glazed brick as needed (tuckpointing) [removal of ornamental masonry panel]
Status: Under review
Decorative Terra Cotta Ornament Stripped from New Devon Theater / Assyrian American Association on September 2, 2021. New Devon Theater, 1912, Henry J. Ross, 1618 W. Devon Avenue. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Belli @bellisaurius

"As of September 2, 2021 it seems that the beautiful terra cotta face that has looked down over Devon Avenue for more than 100 years is no more. No one is quite sure what happened, but there was scaffolding on the building and someone was chipping away at it in the morning, and it was gone by the afternoon. And the Assyrian American Association name is no longer on the building either.

"The New Devon Theater, with its distinctively austere glazed block façade featuring a large arch and a large bust of a woman’s face, was built in 1912, and was quickly eclipsed by the nearby Ellantee Theater. It disappears from news listings after October, 1917.

"By 1923 it had been converted to a Ford dealership. By 1936 it had become an American Legion hall. In the 1950s it operated as a radio and TV store. Since 1963, it has served Chicago’s Assyrian community as the home of the Assyrian American Association of Chicago." Cinema

LOSS: 'Spotlight on Demolition' May 2022
  • 4155 S. Packers Avenue, Stockyards
  • Roy Boyd Gallery, 739 N. Wells St., River North
  • 1757 W. Superior Street, West Town
  • 2834 S. Normal Avenue, Bridgeport
  • 4301 S. State Street, Bronzeville
  • 5254 N. Wayne Ave, Lakewood-Balmoral
  • 2913 W. Belmont Avenue, Avondale
  • 8624 S. Hermitage Avenue, Auburn Gresham
  • 2126 W. Giddings Street, Lincoln Square
  • 16 S. Seeley Avenue, Near West Side
  • 643 W. 18th Street, Pilsen
  • 6330 S. Honore Street, West Englewood
  • 5843 S. Carpenter Street, Englewood
  • 3537 N. Hermitage Avenue, Roscoe Village
  • 820 S. Karlov Avenue, North Lawndale
  • 3748 N. Claremont Avenue, North Center
  • 6750 S. Throop Street, Englewood
  • 1528 N. Wood Street, Wicker Park
“It’s an old, common cry in a city where demolition and development are often spoken in the same breath, and where trying to save historic homes from the wrecking ball can feel as futile as trying to stop the snow. My Twitter feed teems with beautiful houses doomed to vanish in the time it takes to say ‘bulldozed.’ Bungalows, two-flats, three-flats, greystones, workers’ cottages. The photos, posted by people who lament the death of Chicago’s tangible past, flit through my social media feed like a parade of the condemned en route to the guillotine,” mused Mary Schmich in her Chicago Tribune column on July 12, 2018.
"Spotlight on Demolition" is sponsored by Chicago Cityscape

4155 S. Packers Avenue, Stockyards. Demolished May 2022. Photo credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Roy Boyd Gallery, 739 N. Wells Street, River North. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
1757 W. Superior Street, West Town. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
2834 S. Normal Avenue, Bridgeport. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
4301 S. State Street, Bronzeville. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
5254 N. Wayne Ave, Lakewood-Balmoral. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
2913 W. Belmont Avenue, Avondale. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
8624 S. Hermitage Avenue, Auburn Gresham. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
2126 W. Giddings Street, Lincoln Square. Demo May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
16 S. Seeley Avenue, Near West Side. Demo May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
643 W. 18th Street, Pilsen. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
6330 S. Honore Street, West Englewood. Demo May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
5843 S. Carpenter Street, Englewood. Demo May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
3537 N. Hermitage Avenue, Roscoe Village. Demo May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
820 S. Karlov Avenue, North Lawndale. Demo May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
3748 N. Claremont Avenue, North Center. Demo May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
6750 S. Throop Street, Englewood. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps
1528 N. Wood Street, Wicker Park. Demolished May 2022. Photo Credit: Google Maps

Preservation In the News
Sun-Times Editorial: Explore preservation group’s plan to save two doomed Loop towers
Century Building, 1915, Holabird and Roche, 202 S. State Street and the Consumers Building, 1913, Jenney, Mundie & Jensen, 220 S. State Street. Photo Credit: Ward Miller/ Preservation Chicago
"We’re intrigued by a preservation group’s plan to save a seemingly doomed pair of Loop office buildings by turning the towers into a local archives center.

"As first reported by the Sun-Times’ David Roeder this week, Preservation Chicago has lined up 20 religious orders, including Dominican University in River Forest, that are interested in converting the Century and Consumers buildings, 202 and 220 S. State St., into the proposed Chicago Collaborative Archive Center.

"Museums and other non-religious entities could have space there also, said Preservation Chicago Executive Director Ward Miller.

"The buildings’ owner, the federal General Service Administration, ought to give a proper hearing to this proposal — or any other legit, preservation-minded efforts aimed at saving these buildings.

"As we said back in 2019, rehabbing and reusing the buildings is better for State Street and downtown than the GSA’s patently wrongheaded plan to wreck the skyscrapers to build a landscaped security buffer for the neighboring Dirksen Federal Building, which sits just west at 219 S. Dearborn St.

"Historian Christopher Allison, director of the McGreal Center at Dominican University, said the proposed archive makes sense.

"'A collaborative archive of this proposed size is rare in the country,' he said. 'It would become a major hub for archive-based research and would consolidate precious sources in one space.”

"The GSA has sought demolition for the buildings since 2019, following a federal law enforcement assessment that found the reoccupied buildings could pose a threat to the Dirksen.

"The assessment caused the city to pull the plug on a $141 million redevelopment deal that would have preserved the buildings.

"The Century and Consumers’ walk to the gallows quickened in April when U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill, earmarked $52 million for the GSA to raze the terra cotta-clad towers and two small buildings between them.

"But an archive, which would have limited public access and could be designed with no windows or rooftop access overlooking the Dirksen, could preserve and reuse the buildings while addressing the federal government’s security concerns.

"There are still many questions to answer regarding the proposal, such as the cost of rehabbing the buildings and restoring their weathered, terra cotta-clad exteriors.

"And given that archives are not money-makers, what other uses, designed to help pay the freight of it all, can be baked into any deal to acquire the structures from the GSA — without again raising security concerns at the Dirksen?

"Fortunately, there’s time to consider all this and more. Under the National Historic Preservation Act, the GSA must 'identify and assess the effects its actions may have on historic buildings ... [and] consider public views and concerns about historic preservation issues when making final project decisions.'

"Public meetings are planned for this summer and would go on until next year, according to the GSA. Demolition, if it happens at all, wouldn’t occur until 2024.

"Here’s hoping that reason, good sense and preservation win out." (Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, 5/19/22)

Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Bad times at Antioch Baptist: A roofer’s torch claims another landmark Chicago church
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church fire on April 15, 2022 which was started from a roofers' torch. Built 1890, Bell and Swift, 6248 S. Stewart Ave. Photo Credit: Chicago Fire Department
"'Great architecture has only two natural enemies,' the late Chicago preservationist Richard Nickel famously said. 'Water and stupid men.'

"But Nickel might’ve added a third foe, were he with us today: the propane torches used by some roofers.

"Such a torch set off the extra-alarm fire last Friday that has left the Englewood neighborhood’s 130-year-old Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 6248 S. Stewart Ave., in ruins.

"The blaze — ruled accidental by the Fire Department — was reminiscent of the massive January 2006 fire that ravaged Pilgrim Baptist Church, 3301 S. Indiana Ave. Roofers’ torches accidentally started that conflagration as well, incinerating nearly all of an internationally-known work of Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler — and a birthplace of gospel music.

Chicago is filled with historic and architecturally significant 100-year-old churches that are either in need of roof repairs, or will be.

Given that, and what happened last week at Antioch, it’s time for city government to take a closer look at the use of these torches and come up with an ordinance to make the practice safer.

A New York City torch ban: Torches are used to make sure the roofing membrane being installed is tight and waterproof. But getting the temperature right can be an art as much as a science. Installation in colder weather sometimes requires higher temperatures. And the torches can ignite roofs with wooden underlayment beneath the membrane.

This is why in 1999, New York City banned the use of torches on roofs with wooden structures beneath. Officials said that city had been experiencing 35 roof fires a year during the 1990s, but the turning point was a three-alarm fire in 1999 that was caused by a roofing contractor who used a torch to fix a roof with a wooden deck.

"'Using a torch on a combustible roof in New York City is illegal,' Christopher Tempro, who was then supervising fire marshal for the Fire Department of New York told the New York Times at the time. 'And we decided that we have to be pretty strong in enforcing those codes.'

"What should be the city’s next move? Perhaps put in place better licensing and city-mandated safety protocols for roofers.

"For anyone who cares about this city’s architecture or its civic anchors — and in a city like Chicago, that should be most of us — watching Antioch and Pilgrim go up in flames like a common abandoned warehouse is a gut punch that requires a response." (Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, 4/18/22)

Chicago Reader: Chicago’s blessed with a motherlode of stunning churches; Fire is not their greatest danger
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church after the April 15 fire, 1890, Bell and Swift, 6248 S. Stewart Ave. Photo Credit: Deana Issacs
"What kind of God allows a church to burn down on Good Friday?

"That’s the question that came to mind when the 130-year-old Antioch Missionary Baptist Church at Stewart and 63rd Street went up in flames earlier this month, followed by a familiar answer: the same god that has allowed slavery, Holocaust, plague, war, and the whole human history of disaster.

"Antioch’s pastor, the Reverend Gerald Dew, had a different, more positive take on it. Faced with an inferno, he saw opportunity. On Easter Sunday, according to news reports, Dew told his flock (meeting in a nearby funeral home) that, just as Jesus rose from the dead, resurrection will be possible for Antioch Baptist. He vowed that the congregation will raise money to rebuild on the same Englewood site.

"Turned out that this fire, like the one that took down Adler and Sullivan’s Pilgrim Baptist Church in Bronzeville in 2006 (and, possibly, the conflagration that engulfed Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral in 2019), was caused by maintenance work. In this case, a roofer’s torch gone awry. The damage to Antioch’s imposing Romanesque building, designed by Bell & Swift for a previous Baptist congregation and home to the current one since 1958, was so severe that the city ordered that the massive structure be taken down immediately.

"Not an easy task: the place was built for the ages. Anyone who happened by toward the end of last week isn’t likely to forget the sight of the roofless but still fortress-like shell, open to the elements.

"The fire led me to tune in on Easter Sunday, when WTTW aired a one-hour documentary, Secrets of Sacred Architecture (still available for streaming with station membership). A primer on the design of religious institutions, mostly churches, it surveyed the origins and reasons for such staples as pointed arches, stained glass windows, towering steeples, organs, and gargoyles (and included this piece of trivia: when the Chicago Customs House and Post Office was to be razed in 1896, it was, essentially, dismantled and shipped to Milwaukee, where its stones were used to construct that city’s landmark Basilica of St. Josaphat).

"Preservation Chicago’s 2022 list of the city’s seven 'Most Endangered' buildings includes just one church, the former St. Martin du Tours (more recently Chicago Embassy Church). Perched just west of the Dan Ryan at 59th Street, it’s a delicate German Gothic completed in 1895 and closed for most of the last 30 years.

"But in 2019 and 2021, alarmed by the Archdiocese of Chicago’s euphemistically titled 'Renew My Church' program, Preservation Chicago included Roman Catholic churches throughout the city on the endangered list, spotlighting 'the consolidation, deconsecrating, combining, closure and sale of many of our city’s finest religious structures.'

"'These immensely beautiful structures were constructed at great cost, and often at significant sacrifice, with pennies, nickels, and dimes, by the faithful of the community. They are often the very cornerstones of our communities and neighborhoods . . . [and] are also community centers, providing everything from food pantries [and] shelter services to counseling and child care,' is what they wrote then.

"'It’s heartbreaking,' to lose them, especially when they could be repurposed if necessary, Preservation Chicago executive director Ward Miller told me last week. Among the many he hopes can be saved: St. Michael the Archangel on South Shore Drive, where his great-grandparents were married in 1895, and the shuttered and much-mourned St. Adalbert in Pilsen, with its perilous, scaffolded—but not yet landmarked—twin towers.

"At 63rd and Stewart last Friday, as a rainstorm pelted the remains of Antioch Missionary Baptist, a blown-out window offered a glimpse of the kind of miracle such grand-scale preservation might require. On a huge, drenched interior mural, Jesus was still rising above his disciples, floating up from the ruined church into an impossibly serene blue sky." (Isaacs, Chicago Reader, 4/27/22)

Chicago Tribune Celebrates 175th Anniversary:
From canoes to skyscrapers: A newspaper is born, and Chicago is catapulted to the world’s stage
The Chicago Tribune's office building at Lake and LaSalle streets where the first Tribune was printed on June 10, 1847, on a hand press in a barren loft on the third floor. Image credit: Chicago Tribune archive
The Chicago Tribune building lay in ruins after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Photo Credit: Library of Congress
"Imagine yourself walking the muddy streets of Chicago in June of 1847. If you had 3 cents in your pocket to spare you might have spent it to buy the first edition of a new newspaper, created in the third-floor loft of a building at the corner of Lake and LaSalle streets.

"It was named the Chicago Daily Tribune and its 'parents,' so to speak, were three men named Joseph K.C. Forrest, James Kelly and John E. Wheeler, who were already in the printing business with a Sunday literary paper known as The Gem of the Prairie.

"These men would be out of the daily newspaper business within a few years, and there exist no copies of the earliest issues of the paper. But perhaps you kept buying the publication, grabbing a copy of what is now the earliest known survivor, dated April 23, 1849, the same year the Tribune became the first newspaper in the West to receive news via telegraph on a regular basis. Practically every inch of this and early front pages were given over to advertising — advertising of an intensely practical kind, aimed at newcomers to the young city and travelers passing through what was becoming a transportation center.

"Railroads were transforming Chicago into a metropolis, the central point through which the raw materials from the Midwest and West and the finished goods from the East had to pass. Its population would swell from 17,000 in 1850 to nearly 2 million by the end of the century, and the Tribune was there to record it all.

"For a few years, the newspaper was saddled with debts and shadowed by uncertainty as changes in ownership and editorship took place. Then, in 1855, a 32-year-old Joseph Meharry Medill arrived in town, coming from Cleveland where he had started and run a newspaper, the Cleveland Morning Leader. He purchased an interest in the Tribune with five other men, and over the next decades would become not only a prominent citizen and political power (he was the city’s 26th mayor and would help found the Republican Party), but would transform and grow the Tribune.

"Operating from offices over a post office on a stretch of Clark Street known as 'Newspaper Row,' the paper’s increasingly large staff had some of the most important stories of the century to cover, and plenty of rivals covering them.

"There was a presidency, and Medill tirelessly championed Abraham Lincoln. Though he lost an 1858 U.S. Senate run, with Medill’s considerable aid (and the paper’s anti-slavery editorial support), Lincoln won the Republican nomination at a convention held in Chicago and the presidency in 1860.

"There was a fire, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, that roared through the city, with 18,000 buildings destroyed, much of the city leveled, 90,000 people left homeless and 300-some dead. While the city still smoldered, Medill arranged for the paper to be published in a small print shop on Canal Street. The first post-fire edition carried a famously upbeat editorial: 'CHEER UP! ... CHICAGO SHALL RISE AGAIN.'

"In November of that year, Medill would run successfully for mayor on what was called the 'fireproof' ticket and during his two-year term, the paper warned angrily in print of the dangers posed by unscrupulous and careless builders.

"Those post-fire years were exuberant for the city and the newspaper, filled with technological innovations. The Union Stockyards was in its bloody business — 'so many cattle as no one has ever dreamed existed in the world,' the Tribune wrote — telephone service began, a public library was opened, Holy Name Cathedral dedicated, the town of Pullman was built and the world’s first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building, rose nine stories into the sky at the corner of LaSalle and Adams streets." (Kogan, Chicago Tribune, 5/22/22)

Chicago Tribune: Whiskey Point, Slag Valley and Black Bottom: Chicago’s ‘layers upon layers’ of forgotten neighborhood names
"The small settlement of single-family homes huddled just south of the Stevenson Expressway’s Cicero exit may no longer be the swampy marsh it was when Dutch farmers arrived more than 120 years ago. But some residents still call the tiny hamlet in Garfield Ridge by its early name: Sleepy Hollow.

"There are no plaques or markers to commemorate the tiny Southwest Side village, but Sleepy Hollow is itself a living remnant of the area’s early pastoral history when it was one of dozens of independent, free-standing communities that sprang up during Chicago’s 19th-century industrial boom. Each with its own early identities, local characters and points of interest.

"The city’s current map of 77 communities and neighborhoods was created by the University of Chicago’s Social Science Research Committee in the 1920s and 1930s in an attempt to create order and identity and ease the census-taking process. But some old neighborhoods pop up in online maps, revealing glimpses into former lives.

"One hundred and eighty years ago, the mostly rural area around Armitage and Grand avenues was known as Whiskey Point thanks to the saloon George Merrill opened to farmers and travelers out of his family home. Around the same time, a subdivision in north Lincoln Square became known as Bowmanville after a local hotel innkeeper and swindler who sold plots of land he didn’t own and skipped town. Nearby, a part of the North Center community was known as Bricktown for the brick quarries in the area. All three can still be found on online maps despite no longer existing.

"Experts say every corner of the city is awash in defunct names and neighborhoods that disappeared. The names come from old settlements that preceded modern Chicago. Some were communities built on commuter transit lines in the rapidly expanding city. Others were the creations of real estate agents eager to create branding for new housing construction.

"'It’s layers-upon-layers of names, often overlapping and in conflict with each other. All come from different origins, circumstances and periods of time,' said Tim Samuelson, the city’s emeritus historian, who has done exhaustive research on neighborhood names and how they came to be. It was a daunting task given how many cropped up across the city and how some disappeared completely while others lingered.

"'The deeper you dig, the more you’ll find! It never ends. My head swims just trying to write this,' Samuelson said in an email.

"'Some were originally named to reflect familiar places of origin for dominant immigrant ethnic groups, but the names can still solidly remain when the dominant population group changes,' Samuelson said, citing Pilsen, which now has a large Mexican population but was named by Czech immigrants." (Lee, Chicago Tribune, 5/29/22)

WTTW Chicago: The Richard Nickel Story
WTTW Chicago: The Richard Nickel Story. Image credit: WTTW Chicago Chicago Stories (26:48)
"Just a few decades ago, Chicago was tearing many architectural landmarks, including the work of legendary architect Louis Sullivan. No one, it seemed, felt it was important to document and preserve them. No one, that is, except photographer Richard Nickel. This idealistic young crusader's passion to save Chicago's architectural treasures consumed his life and ultimately caused his untimely death."

Glessner House: Richard Nickel and Glessner House by William Tyre
Nickel captured his reflection in this image of a second floor bathroom mirror. Photo Credit: Richard Nickel Archive
"April 13, 2022, marks the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of Richard Nickel in the partially demolished Chicago Stock Exchange building at 30 North LaSalle Street, where he was attempting to salvage ornament from the Adler & Sullivan masterpiece. Nickel’s impact on the emerging preservation movement in Chicago was enormous, including his efforts to save Glessner House in the 1960s. A talented photographer, he documented the work of Louis Sullivan and other architects, his outstanding photographs serving as an irreplaceable record of Chicago’s architectural heritage that was disappearing at an alarming rate during 1950s and 1960s urban renewal.

"This article will focus on Nickel’s close connection with Glessner House from the time it was threatened with demolition in 1965 until his death in 1972. Selected photographs of the house, from a rich archive of images by Nickel documenting the earliest years of the preservation and restoration of the house, are scattered throughout the article. We will conclude with a look at Nickel’s death, and the tribute service held in the courtyard of Glessner House two months after his passing.


"Nickel was born in Chicago on May 31, 1928, to first-generation Polish Americans. After serving in the U.S. Army, 11th Airborne Division, during its occupation of Japan following World War II, he returned to Chicago to study photography at the Institute of Design, which soon became part of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He was recalled to the Army at the start of the Korean War, serving an additional year before resuming his studies at the Institute.

"It was during this time that he enrolled in an architectural history course taught by the eminent landscape architect Alfred Caldwell, who instilled in him an abiding interest in architecture. Nickel began photographing the buildings of Louis Sullivan as part of a school project assigned by photographer Aaron Siskind, and it turned into an obsession.

"Quickly discovering that many of the buildings were threatened by demolition, Nickel devoted himself to photographing and documenting them. He received his bachelor’s degree from I.I.T. in 1954 and, three years later, his Master of Science in photography with his thesis topic being “A Photographic Documentation of the Architecture of Adler & Sullivan.”

"In 1960, Nickel learned that one of Adler & Sullivan’s most important buildings was to be razed – the Schiller Theater Building (later the Garrick) at 64 W. Randolph Street. He joined the picket line in front of the building alongside architects Wilbert Hasbrouck, John Vinci, and Ben Weese, and Alderman Leon Despres, an early champion of preservation and landmarking in Chicago. When it became clear that the building could not be saved, Nickel engaged Vinci and David Norris to assist him with a massive effort to salvage ornament, literally rescuing the plaster and terra cotta fragments as the building was being demolished around them.


"The bonds formed during that effort proved valuable a few years later, when the Glessner house was put up for sale in early 1965. This time, the undertaking proved successful, and a resolution creating the Chicago School of Architecture Foundation was signed on April 16, 1966, by Nickel and 18 others. He was appointed a trustee and a member of the executive committee. By December, the new organization had acquired Glessner house for $35,000." (Tyre, Glessner House, 4/13/22)

Chicago Magazine: Think TikTok is Obsessed with Goth Target? Meet Ward Miller
Think TikTok is Obsessed with Goth Target? Meet Ward Miller. The Chicago native, architect, and executive director of Preservation Chicago on why buildings like the Sullivan Center should be protected. Photo Credit: Mary Lu Seidel / Preservation Chicago
"When Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, walks by the Sullivan Center, he can’t help but to go inside. It’s not the Target drawing him in. It’s the architecture.

"The terra cotta fortress — once the home of Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company — was designed by Louis Sullivan and built over a century ago. A Chicago school-style skyscraper, it’s one of the most quintessential of its time. And with its wrought iron ornamentation, steel frame design and sweeping glass windows, it pushed the limit on 19th century technology. Landmarked by the city in 1970, the twelve-story structure is by no means modern, but to Miller it is an enduring marvel — and his favorite Chicago building.

Why is this your favorite building?

"I started being a patron of Carson’s as a child and being very curious about that beautiful, whimsical, organic ornament that outlined the base of the store. It was so exuberant and breathtaking. When I was a teenager, the base of the building was restored by John Vinci and his firm. Vinci located a formula from the early days of Carson’s existence for painting the whole cast iron base brilliant vermillion and coating it in olive green. While the olive green was still wet, it would be wiped with newspaper so some of the red came through, giving you the effect of a bronze color.

What we see now is so bold and straightforward. The building has this black ornamental base and really unique, straightforward upper floors. The cornice was missing when I (was growing up), but now that it’s visible, you really see the original version of the building.

"The Sullivan Center has gone viral on TikTok, with users dubbing it “goth Target” for its wrought iron exterior. Do you think people are overlooking its beauty or appreciating it in a different way?

"When you use the term “goth Target,” I just start cracking up laughing. But at the end of the day, this is all wonderful stuff, because people are looking at buildings and are being very observant. They’re realizing there’s more to the structure than the store inside, in this case, a Target. “Goth” has a wide definition in our DNA, and I don’t think you would have gotten the same reaction 20 years ago.

The idea that it’s gone wild on social media is really beautiful. People are understanding that the structure is significant, that it speaks to them, and that they find it really intriguing. It almost doesn’t matter how you categorize these buildings or what you call them. I think the general feeling of the spirit is that this is a wonderful building. It shows the flexibility, vision, and the brilliance of these great architects for Chicago, and especially people like Louis Sullivan. Let’s celebrate that.

"Why is the building important to Chicago?

"I think we often forget that reinvestment in our historic buildings, especially our landmarks, is development. It brings about incredible heritage tourism. So if Chicago lost buildings like Carson, Pirie, Scott, would we be the same city? I don’t think so.

If we’d saved more of those earlier buildings, perhaps we’d be even more recognized on the world scale. It’s really important that we save these structures, tell these stories and continue to celebrate our landmarks across Chicago. This is a very special place.

"What, in particular, made the building special to you growing up?

"Around 1970, we picked up my stepmother from work and I remember getting in the car and my dad saying, “This is a wonderful day. The Carson, Pirie, Scott store became a landmark.” This idea of landmarking the building brought about a curiosity in me: There was something special about it that must be protected.

"It’s no different than looking at a work of art, where you never get tired of seeing it and it’s always a bright spot in your day. I’m always honored to walk past the Carson, Pirie Scott store and many of our Chicago landmark buildings, and I go out of my way to experience these structures because they are so incredibly beautiful. There’s never a time where they don’t shine." (Abrams, Chicago Magazine, 5/1/22)

Daily Southtown: A North Sider who embraced life in Pullman becomes national monument’s newest park ranger
Lisa Burback moved from Chicago's North Side to a historic worker's cottage in Pullman in 2016, and recently became Pullman National Monument's newest park ranger. Photo Credit: R. Baltes / Daily Southtown
"Lisa Burback lived in a Chicago Bungalow growing up on Chicago’s North Side, learning over those formative years it was more than just a roof over her head.

"'My dad made sure I understood how special it was that we had that kind of house,' she said. 'He pointed out changes that previous owners had made, and said it’s our job to take care of it before handing it off to the next owners.'

"It’s a lesson she took with her when she moved from the North Side to Pullman in 2016, buying a 19th century worker’s cottage in a neighborhood she had only recently become aware of.

"The spirit of being a caretaker of history is a natural fit in her role as the newest park ranger at Pullman National Monument, Chicago’s only National Park Service property.

"Moving from the bustling North Side to 'the very far reaches of the South Side' constituted a lifestyle change, Burback said.

"'I didn’t know what I was getting into,' she said. 'The community is so involved. You can’t walk down the street without people checking in on you, saying hi, seeing what you’re up to. Living in that kind of small-town environment was new to me, and it’s great.”

"'The community has come to gather so much around the national park,' Burback said. 'We’re so engaged with visitors and making sure everyone has a good experience when they come here.

"'This is not a regular neighborhood, this is a living historical park, and people take that seriously.'

"Though Burback has wholeheartedly embraced the neighborhood, she’s still a relative newcomer to Pullman. But her job gives her the chance to preserve the stories of the area’s lifelong residents through oral history interviews.

"She recently interviewed some longtime residents who had first alerted authorities when the Pullman clock tower building caught fire in 1998.

"'She was involved in plans to make it a transportation museum, and watched that literally go up in flames,' Burback said. 'It was very emotional to hear them tell it.'

"Burback also has met descendants of Pullman Porters and other factory workers, and even a few old-timers who used to work at Pullman themselves and who were very interested in 'making sure the workers’ side of the story is told,' Burback said.

"There are lots of historical facets to Pullman National Monument, but on a personal level, the people of Pullman have had the greatest impact.

"'History is here for everyone to learn and is accessible through books and tours, but experiencing the community here has changed my life,' she said. 'It changed my career, and my personal life.

"'There’s nothing else like this in Chicago. I don’t know anywhere else in a major urban center where you can feel like you live in a small town." (Eisenberg, Daily Southtown, 6/5/22)

Hyde Park Herald: The Armory
East door of the Washington Park Armory / formerly 124th Field Artillery of the Illinois National Guard, by architect Dwight Perkins. Image Credit: Patricia L. Morse / Hyde Park Herald
"As the carvings over the main entrance say, the state built the armory for the 124th Field Artillery of the Illinois National Guard, which fought in World War I as part of the 33rd Infantry Division.

"In the 1920s, many of the men serving in the 124th were veterans. They resented the fact that there were new armories on the north and west sides, but none on the South Side, where 75% of the 124th lived. An armory stores arms and equipment, but it also provides classrooms, places to drill, athletic facilities and social spaces. The 124th also needed stables, as their guns traveled on horse-drawn caissons.

"In 1924, their officer, Lieutenant Colonel R. G. Hunter of 5470 S. Woodlawn Ave., met with South Side business leaders in the office of the Drexel State Bank to write a proposal. They wanted to build the finest armory in the United States and a true World War I memorial. The South Parks Commission agreed to transfer park land to the state, arguing that the memorial plaza and the arena would act as community centers. The state legislature agreed.

"With state funding in place, architect Dwight Perkins, famous for designing Chicago public schools and the forest preserves, created a design that included a memorial square at 51st and Cottage Grove Ave. In the plans, the 2,275 square-foot plaza included a towering column that would name the South Siders lost in the war. Though the legislature appropriated $150,000 for it, the plaza disappeared from the plans.

"In 1928, state architect Charles Herrick Hammond commissioned little-known sculptor Fred Torrey to carve panels for it. Torrey, who had studied at the Art Institute, was a Midway Studio Associate of Lorado Taft.

"Many of Torrey’s carvings celebrate the 124th Field Artillery with its insignia of a rampant lion and the motto “Facta Non Verba” (Deeds, Not Words). A stylized Fort Dearborn, part of an earlier insignia, marches along the roof line. A number of panels represent teams of horses pulling artillery caissons in battle. Torrey also embedded the 124th in the long history of war with the repeated motifs of Greek and ancient Egyptian warriors, conquistadors and doughboys. Above the main door, women hold battle axes.

"The armory opened in 1931 and, according to the Herald, won Perkins an award. He provided state of the art facilities—a gymnasium, club rooms and a memorial room for formal ceremonies—but the armory’s most famous feature was its size. The arena for drilling alone is 115 yards long, 50 yards wide and 94 feet to the rafters. ((Morse, Hyde Park Herald, 5/10/22)

WGN Radio: Chicago’s historic Motor Row – A new book about a lesser known part of Chicago’s rich history
WGN interview regarding Chicago’s historic Motor Row – A new book about a lesser known part of Chicago’s rich history. Image credit: Chicago's Motor Row by John Hogan and John Maxon
"This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the authors of a new book called “Chicago’s Motor Row.” John Hogan and John Maxon discuss this period in Chicago history that may be new to many listeners south on Michigan Avenue and also on nearby streets in the early 1900’s.

"In this book, which is part of the Images of America series, we learn that Chicago boasts, if not the first, then certainly the finest of rows of automobile dealerships developing in the very early days of autos. Henry Ford was the first to build a showroom here, to be followed by many others. What is still in existence today? Is there a way we can take a tour of this area? Those questions get answered during this very informative discussion.

"This book of photography brings the history to life which will likely lead you to want to take a ride down to this area and enjoy the history that preservation efforts has maintained. The foreword is written by comedy legend Jay Leno who knows cars and their history probably better than anybody in the country. The authors talk about how Leno got involved in this book project."

Preservation Events & Happenings
Glessner House Presents
A Walk Through Time House Walk
June 12, 2022
Glessner House Presents A Walk Through Time House Walk Sunday, June 12, 2022. William Kimball house, 1890, Solon S. Beman, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue. Photo credit: Glessner House
This very special tour provides attendees with the rare opportunity to visit the interiors of several landmarked homes in the Prairie Avenue Historic District. See beautifully carved wood moldings, leaded glass windows, fireplaces in elaborate tile, mosaic, and marble, and much more!

Homes included on this year's tour:
-William Kimball house, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue (Solon S. Beman, architect; 1890-1892)
-Joseph Coleman house, 1811 S. Prairie Avenue (Cobb & Frost, architects; 1886)
-Marshall Field Jr. house, 1919 S. Prairie Avenue (Solon S. Beman, architect; 1883;
   remodeling by Daniel H. Burnham & Co., 1902)
-Charles Purdy house, 213 E. Cullerton Street, (Thomas & Rapp, architects; 1891)
-William Reid house, 2013 S. Prairie Avenue (Beers, Clay & Dutton, architects; 1894)
-Harriet Rees house, 2017 S. Prairie Avenue (Cobb & Frost, architects; 1888)

An abbreviated tour of Glessner House is included as well as historic Second Presbyterian Church with its landmarked Arts and Crafts interior and collection of Tiffany windows. Clarke House Museum will also be open to the public for free tours that afternoon.

Glessner House Presents
A Walk Through Time House Walk
Sunday, June 12, 2022
1:00 PM 4:00 PM

Pre-purchased tickets recommended as capacity is limited.
$50 per person/$40 members

Chicago Jewish Historical Society presents
'Live at Mr. Kelly's'
June 26, 2022 on Zoom
Live at Mr. Kelly's presented by Chicago Jewish Historical Society. Image credit: Live at Mr. Kelly's
"David Marienthal, the son and nephew of the late George and Oscar Marienthal, respectively, will be talking about his father and uncle and their powerhouse establishment, Mr. Kelly’s, an integral part of Chicago’s entertainment industry in the middle part of the 20th century.

"From 1953 to 1975, Mr. Kelly’s was the place to be: The Rush Street nightclub launched the careers of many a Hollywood luminary, featuring emerging talent that broke the color and gender barriers and controversial voices that challenged the status quo. Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, and Freddie Prinze all graced its stage, along with scores of other entertainers who would go on to fame and fortune.

"George and Oscar Marienthal, products of Chicago’s Hyde Park and South Shore neighborhoods, also established two other important venues in the city: London House, an upscale jazz supper club, and the Happy Medium Theater, a jazz nightclub.

"David Marienthal will show a short clip of his documentary, 'Live at Mr. Kelly’s,' and speak about the factors that led to his father’s and uncle’s career choices, including their Jewish identities and heritage, along with the outsize influence of the matriarch of the family, Mayme Marienthal, David’s paternal grandmother, who guided many of the business decisions."

June 26, 2022 on Zoom
Frank Lloyd Wright Trust presents
Unity Temple Guided Interior Tours
Summer 2022
Unity Temple, 1908, Frank Lloyd Wright, 875 Lake St, Oak Park. Photo Credit: James Caufield / Unity Temple Restoration Foundation
Unity Temple Guided Interior Tours
Unity Temple Audio Self-Guided Tour
Unity Temple In-depth Tour

Unity Temple represents a defining moment in Frank Lloyd Wright’s early career. Designed in Wright’s Oak Park Studio, it is considered the greatest public building of the architect's Prairie era. Discover how the harmony of the building’s strikingly geometric architecture and decorative elements exemplifies Wright’s theory of organic design. Unity Temple is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Edgewater Historical Society presents
Neighborhood Walking Tours
Summer 2022
Edgewater Historical Society presents Summer 2022 Neighborhood Walking Tours. Image credit: Edgewater Historical Society
"Enjoy views of the historic homes of Edgewater in our own unique outdoor museum. Edgewater has three historic districts designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior and many blocks filled with historic homes.

"There is a limit of 20 in each tour. Our tour guides, who will have microphones, will lead you through the tour, and share with you our researched brochure. Face masks are recommended but optional. The fee for each tour is $15, which supports the Edgewater Historical Society Museum.

• Surprising Broadway - June 12 at 1:00 p.m.
• Surprising Broadway - July 30 at 1:00 p.m.
• Edgewater Beach North - June 16 at 6:30 p.m.
• Edgewater Beach North - July 6 at 6:30 p.m.
• Bryn Mawr - June 22 at 6:00 p.m.
• Bryn Mawr - July 20 at 6:00 p.m.
• Edgewater Glen - June 23 at 6:00 p.m.
• Edgewater Glen - July 28 at 6:00 p.m.
• Edgewater North - June 26 at 11:00 a.m.
• Edgewater North - July 30 at 11:00 a.m.
• Magnolia Glen - June 29 at 6:00 p.m.
• Magnolia Glen - July 21 at 6:00 p.m.
• Lakewood Balmoral - July 14 at 6:00 p.m.
• Lakewood Balmoral - July 27 at 6:00 p.m.
• Discover the Art Underfoot - July 23 at 10:30 a.m.
• North Magnolia Glen - July 24 at 1:00 p.m.
• Edgewater Beach Hotel - Aug 14 at 1:00 p.m.
• Andersonville - Aug 20 at 11:00 a.m.

Pullman National Monument presents
“Healthy Parks, Healthy People”
Saturdays in June, 2022
The Pullman National Monument. Photo Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
"The Pullman National Monument is launching a series of health and wellness programs to get neighborhood residents more active this month.

"In the “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” program, park rangers will lead health and wellness programs at 10 a.m. on each Saturday in June.

"Each program will meet at the Pullman National Monument site grounds at 610 E. 111th Street and no reservation is required. Participants are encouraged to bring the appropriate equipment needed for each program.

"Programs include:
  • June 4: Steps with a Ranger; a walk around the neighborhood with minimal talking. Participants can ask park rangers questions about the Pullman neighborhood and structures passed during the walk. The walk will have an expected distance of about two miles, or 5,000 steps. 
  • June 11: Yoga; instructor and Pullman resident Shelly Strickland will lead an all-ages yoga class in a one-hour session. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat or towel, and water bottle. 
  • June 18: Bike Ranger; break out your bicycles to tour the neighborhood with a park ranger and learn about the history of the neighborhood. Later on, enjoy the Taste of Chicago Pullman event in Pullman Park. 
  • June 25: Zumba; Enjoy a Zumba class with a to-be-announced guest instructor. Those interested in the class will meet at the Pullman State Historic Site grounds, for the outdoor dance class. Participants are asked to bring a water bottle and towel. 

Music Box Theatre’s 70mm Film Festival Presents HERE’S CHICAGO! THE CITY OF DREAMS, a travelog of Chicago from 1983
World premiere of a brand new 70mm restoration of HERE’S CHICAGO! THE CITY OF DREAMS, a travelog of Chicago from 1983. Restored by the Chicago Film Society from the only surviving 70mm print, this 13-minute film contains stunning footage of the City at its best. Image credit: The Music Box Theatre
"Back in March 2020, the Music Box Theatre’s 6th 70mm Film Festival was abruptly interrupted by COVID-19. We closed our theater the Monday of the second week of the festival and somberly packed up dozens of reels of film and shipped them back to the studios with the idea that we’d pick up where we left off “when things get better.” It was a truly miserable week, not only because of the logistical hassle of canceling screenings, but also the uncertain future of the movie industry. How long would this last? Would independent movie theaters survive? Would the film labs and Kodak survive if production of new films halted? Will we ever be able to screen HELLO, DOLLY! again? Today, the answer to those questions is mostly positive, with the Music Box running more film than ever and audiences more excited about it. So two years later, we’re going to try this again!

"Also screening is a world premiere of a brand new 70mm restoration of HERE’S CHICAGO! THE CITY OF DREAMS, a travelog of Chicago from 1983. Restored by the Chicago Film Society from the only surviving 70mm print, this 13-minute film contains stunning footage of the City at its best. HERE’S CHICAGO will be paired with BRAINSTORM, also released in 1983 and directed by special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull.

"Produced for the multimedia tourist attraction of the same name, the 70mm travelog HERE’S CHICAGO! screened nearly every day at the Water Tower Pumping Station from 1983-1993, until the exhibit was closed prematurely in a classic City of Chicago lease dispute. A literal time capsule, HERE’S CHICAGO has been restored from the only surviving 70mm print and features breathtaking shots of the city by helicopter and “Where’s Waldo”-scale opportunities for watching the crowds of our great city. Preserved by the Chicago Film Society with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation."

Pritzker Military Museum & Library Presents
Life Behind the Wire: Prisoners of War
Now Open
Pritzker Military Museum & Library Presents Life Behind the Wire: Prisoners of War Opening May 12, 2022. Image credit: Pritzker Military Museum & Library
"Most people aren’t aware of the drastic differences that exist between varying prisoner of war (POW) experiences. The camp and captor greatly determined the lifestyle and treatment these prisoners received.

"What happens when a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine is captured during war? How do they cope with the physical and mental toll of prison life after capture? The experience was different for each individual forced to endure capture by the enemy. Food was scarce for some, others received adequate meals, exercise, and comradery. Some endured long hours of work. Many were limited to just a few words for outside communication.

"From escape attempts and their consequences to the ingenuity and inventiveness of prisoners, Life Behind the Wire draws from the special collections and archives of the Museum & Library, along with never-before-seen prisoner of war materials on loan to the museum. The exhibit focuses on POWs from WWII and the Vietnam War, and how those experiences highlight the perseverance of the citizen soldier when faced with insurmountable odds.

"Visitors will be able to explore artifacts, archival materials, photographs, and oral histories that examine international laws pertaining to POWs, day to day life in a prisoner of war camp, and individual reflections of life as a POW. Life Behind the Wire looks at these individual’s experiences to illustrate how the POW experience has changed throughout American military history as well as how POW perspectives fit into the larger narratives of war."

WRIGHTWOOD 659 presents
American Framing
May 6 to July 16, 2022
Addition to the Pavilion of the United States. Photo Courtesy: Wrightwood 659 / Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia 
"First exhibited in the U.S. Pavilion for the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, this exhibition comes at a time when national cultural practices are struggling with their histories. How do we come to terms with our past choices? What kinds of futures can we create?

"American Framing examines the overlooked and familiar architecture of the country’s most common construction system and argues that a profound and powerful future for design can be conceived out of an ordinary past.

"The open-air, 3-story wood structure encloses a social space to provide a place for reflection and conversation. It also introduces the world of wood framing as directly as possible by allowing people to experience firsthand its spaces, forms, and techniques. The full-scale work expresses the sublime and profound aesthetic power of a structural method that underlies most buildings in the United States.

"Within the galleries at Wrightwood 659, visitors also will discover newly commissioned photographs from visual artist Daniel Shea, and photographer and videographer Chris Strong, which address the labor, culture, and materials of softwood construction. A collection of scale models, researched and designed by students at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Architecture, presents the history of wood framing. Two sets of furniture by Ania Jaworska and Norman Kelley are installed in the gallery and within the full-scale wood structure. Both sets reproduce historic furniture pieces in common dimensional lumber.

"Wood framing has a fascinating history. Originating in the early 19th century, softwood construction was a pragmatic solution to a need for an accessible building system among settlers with limited wealth, technical skills, and building traditions. Wood framing has been the dominant construction system ever since—more than 90 percent of new homes in the U.S. today are wood framed. The accessibility that shaped its early development continues to influence contemporary life and reflect democratic ideals in subtle, but powerful ways. For instance, softwood construction is exceptionally egalitarian. No amount of money can buy you a better 2×4. This fundamental sameness paradoxically underlies the American culture of individuality, unifying all superficial differences. Buildings of every size and style are made of wood framing.

"Despite its ubiquity, wood framing is also one of the country’s most overlooked contributions to architecture. A variety of prejudices and habits explain its absence from intellectual discourse, which tends to zero in on the exotic while ignoring the ordinary. In the case of wood framing, a lack of disciplinary prestige stems from the same characteristics that make it so prevalent—it is easy, thin, and inexpensive. These qualities introduce a flexibility for form, labor, composition, class, sensibility, access, and style that open new possibilities for architecture. Wood framing is inherently redundant and transient, which allows for improvisation in design and construction, rough detailing, and ongoing renovation. It has been both a cause and effect of the country’s high regard for novelty, in contrast with the stability that is often assumed to be essential to architecture"

Driehaus Museum presents
"A Tale of Today: Theodora Allen Saturnine"
March 26 to July 10, 2022
Driehaus Museum presents "A Tale of Today: Theodora Allen Saturnine," March 26 to July 10, 2022. Image credit: Driehaus Museum 
"The exhibition marks the latest iteration of the Museum’s newest initiative: A Tale of Today, which features work by leading contemporary artists to expand the immersive experience and to shape our understanding of the world through the art, architecture, design, and cultural history of the Nickerson Mansion, the Museum’s home. Curated by Stephanie Cristello, Theodora Allen: Saturnine derives its title from figure of Saturn and its historical association with melancholy, often referred to as the curse of artists. Visitors to the Museum will see Allen’s luminous and meditative compositions, filled with a lexicon of snakes, planets, moons, and plant life – motifs that draw from ancient Greek mythology, literature, fin-de-siècle Europe, and the zeitgeist of 1960s California.

"Allen’s paintings are exhibited in the second-floor galleries of the Driehaus Museum, convening a dialogue between the rich ornamentation of the Gilded Age Nickerson Mansion and the artist’s interpretation of iconic mythical, natural, and celestial symbols. Alongside its collection of Tiffany glass, pre-Raphaelite paintings, and Art Nouveau flourishes, the unique environment of the Driehaus Museum becomes an essential part of Theodora Allen: Saturnine."

Film & Books
"Early Chicago Skyscrapers" for UNESCO World Heritage Site Designation
by AIA Chicago and Preservation Chicago
Early Chicago Skyscrapers: a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site video (5:00). Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
There is strong support to designate “Early Chicago Skyscrapers” as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A UNESCO World Heritage Site designation would further recognize the Chicago's contributions to the built environment and to increase education regarding these architecturally significant structures. Other sites nominated include Civil Rights Sites, Native American Sites, The Statue of Liberty, and Central Park in New York City.

Preservation Chicago and AIA Chicago are honored to present this 5-minute video prepared for the US/ICOMOS 50th Anniversary Conference was held virtually on April 9th, 2022.
We were asked to create this video by the US/ICOMOS on behalf of the many Chicago-based preservation partners which organized the 2016-2017 effort to begin the lengthy process of establishing “Early Chicago Skyscrapers” as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The initial list of nine “Early Chicago Skyscrapers” were included due to their architectural significance and owners consent. Additional significant “Early Chicago Skyscrapers” would likely be added as this process advances.
  1. The Auditorium Building & Theater
  2. The Rookery Building
  3. The Monadnock Building
  4. The Ludington Building
  5. The Second Leiter Building/Leiter II Building 
  6. The Old Colony Building
  7. The Marquette Building
  8. The Fisher Building
  9. Schlesinger & Mayer/Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company Store

With thanks to:
Preservation Chicago
The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
The Alphawood Foundation
The TAWANI Foundation
Chicago Architecture Center
Landmarks Illinois
The Coalition in Support of a Pioneering Chicago Skyscrapers World Heritage List Nomination
  • Jen Masengarb, AIA Chicago
  • Ward Miller, Preservation Chicago
  • Gunny Harboe, Harboe Architects
  • Kevin Harrington, Professor Emeritus, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Pauline Saliga, Society of Architectural Historians
  • Lynn J. Osmond, Chicago Architecture Center
  • Gary T. Johnson, Chicago History Museum

And with special thanks to:
Teddy Holcomb, Video Editor
Cathie Bond, Director of Events, Preservation Chicago
Eric Allix Rogers, Photographer

Uptown: Portrait of a Palace
A Documentary by John Pappas and Michael Bisberg
Uptown: Portrait of a Palace (2006) by John Pappas and Michael Bisberg (25:58 min)
"What happens when a building slips through a crack in time? Leftover from an extinct era and useless in modern society, the Uptown Theatre has done just that. Closed in 1981, the 85-year old movie palace has sat in decay on Chicago's North Side. This film explores the history of the Uptown and why the biggest and arguably most elaborate movie theatre in the country has been left vacant for almost thirty years. Is the Uptown a stoic remnant of the long-forgotten past, or is it, as Rapp & Rapp remarked when they built it, a theatre 'not for today, but for all time'?"

Lost Chicago Department Stores
by Leslie Goddard
Lost Chicago Department Stores by Leslie Goddard. Image Credit: Lost Chicago Department Stores
"For decades, Chicago was home to some of America’s grandest department stores. Clustered along a mile-long stretch of State Street, stores like Marshall Field’s; Carson, Pirie, Scott; Sears; Wieboldt’s; Montgomery Ward’s; and Goldblatt’s set new standards for retail innovation, customer service and visual display. Generations of Chicagoans trekked to these stores for holiday shopping, celebrations, and fun.

"Within thirty years of the Great Chicago Fire, the revitalized city was boasting some of America's grandest department stores. The retail corridor on State Street was a crowded canyon of innovation and inventory where you could buy anything from a paper clip to an airplane. Revisit a time when a trip downtown meant dressing up for lunch at Marshall Field's Walnut Room, strolling the aisles of Sears for Craftsman tools or redeeming S&H Green Stamps at Wieboldt's. Whether your family favored The Fair, Carson Pirie Scott, Montgomery Ward or Goldblatt's, you were guaranteed stunning architectural design, attentive customer service and eye-popping holiday window displays. Lavishly illustrated with photographs, advertisements, catalogue images and postcards, Leslie Goddard's narrative brings to life the Windy City's fabulous retail past."

"In this illustrated lecture, historian and author Leslie Goddard, Ph.D., revisits Chicago’s fabulous retail emporiums and explores their rise and fall."

176 pages, 95 color plates
$21.99.00 paper

Schiller/Garrick Theatre Visualization as part of Romanticism to Ruin, the Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright by Wrightwood 659
Schiller/Garrick Theatre Visualization. (16:25 Minutes) Image credit: Wrightwood 659
"Wrightwood 659 is pleased to announce the virtual release the Schiller/Garrick Theatre Visualization which premiered at Wrightwood 659 as a key element of the exhibition Romanticism to Ruin, the Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright. Working under the guidance of John Vinci and Angela Demma, with new drawings by Vinci along with reference photos, drawings and sketches from the Richard Nickel collection as well as insights into coloration discovered during the preparation of this exhibition, Bangladeshi architectural animator Razin Khan spent the better part of a year 'rebuilding' the Garrick as a virtual 3D model, providing the most overwhelming approximation of the experience of the structure to date. Khan’s spectacular animation allows viewers to relive one of Louis Sullivan’s most spectacular works."

Starship Chicago: Thompson Center
A Film by Nathan Eddy
(Chicago 7 2016, 2018, 2019 & 2020)
Starship Chicago: A Film by Nathan Eddy (15:50 Minutes) Image Credit: Starship Chicago
"Architect Helmut Jahn’s kaleidoscopic, controversial State of Illinois Center in Chicago, which shocked the world when it opened in 1985, may not be long for this world. Today the building is a run down rusty shadow of its former self, occupying a lucrative downtown block and deemed expendable by the cash-strapped state legislature.

"Despite initial construction flaws and hefty refurbishment costs, this singular architectural vision of an open, accessible, and inspiring civic building—defined by its iconic, soaring atrium--remains intact. Four years after the stinging loss of brutalist icon Prentice Women’s Hospital, Chicago preservationists, along with the building’s original champion, Governor James R. Thompson, are gearing up for a major battle to save the city’s most provocative architectural statement."

Includes interviews with:
  • Lynn Becker, Archtecture Critic
  • Tim Samuelson, Cultural Historian, City of Chicago
  • Chris-AnnMarie Spencer, Project Architect, Wheeler Kearns Architects
  • Bonnie McDonald, President, Landmarks Illinois
  • Blair Kamin, Architecture Critic, Chicago Tribune
  • Helmut Jahn, Architect
  • Greg Hinz, Polticial Writer, Crain's Chicago Business
  • James R. Thompson, Governor of Illinois, 1977-1991
  • Stanley Tigerman, Principal, Tigerman McCurry Architects

At Home In Chicago; A Living History of Domestic Architecture by Patrick F. Cannon and photos by James Caulfield
At Home In Chicago; A Living History of Domestic Architecture by Patrick F. Cannon and photos by James Caulfield. Image credit: At Home In Chicago
"At Home In Chicago; A Living History of Domestic Architecture by Patrick F. Cannon and photos by James Caulfield

"Imagine a book that takes you into more than fifty of Chicago’s most striking homes. No need to knock or ring. Here’s your chance to take a slow ramble through lavish dining rooms, working kitchens, private bedrooms, and cozy patios of homes that reveal the city’s 184-year history.

"You’ll be accompanied by an experienced docent. And you’ll join Chicago’s preeminent architectural photographer, who will show you things you might never notice.

"Open your eyes and take in At Home in Chicago: A Living History of the Domestic Architecture, the first comprehensive look at the city’s most private residences. You’ve probably heard of some of these places: Frank Lloyd Wright’s sleek Robie House, Mies van der Rohe’s groundbreaking 860-880 Lake Shore Drive, Jeanne Gang’s sublime Aqua Tower. But most are off limits from Chicago’s famous architectural tours.

"At Home in Chicago is the sixth book by Patrick F. Cannon and James Caulfield. Now they focus on Chicago’s domestic architecture: the log cabins, cottages and bungalows, greystones, three-flats and mansions. The houses that made Chicago.

"The authors travel across the metropolitan region to present an eye-opening look at the city’s 200-year history through different home styles. They inspect houses built before the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, walk through the mansions that rose during the Gilded Age, check out the apartments finished before the Depression, and scrutinize mid-century and new-century homes.

"At Home in Chicago tells an astonishing story about Chicago. It reveals the city’s history through a chronological procession of dwellings―both big and small. These homes show how we lived and how we continue to live in the place we call home."

WATCH: Short Cuts of the Preservation Chicago 2022 Chicago 7 Most Endangered (Length 0:34)
Video Short Cuts Overview of Preservation Chicago's 2022 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. (0:34 Minutes) Image Credit: Preservation Chicago
WATCH: The Video Overview of the Preservation Chicago 2022 "Chicago 7 Most Endangered" (Length 5:00)
Video Overview of Preservation Chicago's 2022 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. (5:00 Minutes) Image Credit: Preservation Chicago
Altgeld Gardens 'Up-Top' Commercial Building
1945-46, Keck & Keck, 13106-13128 S. Ellis Avenue. Image credit: Preservation Chicago
Altgeld Gardens 'Up-Top' Commercial Building Preservation Chicago 2022 Chicago 7 Most Endangered Poster. Available in a variety of sizes including 8x10, 16x20, and 24x36.
Support Preservation in Chicago
by Supporting Preservation Chicago!
Every Donation Counts.
Chicago Town and Tennis Club / Unity Church, built 1924, George W. Maher & Son, 1925 W. Thome Avenue, Demolished June 2020. Photo Credit: Joe Ward / Block Club Chicago

  • Be Heard! Attend community meetings and make your voice heard!

THANK YOU from your friends at Preservation Chicago!
Preservation Chicago is committed to strengthening the vibrancy of Chicago’s economy and quality of life by championing our historic built environment.

Preservation Chicago protects and revitalizes Chicago’s irreplaceable architecture, neighborhoods and urban green spaces. We influence stakeholders toward creative reuse and preservation through advocacy, outreach, education, and partnership.

Your financial support allows Preservation Chicago to advocate every day to protect historic buildings throughout Chicago. For a small non-profit, every dollar counts. Preservation Chicago is a 501(c)(3) non-profit so your donation is tax-deductible as permitted by law. Donating is fast, easy and directly helps the efforts to protect Chicago’s historic legacy.

For larger donors wishing to support Preservation Chicago or to make a donation of stock, please contact Ward Miller regarding the Preservation Circle details and a schedule of events at or 312-443-1000.