Preservation Chicago, NFP: Love your City Fiercely!
Preservation Chicago Vision Statement Preservation Chicago is committed to strengthening the vibrancy of Chicago’s economy and quality of life by championing our historic built environment. Preservation Chicago Mission Statement Preservation Chicago protects and revitalizes Chicago’s irreplaceable architecture, neighborhoods and urban spaces. We influence stakeholders toward creative reuse and preservation through advocacy, outreach, education, and partnership.
Started 10 petitions
Make Lakeside Center Chicago's Largest Park Fieldhouse!
The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority which oversees Chicago's McCormick Place convention center is planning to demolish Lakeside Center and replace it with a parking garage. The loss of Lakeside Center would be tragic for Chicago. Lakeside Center is an extraordinary building by architecture firm C.F. Murphy and designers Gene Summers and Helmut Jahn, both acclaimed students of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.. In Lakeside Center they took Mies van der Rohe’s design principles and numerous published design studies by Mies, his office, and his graduate students and applied them on an enormous, convention hall scale. The construction of Lakeside Center was an amazing feat and is on par with the City’s other superstructures of that period, specifically the John Hancock Building and the Sears Tower. However, unlike the vertically oriented Hancock, Sears and Standard Oil Buildings, Lakeside Center is a mammoth horizontal long-span structure. The result was a monumental architectural achievement for Chicago which helped to reinforce Chicago’s title of convention city with the largest roof, convention hall and space-frame structure in the world. The first McCormick Place was destroyed by a fire in 1967 and was a windowless exposition hall dating from 1960 dubbed the “mistake on the lake.” The second and current modernist glass and steel building was designed for the site and construction grand opening was held on January 3, 1971. The building has been featured in the book “Chicago’s Famous Buildings” in multiple editions by various editors and scholars over the past 50 years since its construction. In addition to the building’s architectural significance, it presents a wonderful opportunity for a dynamic adaptive reuse that would return this prominent lakefront location to use by Chicagoans. This building could be an incredible museum site. Additionally, the Lakeside Center could be easily retrofitted into a Mid-South Cultural Center and Field House and anchored by the Arie Crown Theater for cultural and community events. The cavernous space could accommodate a wide variety of first-rate facilities all under one roof. The upper levels of the center could be used for indoor tennis courts, running track, yoga, Zumba and weights, and other recreational uses overlooking Lake Michigan, harbors and parks. The expansive lower level halls could be used for an Olympic-sized swimming pool, basketball courts, climbing walls, squash courts, roller rink, roller derby track and perhaps even a bike velodrome track. The massive rooftop could be greened and activated with a jogging path, tennis courts, and basketball courts. A café located at the northeast corner of the Lakeside Center rooftop would have such incredible, panoramic views of the city and lakefront that it would likely become a must-see destination for locals and tourists alike.The Lakeside Center as a Mid-South Cultural Center and Field House would be anchored by the Arie Crown Theater for cultural and community events. The Arie Crown Theater is one of the largest theaters in Chicago with seating for 4,250. Only the long-shuttered Uptown Theatre in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood has a larger seating capacity. Additionally, the Arie Crown Theater has been well maintained with a significant renovation in 1997 which reduced the seating capacity, rebuilt the stage and improved the acoustics. The building’s enormous terrace overlooking Lake Michigan is ideal for activation such as Chicago Summer Dance, music festivals and other outdoor activities under the broad overhang. The historic Humboldt Park Boat House is a great example of the type of successful programming that could activate and enliven this potentially extraordinary community resource.Located along Chicago’s Lakefront Trail, the Mid-South Cultural Center and Field House would be easily accessible to joggers, bikers, rollerbladers and others from Ardmore Street on the North Side to 71st Street on the South Side. Additionally, Lakeside Center is directly across a narrow channel from Northerly Island Park. Despite its large size and incredible location on a peninsula, this 120-acre park is difficult to access and suffers from low attendance and poor maintenance. A bike and pedestrian bridge could be built directly from Lakeside Center’s expansive terrace to increase access to this neglected Northerly Island Park.The idea of demolishing a first-class building of great architectural and historical note would be a huge embarrassment for the city and another drain on Chicago’s taxpayers to fund another and bigger windowless convention center on Chicago’s Lakefront. Preservation Chicago applauds Mayor Lightfoot’s decision to slow down the process and encourages McPier, the Chicago Park District and other decision-makers to find a creative way to better integrate the convention center into the daily fabric of Chicago. The Mid-South Cultural Center and Field House would accomplish this.
Green Light the Restoration of the Century and Consumer's Buildings!
After many years of uncertainly and vacancy, the historically-sensitive adaptive reuse of the Century and Consumers Buildings on South State Street is poised to begin, but requotes the approval of the Federal Goverment's GSA. A extensive renovation is planned for the four building cluster, including the two historic skyscrapers and two adjacent low-rise buildings. The plan will create retail along the State Street frontage and restore and adaptively reuse the tall terra cotta office buildings as archives for a variety of religious groups and civic organizations. T Preservation Chicago has been highly concerned about the deferred maintenance and deteriorating condition of these buildings and they twice made the Chicago 7 Most Endangered list, in 2011 and again in 2013. Preservation Chicago has worked for years to concieve and advance a plaousible adaptive reuse plan for these important buildings. Multiple adattive reuse options for residential were rejected by the GSA due to proximity to the Federal Court buildings at Federal Center. Originally, the proud and elegant Century and Consumers Buildings buildings were part of a thriving and vibrant State Street Retail District. The 16-story Century Building at 202 S. State Street was designed by Holabird and Roche in 1915. The 22-story Consumers Building at 220 S. State Street/1 W. Quincy Court was designed by Jenny, Mundie & Jensen in 1913. Preservation Chicago requests that the State Street and Quincy elevations of the Consumers Building will be restored to include original rooflines, frieze band, fascia, and cornice, along with the store fronts and lobby. Another, smaller building dating from 1886 and located at 214 S. State Street should also have its historic façade restored. The streamlined, high-style Art-Moderne storefront at 214 S. State with its black vitrolite, colored terrazzo, silver banding, and exuberant circular glass window display is highly intact and a rare survivor from State Street’s rich history. Preservation Chicago hopes that particular care and sensitivity will be taken to protect and restore this highly significant element.
Declare the Chicago Lakefront a National Park!
Chicago Lakefront's public parks and greenspaces are NOT vacant land ripe for redevelopment. The Chicago Lakefront, with its legendary parks, greenspaces, recreational and pastoral spaces, beaches, harbors and waterfront stretching almost 26 miles is one of Chicago's greatest assets. Some of these lands have been dedicated to the public for over 150 years and most for over a century. These are sacred places that belong to us all as a place of refuge, reflection and recreation, to allow for a break from our daily grind of our lives, and to once again connect with nature — refreshing and energizing one’s spirits. These seminal Lakefront spaces and lands were designed by the best of the best in the world of architecture and landscape architecture including William LeBaron Jenney, Frederick Law Olmsted, Olmsted & Vaux, Jens Jensen, Alfred Caldwell, May McAdams and others. While Chicago Lakefront land is precious, its also valuable. For as long as the Chicago Lakefront Parks have existed, there have been politicials seeking to "develop" these park lands, "just this one time" for one pet project or another. If not for laws to protect these public parks and the indivisuals who have been willing to speak truth to power, these would long ago have become private property like any other city in the world. “Forever open, clear and free” was an early ideal and vision of our City’s earliest pioneers and legislators, to protect the Chicago Lakefront and to insure it remained accessible to the public. Dating to one year before the City’s incorporation in 1836, this forward-thinking vision was adopted by our City and State, and land was set aside in Chicago for parkland, greenspace and open space near the early lakeshore to be enjoyed by all. Preservation Chicago supports a commitment to the Chicago Lakefront and its many parks, realizing that this is a very special feature of Chicago and a gift to its citizens which is to last in perpetuity. We continue to be grateful for these amazing parks and the great asset of Lake Michigan, its shoreline mostly “forever open, clear and free for all.” The Chicago parks are themselves very special and highly celebrated with revered environments containing a variety of grand panoramic spaces, outdoor rooms and vast stretches of Lakefront lands. Some of these parks and spaces contain rigid formal gardens and arrangements with fountains and other features, while others include more naturalistic settings. These parks contain an abundance of extraordinary features including lagoons, islands and native plant species and reflect the once abundant prairies and meadows of our region. Among these artistically arranged settings are open prairies and meadows, beautiful and expansive beaches, and harbors and nature preserves. Historic built environment features of the highest quality, including beautifully crafted museum buildings, conservatories, pavilions, a historic zoo, artistic sculptures, golf courses, pastoral roadways and recreational spaces, frame our panoramic City and skyline in the distance. Lack of funding has resulted in our parks starving for resources and in need of substantial repairs. Long-deferred maintenance and straight-up neglect of many aspects of these special features has taken their toll on some of this land. The list of needs through the park system include repairs and in some situations total reconstruction of collapsing buildings, disintegrating paths and often pockmarked trails, underpasses and bridges. Yet, even with a shortage of funds for maintenance and improvement, our City and State offers millions of dollars and incentives for what could be described as pork projects. This is disappointing, as we as a City we are not always taking into account that these greenspaces, parklands, lakefront spaces and trails, and all of the features of the parks and Lakefront have really all been developed and maintained for more than a century and half by the citizens of Chicago—the taxpayers, residents and visitors. These parks -- regardless of their location -- are for all of Chicago, and its visitors. The Chicago Lakefront is a remarkable asset for residents and tourists alike. They are not to be squandered. If the desire is to build new structures, additional properties adjacent to these greenspaces should be considered and made to be extensions of this lakefront land. Rather than taking land from the people and these parks, we should be creating new parklands and new campuses of buildings, surrounded by greenspaces. The broad vision should be expanded, not reduced or cast aside as vacant, undeveloped sites. We realize the challenges in managing the vast Lakefront lands, and we want to encourage partnerships realizing the costs associated with this massive endeavor. To that end, we want to encourage the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to pursue a National Park Designation for the entire Chicago Lakefront. Chicago could partner with the National Park Services to continue the legacy of protecting this precious resource for the enjoyment of all. Such an idea could lift and share the burden of maintenance of these sacred grounds, providing much-needed repairs to many of the park buildings and structures. The idea of a national park and shared responsibilities for these vast Lakefront parklands would allow for improved maintenance, prevent privatization of recreational lands and facilities, and access to more funds for new parklands in communities across Chicago.
Save the Thompson Center and Release its Creative Energy!
Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers Landmark the Thompson Center! “Governor Pritzker has the opportunity, after years of neglect by his predecessors, to lead through the sale of the Thompson Center by giving it new life. Repurposing the building the right way could go beyond what the building ever was, making it better, more public, and a place where you want to work, stay overnight, live or just visit and feel good. Miracles and dreams can become real.” (Helmut Jahn during 2020 interview) The iconic postmodern Thompson Center in the heart of Chicago’s Loop will be sold either for demolition or adaptive reuse. It was built for the people of Illinois, by the people of Illinois, to inspire the people of Illinois. Designed by world-renowned architect Helmut Jahn to be Illinois’ “second state capitol building” in the state’s largest city, it sought to redefine the relationship between the citizens and their government with transparency, engagement, and energy. Jahn's wildly exuberant James R. Thompson Center / State of Illinois building exceeded all expectations with a curvilinear façade, open plaza, and dazzling 17-story atrium designed to exhilarate and inspire. Resembling no other government office building, this spectacular masterpiece incorporated public amenities including shops, restaurants, atrium, plaza, theater, sculpture, and transit hub with the goal of generating vibrancy in Chicago's Loop. Chicago's Loop theater district had been a dynamic, high-energy immersive experience with theaters, live music, hotels and restaurants, but by the 1980's this creative energy had largely vanished. Governor James Thompson challenged architect Helmut Jahn to design create a building that would breathe life and vitality back into the Loop. But no matter how lofty the vision or bold the design, decades of bureaucratic inaction and post-September 11th security requirements left the building culturally dormant. The State of Illinois is moving its government offices to a mundane conventional building and will sell the Thompson Center, so now is an opportunity to release the Thompson Center's original creative vision and spirit. Will this magnificent public building be demolished for a new non-descript high-rise? Or will a new owner finally realize the Governor Thompson's vision of a dynamic creative center overflowing with vibrancy and energy? Live music, dance, arts and city festivals could be hosted daily on the plaza and year-round in the atrium, similar to the wildly successful Sony Center in Berlin also designed by Helmut Jahn. Designated offices floors could become incubator for non-profits, arts organizations, start-up businesses, exhibit and gallery space. Other floors could be populated with a hotel, apartments and small businesses. A gourmet food court and café dining in the atrium could create a dynamic piazza experience protected from the elements. All located at a major transit hub that would allow equal access to Chicagoans all across the city. Now is the moment in time to finally embrace the vision of the James R. Thompson Center as vibrant, authentic, fountain of creative energy in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. Along with a diverse team of preservation partners, we urge the City of Chicago to recognize the potential of this important building and designate the James R. Thompson Center as a Chicago Landmark to protect it from harm and encourage its creative reuse. Read more about the James R. Thompson Center at: Time for a fresh look at plans to sell the Thompson Center; The state must face that it may not get $200 million for the building. And to increase its redevelopment possibilities, reusing the building — not tearing it down — should remain an option, Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, 4/12/21 Team Pritzker must get the Thompson Center plan right; A pandemic that has drained the Loop of much of its life and called into question future demand for office space has only intensified the challenge of reimagining this colossal white elephant, Crain's Editorial Board, 4/9/21 Newcity Editor's Letter: The Thompson Center, Brain Hieggelke, 4/29/21 The Most Endangered Building in Chicago [Thompson Center], Architecture w/Stewart Hicks [VIDEO] Preservation Chicago's 2020 7 Most Endangered Article: James R. Thompson Center / State of Illinois Building
REJECT the Ordinance that would Block the Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley House Museum!
Powerful political forces have been working in the shadows to draft an ordinance to prohibit new house museums in Chicago's residential neighborhoods. This ordinance would prevent many stories, and especially African-American and other traditionally underrepresented stories, from being told in the places and spaces where history was made. If approved, the impact would be devastating for over 20 emerging house museums and cultural centers across Chicago. They include: The Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley Home - which achieved Chicago Landmark status after a multi-year effort to save it. It was purchased by a local nonprofit to create a museum to honor Emmett's memory and to recognize the fierce bravery of Mamie Till-Mobley whose actions helped to spark the Civil Rights Movement. The MOJO Muddy Waters House Museum - which plans to turn Muddy's South Side Chicago home into a blues museum. It would celebrate his legendary contributions to blues music which emerged from the Great Migration and would forever change music in America and around the world. The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum expansion - which celebrates and honors the legacy of the Pullman Porters and the important role African-Americans played in shaping America’s labor movement. The Lu Palmer Mansion - which is on the verge of being purchased and converted into The Obsidian Collection museum and library, an archive of Black journalism. The Phyllis Wheatley House - which is the last standing African-American settlement house in Chicago, and served African-American women for 50 years during the Great Migration. We STRONGLY OPPOSE any legislative maneuvers that seek to block the establishment of Chicago neighborhood house museums. Now is the time to recognize, honor and protect the many important contributions of African-Americans and traditionally underrepresented communities to Chicago. House museums are powerful vehicles for protecting the history and telling the stories of those who have come before us. House museums amplify the voices of those who have not been heard. These voices have been silenced for far too long. LET THESE VOICES BE HEARD! Please sign this petition. This petition will be presented at the Chicago City Council Zoning Committee on March 23, 2021 with a demand that the proposed ordinance be rejected. Read more at: "Emmett Till childhood home now an official city landmark," in The Chicago Sun-Times https://chicago.suntimes.com/city-hall/2021/1/27/22252911/chicago-city-council-approves-landmark-status-emmett-till-home-south-side "A Push to Save Landmarks of the Great Migration, in The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/a-push-to-save-landmarks-of-the-great-migration--and-better-understand-todays-racial-inequities/2021/03/12/c510ceb0-7b88-11eb-85cd-9b7fa90c8873_story.html "Legacy of Muddy Waters to Live On at MOJO Museum," on WTTW Chicago https://news.wttw.com/2021/01/19/legacy-muddy-waters-live-mojo-museum "In Bronzeville, A Push To Preserve Historic Lu Palmer Mansion — And Chicago’s Black Media Legacy," in Block Club Chicago https://blockclubchicago.org/2021/03/03/in-bronzeville-a-push-to-preserve-historic-lu-palmer-mansion-and-chicagos-black-media-legacy/ "Owner, supporters fight to save historic Phyllis Wheatley Club and Home from city demolition block", in The Chicago Sun-Times https://chicago.suntimes.com/2021/2/23/22296062/owner-supporters-fight-to-save-historic-phyllis-wheatley-home-from-city-demolition-block "Pullman Porter Museum celebrates 25th anniversary, connects lessons of the past to challenges of the present" on ABC 7 Chicago https://abc7chicago.com/pullman-porter-black-history-month-porters-chicago/5901253/
Save The Chicago Union Station Power House!
Photo Credit: Darris Lee Harris - http://darrisharris.com/industrial The iconic Art Deco Chicago Union Station Power House is threatened with demolition. This streamlined architectural masterpiece was designed in 1931 by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, one of Chicago’s greatest architecture firms. Graham, Anderson, Probst and White designed many of Chicago’s most iconic and beloved landmark buildings including Chicago Union Station, Wrigley Building, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Lyric Opera House, Merchandise Mart, and the Old Chicago Main Post Office. The Chicago Union Station Power House should take its honored place among these world-class buildings. To avoid repair costs, Amtrak wants to spend $13 million dollars to demolish it and replace it with a storage shed! But there is a better option....just sell it! One of Chicago’s most experienced and successful developers wants to buy and restore the long-vacant Chicago Union Station Power House. Their restoration plans for the historic building include a tech data center and possibly a café along the Chicago River. Its located directly across from the “78”, the largest high-tech R&D development in the Midwest. If sold, it would be a powerful win-win. Amtrak would save $13 million dollars, avoid maintenance, and earn money from the sale. These funds could better be used for true priorities like the long overdue upgrading of train stations to meet ADA requirements. (Chicago Sun-Times, Amtrak reverses course,1/20/20) But yet Amtrak is still stubbornly pushing hard for demolition. But there’s a hitch. In order for Amtrak to use federal tax-payer funds to demolish a historic building, they must be able to claim during the Section 106 hearings that they have exhausted all other options to save this significant National Register-eligible and Chicago Landmark-eligible building. Perhaps this helps explains why despite frequent and repeated outreach for over two years, Amtrak has stubbornly refused to consider any purchase offers, hold a meeting or even allow a site visit! Amtrak may be able to ignore a few lonely voices, but they will have no choice but to listen when we all speak together! We urge Amtrak to respect this important historic building and encourage the City of Chicago to designate the Chicago Union Station Power House as a Chicago Landmark to protect it from harm. "Whether its future holds a second life as a data center, an addition to the city’s expanding Riverwalk or something even more distinctive, the building should be saved for future generations to enjoy, Ward Miller said, noting that London’s Tate Modern Museum was once the Bankside Power Station.” (Chicago Sun-Times, Iconic South Loop power station should be saved, 10/9/19) With your help, the voice of the people will be heard. Please support this effort and add your name to the petition!
Save La Luce’s Lake Street Schlitz Tied House!
City of Chicago: Thank you for taking emergency steps to halt the demolition of the historic La Luce restaurant building / Lake Street Schlitz Tied House, after a clerical error resulted in the demolition permit being released prematurely. While the immediate demolition threat might be averted, postponing the demolition for a mere 90 days is not enough for this beloved and iconic 130-year old building. The Lake Street Schlitz Tied House is one of the most extraordinary Schlitz Tied Houses in all of Chicago. It would have been included as part of the Schlitz Tied-House Chicago Landmark District designated in 2011, if the former owners had not objected. City of Chicago: Protect and Landmark the Lake Street Schlitz Tied House! The Queen Anne limestone and brick four-story building at 1393-1399 W. Lake Street includes a beautifully detailed corner entry, copper-clad three-story turret, and an ornate copper-clad projecting bay window. This building is orange-rated by the Chicago Historic Resources Survey indicating its high degree of significance. It was built by Edward J. Uihlein in 1892 as a Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company branded saloon and Tied-House. But, unlike most Schlitz Tied-Houses, it included several floors of apartments above, perhaps in anticipation of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. A painted Schlitz ghost sign is still faintly visible high on the east facing brick wall. Please sign the petition to urge the City of Chicago to take immediate steps to landmark this incredibly beautiful and iconic building.
Save the Chicago Town & Tennis Club/Unity Church from Demolition!
Photo Credit: Dan Paterno The Chicago Park District can spend $50 million on a new headquarters, but can't find $1.5 million to save this endangered building from demolition by moving it onto the adjacent park and making it the new Emmerson Park Fieldhouse? From Outhouse to Fieldhouse! Our Kids Deserve Better. Today, children's programming at Emmerson Park in Chicago is held in a former public restroom building that’s been converted into a tiny fieldhouse. The children of West Ridge have needed a proper fieldhouse in Emmerson Park for decades. But $15 million for a new fieldhouse is a lot of money and there never seem to be enough funds for this small park in a diverse, working class neighborhood of Chicago. The converted restroom shed building is extremely deficient. Half the structure is still restrooms and the other half has a small office and tiny community room. Mops and buckets are still stored in the hallway. This sub-standard building is an embarrassment to the City of Chicago and Chicago Park District. This building is too small and can only hold a small number of children. There are always long waitlists for most after-school, summer camp, and park district programs. Park district staff do their best, but they simply don’t have the space. Due to crossing gang turfs, kids and parents hesitate to attend other parks in other neighborhoods. Enough is enough! Meanwhile, 250 feet away from Emmerson Park is the historic Chicago Town & Tennis Club building. This gorgeous, 1920s-era tennis clubhouse building with vaulted ceilings, slate roof, and grand ballrooms was recently used as a church and hosted wedding receptions. This beautiful, recently-restored, high-quality building is scheduled to be BULLDOZED in June 2020. It would be the perfect Emmerson Park Fieldhouse….if it can be moved out of harms way in time! New fieldhouses in Chicago often cost from $15 to $25 million. Maintenance on existing fieldhouse costs far less, often from $1 to $3 million. Relocation would be a fraction of the cost of new construction. The cost to physically move the Chicago Town & Tennis Club building into Emmerson Park and make ADA upgrades is $1.5 million. This cost includes $550,000 to move the building, $500,000 to build a new foundation, and about $450,000 to upgrade the building's interior. For literally “ten cents on the dollar” the children of West Ridge can have the amazing fieldhouse they deserve. The City of Chicago and Chicago Park District must ACT NOW and “find the funds” to relocate the Chicago Town & Tennis Club into Emmerson Park. As recently as May 20, 2020, Chicago Department of Planning and Development announced the funding for four more park projects. We strongly support these park projects but don’t leave Emmerson Park out! Brighton Park, $50 million to support A new Chicago Park District headquarters and park space Clarendon Park, $13 million to support renovations to Clarendon Park fieldhouse Williams Park, $6 million to support a new Williams Park fieldhouse. Blackhawk Park, $3 million to support renovations to the Blackhawk Park fieldhouse. Avondale Park, $2.9 million to support renovations to the Avondale Park fieldhouse. Kosciusko Park $1.8 million to support renovations to the Kosciusko Park fieldhouse. Revere Park $1.5 million to support renovations to the Revere Park fieldhouse. Chopin Park, $700,000 to support renovations to Chopin Park fieldhouse. Put your money where your mouth is! Preservation Chicago has been hard at work and has already secured pledges for approximately $250,000 of the relocation cost from Chicago-based foundations who recognize this incredible opportunity for the children of West Ridge. If Misericordia pledged the $250,000 of budgeted demolition funds towards costs of moving the historic building, the difference could be paid for by the Chicago Park District and TIF funding. The building is orange-rated and would qualify for Chicago Landmark Designation, Adopt-a-Landmark funds and other landmark incentives. It is adjacent to the Clark/Ridge TIF District which could potentially be another funding source. Additionally, the Chicago Park District could rent out the beautiful historic building’s ballrooms for wedding receptions; much like Cafe Brauer in Lincoln Park which is a huge revenue generator. Relocating the picturesque Tudor Revival style Chicago Town & Tennis Club building is a perfect solution for Emmerson Park and the West Ridge community. Located at 1925 W. Thome in Chicago, it was designed in 1924 by legendary architects George Maher and his son Philip Maher (contemporaries of Frank Lloyd Wright). George Maher was a seminal figure in both the Prairie style and the Arts & Crafts style movements across America. This is an incredible opportunity to relocate a historic building and provide a safe haven for kids, expand after-school and camp programs to serve all of the children in the community. "We hope that all stakeholders will engage in a robust and fruitful conversation and that together we can find a win-win solution that meets that needs of all stakeholders."(Preservation Chicago 2020 "Chicago 7 Most Endangered" Write Up) PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION to Save the Chicago Town & Tennis Club/Unity Church from Demolition! See more photos, read the history, and review many recent newspaper articles ar Preservation Chicago's website. THREATENED: Chicago Town and Tennis Club / Unity Church Threatened by Expansion of Misericordia Home, under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Sisters of Mercy THREATENED: Demolition Threat for Chicago Town and Tennis Club/Unity Church
FINAL Push to Save These Victorian Rowhouses from Demolition!
Preservation Chicago STRONGLY OPPOSED THE DEMOLITION of these three, authentic, beautiful, charming historic Chicago rowhouses. The developer's likely strategy was that the urban blight from a vacant lot will help to push through an unpopular plan for a massive parking garage and generic glass-box tower on the site. On March 7, 2019, one day prior to the release of the demolition permit, "with bulldozer's idling in the parking lot," the three 1880’s-era rowhouses located at 42, 44 and 46 East Superior Street in Chicago were spared from immediate demolition by being included in a Preliminary Landmark District. This temporary protection is about to run out. Their ultimate fate will be determined at the public hearing to either approve or reject the Preliminary Landmark District. The hearing will be held by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks on Thursday, January 16, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 201-A, City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois and the hearing could stretch into Friday January 17. If approved, in addition to saving the three Superior Street Rowhouses, the Near North Side Multiple Property District would grant protection against demolition to a cluster of 15 McCormickville Near North Side residential buildings built in the years following the Great Chicago Fire of 187. At that time, McCormickville was one of Chicago's most desirable neighborhoods. Today only a handful of the beautiful buildings from that period survive. If you are able, PLEASE COME to the public meeting to voice your support, wither through a brief statement of support for the proposed Landmark Designation. If you can't make it in person, PLEASE SIGN the petition and perhaps consider writing a comment. When the Commission asks if there is public support to save these rowhouses, we will present all 5,000 plus signatures and comments into the record. At the Preliminary Commission on Chicago Landmarks hearing last March, Preservation Chicago was called to testify and we proudly presented into the record a petition with over 5,000 signatures. The printed signature packet was 232 pages long and was as thick as a telephone book. The wonderful comments in support spanned 21 pages! Some comments were read aloud and all were submitted into the record. The "voice of the community" spoke powerfully and was instrumental in helping to bring about the positive outcome over the objections of deep-pocketed, powerful development forces. THANK YOU for your supporting this effort by signing to petition! If approved, the Final Landmark Designation would protect the following survivors for the generations to come. 642 N. Dearborn Street14 W. Erie Street17 E. Erie Street110 W. Grand Avenue1 E. Huron Street9 E. Huron Street10 E. Huron Street16 W. Ontario Street18 W. Ontario Street212 E. Ontario Street222 E. Ontario Street716 N. Rush Street671 N. State Street42 E. Superior Street44-46 E. Superior Street With your continued support, this Landmark District could represent a highly significant win for Chicago's architectural heritage and for maintaining whats left of the character of the McCormickville Near North Side. If approved, the accomplishment will be worth the years of advocacy, the months of intensive community organizing and architectural research, and final intense effort to support the protection of these buildings in order to achieve this potentially wonderful outcome. For years, Preservation Chicago has advocated for the Designation of the “McCormickville” Landmark District. The need is now urgent in response to the increasing frequency and many recent losses of low-rise historic Near North Side buildings, in and around an area established by Cyrus McCormick’s family and once known as “McCormickville”. The clock is ticking as development pressure intensifies and developers have begun to actively targeting the last remaining clusters of intact, low-rise, historic buildings as development sites. "And with the continued demolition of other shorter, older buildings in the area, that there are only a handful of the original McCormickville buildings left. We need to value every inch of space where there are historic buildings that tell the story of the neighborhood.” Ward Miller, (Curbed Chicago, Koziarz, 12/8/16) The new “McCormickville” Landmark District would be comprised of the handful of remaining historic buildings would be a powerful tool to protect this neighborhood’s historic building fabric and strengthen the vibrancy of this community. If you wish to learn more of the specific details, please add your email to our Month-In-Review Newsletter distribution list. This FREE monthly email newsletter is designed to bring you quickly up to speed on all the preservation efforts across the City of Chicago. We celebrate the victories and mourn the losses. It is an indispensable resource for those who "Love Chicago Fiercely". Preservation Chicago "punches far above our weight" despite being a small nonprofit organization. Donations from individuals are essential to allow the organization to continue to work to achieve our mission. We do more than just work hard...we deliver. Here is the link if you wish to support the organization.
SAVE OUR STARSHIP!
LOOKING FOR THE THOMPSON CENTER PETITION? Here is the link to the current trending petition. Save the Thompson Center and Release its Creative Energy! https://www.change.org/SaveTheThompsonCenter And thanks! SAVE OUR STARSHIP rally video to “Save the Thompson Center” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U_YarvCYOU&feature=youtu.be Shea Couleé's performance at a rally to “Save the Thompson Center” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg3oC3eUbII Architect Helmut Jahn’s kaleidoscopic, controversial State of Illinois Center/James R. Thompson Center in Chicago shocked the world when it opened in 1985. It may not be long for this world. Today this iconic building is a faded shadow of its former self. Occupying an entire block in the heart of the Loop, the Thompson Center is currently threatened with sale and demolition by the cash-strapped state legislature and governor. It is one of Chicago’s most iconic late 20th century buildings and it represented a radical departure from the design of conventional government office buildings of its time. Despite initial construction challenges, this singular architectural vision of an open, accessible, and inspiring civic building, defined by its iconic, soaring atrium remains intact. We strongly encourage the City of Chicago and State of Illinois to move quickly to designate the Thompson Center/State of Illinois Building as a Chicago Landmark. This would protect the building, plaza, and the public sculpture, “Monument with Standing Beast” by Jean Dubuffet. Helmut Jahn is one of Chicago’s most famous contemporary architects, whose career began here and whose work is now celebrated around the world from Chicago to Berlin to Shanghai. This is a building for the people of Chicago, for the State of Illinois, for everyone on the planet to come and be inspired by. Most importantly it is open to all. Efforts to both protect its architectural vision and to activate the building should be implemented. A comprehensive redevelopment plan could correct the deferred maintenance. A tower-addition study by Helmut Jahn’s design firm has suggested that the existing building could accommodate new construction that would add square footage while remaining sensitive to the historic building, atrium, and public space. The vast soaring atrium lends itself to highly collaborative potential uses. We encourage the State of Illinois to designate a portion of the building to an incubator that would provide discounted rent to small arts organizations, nonprofits, tech start-ups, and other creative uses to help drive innovation in Chicago. By seeding these organizations at the Thompson 'Innovation' Center, they would help to activate the building and help to provide the vibrancy to the building that was always contemplated but never realized. Further, the building's public atrium should be embraced through live art and performances to be held throughout the year, but especially during the winter months. We strongly encourage the City of Chicago move to officially recognize and protect the thrilling civic spaces and their visionary design, which continue Chicago’s legacy of bold, risk-taking architecture. Address: 100 W. Randolph Street Architect: Murphy/Jahn, Helmut Jahn Date: 1985 Neighborhood: Chicago’s Loop Style: Post-Modern