Preservation Chicagowhich works with city officials, neighborhood residents, owners and stakeholders to prevent what is often viewed as the wholesale loss of Chicago's important buildingshas revealed its 2021 list of the most endangered buildings/spots.
Nominations for this list are solicited from the public and preservation partners throughout Chicago.
This year's list includes:
The Chicago lakefront: According to Preservation Chicago, "despite a 'forever open, clear and free' vision for Chicago's Lakefront dating from 1836, there continues to be multiple threats to the sanctity of these cherished public lands.
"From current plans to significantly alter Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago shoreline to the proposed 20-acre Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park, these proposals have the potential to adversely impact our Lakefront parklands. Ill-conceived projects of the pastincluding the Lucas Museum, the Children's Museum and the city's 2016 Olympic bidwould have significantly and negatively impacted most of the lakefront parks."
Phyllis Wheatley Home (5128 S. Michigan Ave.): "A stalwart and resolute group of Black women in early 1900s Chicago joined together to create the Phyllis Wheatley Home, a program to house and safeguard Black women and girls who traveled to Chicago during the Great Migration seeking employment and a better life," Preservation Chicago stated. "The home [a limestone structure] has extensive code violations, has suffered much deferred maintenance and it is imminently threatened with a potential court-ordered demolition. This would be a tragic loss to both Black and Women's History, not only locally in Chicago, but nationally. This home is a rare gem, a surviving site tied to Black women's settlement houses and the Black suffragettes of the early years of the 20th century."
Cornell Store and Flats (1230-32 E. 75th St.): The organization stated, "It is considered by some architectural historians to be one of the most significant buildings in Chicago. This Prairie School structure was designed by world-renowned architect Walter Burley Griffin. Griffin is also known for his design of Australia's capital city of Canberra."
Roman Catholic churches (throughout Chicago): "For a second time since 2019, Preservation Chicago has chosen to spotlight our City's finest religious structures as the pace of decisions by the Archdiocese of Chicago to consolidate or close parishes and churches continues to accelerate," the organization stated. "We at Preservation Chicago are also requesting that the 1987 religious buildings consent ordinance be overturned, as for 34 years, all other buildings and structures in the City of Chicago can be considered for Chicago landmark designation without the consent of the owner. This ordinance hamstrings many potential Chicago landmark designations of some of the City's finest buildings, some constructed by the same world-famous architects of our downtown landmarks."
South Chicago Masonic Temple (2939 E. 91st St.): Preservation Chicago said, "The South Chicago Masonic Temple is a grand Masonic-order building, designed in 1916, by the same architect as the recently demolished South Side Masonic Temple in the Englewood community." The organization suggested that the city "should advance an Invest South/West project that combines the South Chicago Masonic Temple, the Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church across 91st Street, and other vacant and underutilized properties in the immediate area."
Central Manufacturing District Original East District (roughly bounded by Morgan to Ashland and 35th Street to Pershing Road/39th Street): According to Preservation Chicago, "The buildings and the original vision of a shared industrial complex is an irreplaceable artifact of industrial/manufacturing history and design both in Chicago and the United States."
West Loop industrial buildings: Preservation Chicago noted, "The ADM Wheat Mill (1300 W. Carroll Ave.), constructed as the Eckhart & Swan Company Mill, Chicago's oldest remaining flour mill, designed by the noted architectural firm of Flanders & Zimmerman in 1897, and others with additions, extending to 1947. Also highlighted on this list of building is the former Tyler & Hippach Glass Company Building, also known as the Cassidy Tire Company Building (344 N. Canal St., on historic Wolf Point), and designed by noted ecclesiastical architect Henry Schlacks. The Braun & Fitts Butterine Factory/Wrigley Lodge/Salvation Army building (509 N. Union Ave.) is currently listed for sale."