The Chicago Historic Resources Survey is a valuable tool in the preservation of the city's buildings.
Published in hardback by the Daley administration in 1995 and available online, the survey lists thousands of pre-1940 buildings and uses a four-color system to rank them according to architectural significance. The survey also lists dates of construction, architects and even architectural styles.
Since 2003, the survey has been not just a tool, but a frontline weapon in the city's effort to preserve old buildings. An ordinance slaps a 90-day hold on a demo permit sought for any building rated red or orange (the two highest ratings on the survey), allowing the city time to possibly work to preserve or landmark a doomed building. That means a listing in the CHRS can determine if a building falls to the bulldozers or not.
But here's the issue: The survey is hardly complete.