WBEZ | Commission on Chicago Landmarks http://www.wbez.org/tags/commission-chicago-landmarks Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en In an historic meeting, city landmarks commission gives Prentice the thumbs-up — then down http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-11/historic-meeting-city-landmarks-commission-gives-prentice-thumbs-%E2%80%94-then-down <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F65842121&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ffe12b" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-030_1_0.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 318px; float: left;" title="" />The former Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital, a structure that has been the subject of an intense and national preservation battle, was finally given--albeit briefly--city landmark status Thursday.</div><p>But the designation lasted just two hours and 21 minutes.</p><p>In one of the most unusual proceedings in Commission on Chicago Landmarks history, the nine-member panel voted to grant preliminary landmark status to the Bertrand Goldberg-designed building, then hours later voted 8-1 to rescind its own decision. The second vote in support of the city Department of Housing and Economic Development&#39;s argument that preserving Prentice would harm Northwestern University&#39;s ability to build a major biomedical research facility on the site.</p><p>Commissioner Christopher Reed was the lone dissenting vote.</p><p>Normally, a vote in favor of a preliminary landmark status protects buildings for a year while staff from the Department of Housing and Economic Development&#39;s landmarks division does additional research and works with owners to decide if a permanent designation is warranted. For Prentice the process was compressed into a single afternoon, when DHED&#39;s managing deputy commissioner Mike Jasso requested--on behalf of his commissioner, Andrew J. Mooney--the landmark panel rescind its decision.</p><p>&quot;Let the process run its course,&quot; Jonathan Fine of the Save Prentice Coalition later countered during public testimony. &quot;How can this be a fair process?&quot;</p><p>Phil Enquist, urban planning partner at architecture firm Skidmore Owings &amp; Merrill said a better master plan for Northwestern&#39;s sprawling Streeterville campus could make provisions to save Prentice and allow for the construction of the research facility on one of vacant parcels within the district.</p><p>&quot;If we put the pieces together, everybody wins,&quot; he said. &quot;If you permit the demolition of Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital, everybody loses.&quot;</p><p>There were voices in favor of demolition, including the site&#39;s former long-time alderman, Burton Natarus, who credited Northwestern hospital with saving his life in January. &quot;That&#39;s not a good piece of architecture,&quot; Natarus said. &quot;It&#39;s not. It&#39;s unusual with the round windows....we have a [Yiddish] word for it:&nbsp;<em> Fershimmeled</em>.&quot;</p><p>The vote likely spells the end for the iconic 37-year-old building, 333 E. Superior. Northwestern University Senior Vice President Eugene Sunshine told the commission the school would begin the process of seeking a demolition permit within weeks and would &quot;move with as much alacrity as possible.&quot; Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) have recently spoken in favor of Northwestern&#39;s efforts.</p></p> Fri, 02 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-11/historic-meeting-city-landmarks-commission-gives-prentice-thumbs-%E2%80%94-then-down Landmarks officials set to save Gold Coast building faced with demolition http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-09/landmarks-officials-set-save-gold-coast-building-faced-demolition-102194 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P9057581-2.jpg" title="" /></div></div></div><p>City officials Thursday will seek landmark protection for a vacant 130-year-old Gold Coast residence under threat of demolition.</p><p>Staffers from the city&#39;s landmarks division will ask the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to grant preliminary landmark status to the three-story, Tudor-styled Augustus Warner House, 1337 N. Dearborn Parkway, according to a draft agenda of the commission&#39;s meeting today.</p><p>The narrow, three-story Warner House caught the attention of city officials in June when the building&#39;s owner, developer Bart Przyjemski, applied for a permit to demolish the structure. Built in 1884 and designed by architect Lawrence Gustav Hallberg, the home is rated &quot;orange&quot; in the city&#39;s Historic Resources Survey &mdash; the document&#39;s second highest rating &mdash; which triggered an automatic review of the demolition permit by landmarks officials.</p><p>Sandwiched between a four-story 1880s limestone residential building and a slit-windowed 15-story condo tower built in 1972, the Warner House has been marketed as a redevelopment site in recent years. But the handsome home boasts noteworthy exterior details, such as this gingerbread house-like second story bay window:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P9057631.jpg" title="" /></div><p>..and the brickwork...</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P9057643.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" title="" /></div><p>My research Wednesday night was incomplete. I couldn&#39;t determine if the house was built for mapmaker Augustus Warner, or attorney Augustus Warner. If I find more details, I&#39;ll share them. Meanwhile, speaking of details:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P9057682.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">If granted, the preliminary landmark designation would protect the building from the bulldozers while officials in the city&#39;s Department of Housing and Economic Development investigate permanent landmark status.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The move marks the second significant instance in a year in which the city&#39;s landmarks mechanism has intervened on behalf of building it felt was imperiled. In April, Landmarks officials swooped in to grant preliminary landmark status to the Portage Theater, 4042 N. Milwaukee, effectively scotching a ministry&#39;s plans to alter the historic theater and convert it to a church.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But the landmarks commission has not yet shown a willingness to step-in in favor of Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital, the clover-like Brutalist icon designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg and the subject of the biggest preservation battle right now in the city. Northwestern University wants to demolish the 36-year-old building and city staffers were set to seek preliminary landmark status for the structure in a May 2011 commission meeting. But the commission scratched the shuttered hospital from its agenda. The panel also refused preservationists&#39; request to discuss Prentice at last month&#39;s meeting. A coalition of preservation groups is expected to attend today&#39;s meeting and raise the issue again.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Meanwhile, officials from City Hall and Northwestern are reportedly discussing the matter behind the scenes.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-09/landmarks-officials-set-save-gold-coast-building-faced-demolition-102194