WBEZ | preservation http://www.wbez.org/tags/preservation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Residents decry BP's planned demolition of historic Marktown homes http://www.wbez.org/news/residents-decry-bps-planned-demolition-historic-marktown-homes-110157 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Marktown-1.jpg" style="height: 203px; width: 280px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;" title="Juan Laureano stands outside his Marktown home in East Chicago, Indiana. Laureano opposes a plan by BP to demolish 10 vacant historic homes within the Marktown neighborhood. (WBEZ/Michael Puente)" />When Juan Laureano invites friends to his home, it usually comes with a warning.</p><p>&ldquo;In the invitations I have to explain to them not to panic,&rdquo; Laureano says.&nbsp;</p><p>That&rsquo;s because to get to Laurano&rsquo;s home, you have to pass through one of the most heavily industrialized corridors in the country.</p><p>&ldquo;BP on side, Safety Kleen on the other, USG, Arcelor, so it&rsquo;s imposing. But once you arrive here, it&rsquo;s very peaceful, very quiet. It&rsquo;s home,&rdquo; Laureano adds.</p><p>&lsquo;Home&rsquo; is kind of an island.</p><p>Marktown&rsquo;s roughly 200 buildings are within the City of East Chicago, Indiana &ndash; but cut off from everything around it. With no grocery stores or schools nearby, it&rsquo;s never been high on &ldquo;must see&rdquo; lists for realtors. But five years ago Laureano moved to Marktown from Chicago&rsquo;s West Side.</p><p>&ldquo;You know it&rsquo;s like someone planted a tudor-style English village in the middle of all this industry. It&rsquo;s very unusual,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>So unusual that people park their cars on the sidewalks because the streets are too narrow. Marktown was originally built by industrialist Clayton Mark in 1917 so workers could live near his factory.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Marktown-2.jpg" title="The historic English-style Tudor neighborhood of Marktown. Designed in 1917, it’s narrow streets force cars to park on the sidewalk." /></div><p>The factory didn&rsquo;t last very long but Marks&rsquo; homes did.</p><p>By the 1970s, Marktown was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The planned worker community is often compared to Chicago&rsquo;s Pullman, yet it rarely gets the same attention from preservationists. But with the planned demolition by nearby oil giant BP, that may be changing.</p><p>The 10 structures slated for demolition on Monday are private property and not protected. They&rsquo;ve been vacant for years.</p><p>BP spokesman Scott Dean says they were voluntarily sold by the owners of a local tavern called the George Michel&rsquo;s Bar &ndash; the only business in Marktown.</p><p>&ldquo;Over the past many, many years, we have acquired property all around the perimeter of the refinery to increase green space. Property owners have a right to sell their properties,&rdquo; Dean told WBEZ this week. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a completely voluntary process and being open about the process and we have been very open about it for years.&rdquo;</p><p>Still, Laureano says he can&rsquo;t believe BP would do this.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s kind of sad that BP, being a British company, would want to demolish an English-tudor style village and knowing the bad PR that BP has received, they should use Marktown as an example and revitalize it,&rdquo; Laureano said.</p><p>In fact, the City of East Chicago hired an architecture firm a few years ago to figure out how to do just that.</p><p><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/insert-images/marktown.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/insert-images/marktown.jpg" style="width: 280px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;" title="The Marktown area is surrounded by heavy industry. (Satellite image via Google Maps)" /></a></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Marktown-4.jpg" style="height: 201px; width: 280px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;" title="Despite being on the National Register of Historic Places, residents complain that the city of East Chicago, Indiana has done little to preserve and revitalize Marktown." /></p><p>Architect Ed Torrez, who used to head the Chicago Landmarks Commission and now sits on the Board of Advisors of the National Trust of Historic Preservation, <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bauerlatozastudio.com%2Fportfolio%2Furban-design-planning%2Fmarktown%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGP0XHgssLZ5q6XsVMsU1FGSHbgFw">led the project</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I think (the houses) are a living museum, if you will, on how these were designed by a very talented architect, Van Doren Shaw,&rdquo; Torrez, president and principal of BauerLatoza Studio of Chicago, says.</p><p>Howard Van Doren Shaw was one of Chicago&rsquo;s most famous architects in the late 19th and early 20th century. Torrez once brought a bus load of urban planners from around the country to see Shaw&rsquo;s unique Marktown design in 2010.</p><p>&ldquo;We walked around and they saw the buildings. When we were driving back to Chicago, they were so amazed about this little town,&rdquo; Torrez said. &ldquo;I couldn&rsquo;t believe that it was still there and it was so intact. Pictures do not do it justice. You have to go visit it.&rdquo;</p><p>Torrez said it&rsquo;s a wonder that Marktown has been around this long.</p><p>&ldquo;One of things I&rsquo;m always amazed at it has survived for so long with all the industry that has expanded around, it has stood there as a testimony to how strong and how significant this area is,&rdquo; Torrez said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been threatened before, a lot of times, lots of money and lots of investment. but It has stood there.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Still, Marktown faces many challenges.</p><p>Torrez says the area lacks publically-owned land and a business base to generate taxes. His plan called for the city to capitalize on the area&rsquo;s history to attract more visitors.</p><p>&ldquo;I think a number of the homes could be salvaged. I&rsquo;m saddened to hear about the current [demolition plans] for Marktown,&rdquo; Torrez said. &ldquo;You&rsquo;ll never get it back.&rdquo;</p><p>But while the City of East Chicago is moving forward on revitalizing other areas, Marktown is being left out.</p><p>Some say, despite its history, the neighborhood still has air quality issues.</p><p>&ldquo;I imagine (pollution) could be a factor but I&rsquo;ve been here for 55 years,&rdquo; says longtime resident Kim Rodriguez. Rodriguez also serves as a Democratic precinct committeeman in East Chicago. &ldquo;My brother used to come from Indianapolis and he would always tell me that he could smell the difference in the air.&rdquo;</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/Marktown-3.jpg" title="Children play in the streets and sidewalks of Marktown. " /></div><p>With nearly 200 structures still in place, BP&rsquo;s bulldozers won&rsquo;t mark the end of Marktown, but Rodriguez worries about its future.</p><p>&ldquo;How long is it going to be before they&rsquo;re coming after you, and your home and your land because that is going to happen,&rdquo; says Rodriguez. &ldquo;BP could do so much for us, instead of destroy us.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland has offered residents incentives to move to other parts of the city where new development is taking place.</p><p>Rodriguez says she&rsquo;s not going anywhere.</p><p>&ldquo;My heart is here,&rdquo; Rodriguez said. &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t imagine walking out of this door and never coming back. I don&rsquo;t know anywhere else.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Michael Puente is WBEZ&rsquo;s Northwest Indiana Bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter @MikePuenteNews or visit the WBEZ NWI Bureau Facebook page.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 09 May 2014 10:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/residents-decry-bps-planned-demolition-historic-marktown-homes-110157 Will an iconic hospital emerge from life support? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/will-iconic-hospital-emerge-life-support-109086 <p><p>Like many residents of Tri-Taylor, Dorota Gosztyła hopes her Chicago neighborhood will finally figure out what to do with two city blocks of brick and terra cotta rising up from Harrison Street.</p><p>&ldquo;I find the building to be beautiful, and I think it&rsquo;s a shame that it&rsquo;s just standing here vacant,&rdquo; says Gosztyła, 35. She often glimpses the old Cook County Hospital building while driving on the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290). The hospital&rsquo;s fluted columns soar three stories, lining a facade festooned with classical symbols: cupids, lions, warriors&rsquo; shields.</p><p>&ldquo;When you get a closer look it&rsquo;s a little different. It&rsquo;s definitely run-down. &lsquo;Neglected&rsquo; I would say is the perfect word to describe it,&rdquo; Gosztyła says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s pretty sad.&rdquo;</p><p>It bothered her enough that she sent Curious City a succinct question about the building that could play a future in her neighborhood:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>What will become of the old (and now vacant) Cook County Hospital?</em></p><p>The building, 1835 W. Harrison St., is hard to miss. When it opened in 1914, it had space for 650 patients. Subsequent expansions made it the world&rsquo;s largest medical facility from the 1920s until the 1950s. Among the superlatives it racked up during that time: It was home to the world&rsquo;s first blood bank; Chicago&rsquo;s first HIV/AIDS clinic in 1983;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/why-trauma-centers-abandoned-south-side" target="_blank"> the site of the country&#39;s first dedicated trauma center</a>; and in 1973 Dr. Boone Chunprapah became the first doctor to successfully reconnect four severed fingers to a patient&rsquo;s hand.</p><p>While its architectural significance has never been in doubt, the aging structure isn&rsquo;t a sure bet for rehabilitation. New construction now surrounds the site, and it wouldn&rsquo;t be the first time Chicago has demolished a historic building in the name of progress. Gosztyła&rsquo;s question got us talking with people who know the building&rsquo;s history and its potential for redevelopment. The bottom line is that preservationists and county officials seem to agree on this: The building can and should be saved. What remains unclear, however, is just how to do that.</p><p><strong>A landmark on life support</strong></p><p>Before it made medical history, Cook County Hospital was an architectural achievement.</p><p>&ldquo;It is a terra cotta marvel. The building is enormous, at the same time as being very elegant,&rdquo; says Bonnie McDonald, president of <a href="http://www.landmarks.org/" target="_blank">Landmarks Illinois.</a> &ldquo;The mix of brick and terra cotta create a really lovely façade.&rdquo;</p><p>Architect Paul Gerhardt, who designed the building in association with Richard E. Schmidt and Hugh Garden, was known nationally for his hospital designs. Gerhardt also designed Christ&rsquo;s Hospital in Topeka, Kan., as well as Chicago&rsquo;s<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/michael-reese-hospital" target="_blank"> Michael Reese Hospital</a>. Cook County Hospital is one of the city&rsquo;s best and largest-scale examples of Beaux Arts architecture.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7395_AP03063004261-scr_0.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: right; height: 184px; width: 275px;" title="The old Cook County hospital's facade earned the beaux-arts structure landmark status. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)" />Landmarks Illinois&rsquo;<a href="http://landmarks.org/images/COOK_COUNTY%20HOSPITAL.pdf" target="_blank"> reuse plan</a> for the building makes note of its mansard roof, made with green glazed terra cotta, and other ornamental details. But it also calls attention to the steel frame; the widely spaced columns preserve an open floorplan conducive to reuse. The preservation group&rsquo;s analysis called for turning the building into 320 residential units for medical staff, a 95,000 square foot health and wellness center, ground-floor commercial space, and 150 parking spaces.</p><p>&ldquo;Think about a historic building as a space to accommodate whatever need there is in the neighborhood, because they are highly mutable,&rdquo; McDonald said. &ldquo;You&rsquo;re able to oftentimes take a modern use and put it into a historic building.&rdquo;</p><p>Their recommendation changed slightly when the county demolished the building&rsquo;s three southern wings in 2008 (they were not original to the building,<a href="http://achicagosojourn.blogspot.com/2008/01/cook-county-hospital.html" target="_blank"> but still considered a loss</a> by preservationists). Like<a href="http://www.cookcountygov.com/taxonomy/Capital_Planning/CookCountyHospital_ReuseStudy_1109.pdf" target="_blank"> another study commissioned by the county</a>, they recommended repurposing the building primarily as office space. While the studies concluded modern medical equipment would be too heavy for the building&rsquo;s aging floors, they didn&rsquo;t rule out reuse as a hotel, dormitory, rental housing, senior housing, or educational space.</p><p>&ldquo;Our first and primary goal is to preserve the building,&rdquo; says John Cooke, the County&rsquo;s director of capital planning and policy. But that wasn&rsquo;t always the case. Under Cook County Board President John Stroger&rsquo;s administration, the building&rsquo;s future seemed in doubt. The building closed in 2002, and Stroger called for its demolition while a new hospital bearing his name went up next door. Preservationists and several board members fought the demolition idea, and in 2006 the building landed on the National Register of Historic Places. Four years later the board voted to preserve the old Cook County Hospital building.</p><p><strong>Diagnosis inconclusive</strong></p><p>Until the building is actually occupied again, its future remains uncertain. Cook County officials are waiting for U.S. Equities Realty to recommend future uses and repairs for a slew of county-owned buildings, including the old hospital. Cooke says once the company&rsquo;s report is in, the county will issue a request for proposals to solicit interest from architects and developers &mdash; likely in the spring of 2014.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/8681326865_54c377cf65_n.jpg" style="height: 206px; width: 275px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="The remaining portions of the old Cook County hospital lie in the Illinois Medical District, on Chicago's West Side. (Flickr/Josh Koonce)" />The two-block long building could be subdivided into three 185-foot sections for phased development, making it less risky from a financial standpoint. And while the county isn&rsquo;t going to sell the site, Cooke says, it&rsquo;s investigating lease arrangements to encourage private development. That could mean a ground lease, whereby the county sets out what uses and spaces it wants; and a developer pays for improvements to the building, provides said space, and pays an annual fee to the county.</p><p>A<a href="http://www.cookcountygov.com/taxonomy/Capital_Planning/CookCountyHospital_ReuseStudy_1109.pdf" target="_blank"> Jones Lang LaSalle reuse study</a> puts the cost of reusing the building between $103.9 million and $120 million depending on its use. That could be reduced by as much as $50 million through the use of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/untangling-tifs-108611" target="_blank">Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds</a> from the Central West district, the study says. Historical preservation tax credits could also offset 20 percent of the total project cost. By contrast, demolition could cost as much as $13.6 million, in addition to the cost of new construction.</p><p>Is that enough to entice developers? Cooke said the County will find out in 2014. But preservationists are eager to see the mothballed building get another chance at reuse.</p><p>&ldquo;The public cares about what is happening to this important resource,&rdquo; McDonald says. &ldquo;So the sooner that we do something, the more we&rsquo;re going to help the community.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>How daunting can it be?</strong></p><p>Now the question is how (not whether) to resuscitate the building.</p><p>Though its presence can be imposing to passersby (including our question-asker, Dorota Gosztyła), the old hospital building isn&rsquo;t too intimidating to architects who specialize in adaptive reuse.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/10144070306_d557b76099_b_0.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: right; height: 199px; width: 275px;" title="Dorota Gosztyła asked Curious City to look into the future of the old Cook County hospital building. The now-vacant beaux-arts landmark will see its 100th anniversary in 2014. (WBEZ/Chris Bentley)" />Joe Antunovich, president of Antunovich Associates, has tackled many such projects. His firm&rsquo;s own office, 224 W. Huron St., occupies the top two floors of a brick building more than 90 years old. In Pittsburgh, the company transformed the dilapidated Armstrong Cork Factory along the Allegheny River into 385 apartments.</p><p>&ldquo;There used to be trees growing out of the windows there. Now, after an adaptive reuse, bringing that beautiful building back, we have 385 apartments there, and now they&rsquo;re the most sought-after apartments in downtown Pittsburgh&rdquo; Antunovich says. &ldquo;So don&rsquo;t tell me that these buildings can&rsquo;t be brought back.&rdquo;</p><p>As for Cook County&rsquo;s old hospital building, he says office space is a strong possibility.</p><p>&ldquo;The old nurses&rsquo; quarters, this old decrepit building, houses the current administration for the state-of-the-art Cook County Hospital system. So if you just swapped that out and cleaned up the old building,&rdquo; Antunovich says, &ldquo;you could have a marvelous front door of the entire Cook County administration.&rdquo;</p><p>Antunovich and others hope any development will celebrate the hospital&rsquo;s history. Gosztyła, our Curious City questioner, suggests a museum dedicated to that purpose. McDonald, of Landmarks Illinois, suggested that a mobile app could spout historical facts to interested visitors.</p><p>One candidate for inclusion is a reference to the old Cook County hospital&rsquo;s role as &ldquo;Chicago&rsquo;s Ellis Island.&rdquo; A quote from Louis Pasteur is inscribed on a hospital wall, evidence of its reputation for welcoming immigrants: &ldquo;One doesn&rsquo;t ask of one who suffers: What is your country and what is your religion? One merely says, You suffer. That is enough for me. You belong to me and I shall help you.&rdquo;</p><p>By spring of next year, Gosztyła and others who wonder about the future of the building could have their answer. It might bring new meaning to those words, &ldquo;I shall help you.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://cabentley.com/">Chris Bentley</a> is a reporter for WBEZ&rsquo;s Curious City. Follow him at<a href="http://twitter.com/cementley"> @cementley</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 05 Nov 2013 13:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/will-iconic-hospital-emerge-life-support-109086 Federal Center at 40: Modernist icon hits middle age http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-10/federal-center-40-modernist-icon-hits-middle-age-108918 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PA141035_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 874px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Making the rounds this week: <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-10-12/news/ct-met-kamin-prentice-1013-20131012_1_prentice-women-bertrand-goldberg-prentice-tower">Heartbreaking photos</a> of Northwestern University knocking down the old Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital.</div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Seeing a modernist building designed by the late architectural luminary Bertrand Goldberg get cut down before it could turn 40&mdash;Prentice was built in 1975&mdash;is sobering; a dark chapter in the preservation of modernist architecture. And compounding the matter: The SOM-designed former Talman Federal Savings and Loan at 55th and Kedzie is being demolished <em>right now</em>. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-03/mod-corner-gage-park-106356">I wrote six months ago</a> about the need to preserve the Southwest Side postwar building.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But there is one bright spot on the modernist front. Chicago&#39;s Federal Center&mdash;the powerful ensemble of steel-and-glass government buildings at Jackson and Dearborn&mdash;looks spectacular these days.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The General Services Administration has spent tens of millions of dollars in recent years painting and reglazing exteriors, repairing the granite plaza, restoring Alexander Calder&#39;s <em>Flamingo</em> sculpture and more. The 30-story Dirksen Courthouse, the 45-story Kluczynski federal office building and the glass jewel box of a post office building look as good as they did when the center was completed in 1974.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">(...which, incidentally, is more than can be said about 202 and 220 S. State, two skyscrapers from 1915 and 1913. The GSA bought and vacated the buildings post-9/11 to form a security buffer for the Federal Center. But the agency has shamefully let these handsome towers rot.)</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But back to Federal Center. Let&#39;s look around.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The restored exteriors showcase how geometrically precise the building are to one another. The lines of one building seem to line-up with those of its neighbor. And at the right time of day, the glassy walls of the U.S. Post Office building reflect the classical architecture of the surrounding city:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PA141043.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 413px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Here&#39;s another view showing the post office building&#39;s transparency:</div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PA141058.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 450px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The complex was built between 1964 and 1974. Mies van der Rohe was the chief designer of an all-star architectural and engineering team that included firms Schmidt, Garden &amp; Erikson, C.F. Murphy Associates, and A. Epstein &amp; Sons. The Dirksen was completed in 1964, but the post office and the Kluczynski building&mdash;which share a block on the west side of Dearborn between Adams and Jackson&mdash;weren&#39;t finished until 1973 and 1974.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">It&#39;s too bad the old federal building&mdash;architect Henry Ives Cobb&#39;s romantic pile of stone&mdash;was wrecked to make way for the new federal buildings. If only this town had been big enough for both of them...</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Chicago_Federal_Building_circa_1910.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 303px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">A $15 million Federal Center project is being planned for 2014 and few people will see it once it&#39;s complete. The federal General Services Administration wants to build an underground boiler plant and hot water distribution system to serve the complex and adjacent federally-owned buildings.</div><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PA141046.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 436px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-10/federal-center-40-modernist-icon-hits-middle-age-108918 Put 'em Up! Fruit: A hands-on workshop on preserving seasonal food http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/put-em-fruit-hands-workshop-preserving-seasonal-food-107985 <p><p><strong>Sherri Brooks Vinton</strong> is the author of &ldquo;Put &lsquo;em Up!,&rdquo; &ldquo;Put &lsquo;em Up! Fruit,&rdquo; and &ldquo;The Real Food Revival.&rdquo; Her writing, talks, and hands-on workshops teach how to find, cook and preserve local, seasonal, farm friendly food. Her website can be found at www.sherribrooksvinton.com. She lives in Connecticut.</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/CHC-webstory_47.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Recorded live Saturday, June 29, 2013 at Kendall College.</p></p> Sat, 29 Jun 2013 15:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/put-em-fruit-hands-workshop-preserving-seasonal-food-107985 Casualties of history: What notable buildings has Chicago lost? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/casualties-history-what-notable-buildings-has-chicago-lost-107352 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F94543998" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>University of Chicago student Alice Ye couldn&rsquo;t help but follow up on the flap over Prentice Women&rsquo;s Hospital, a building that embroiled a major university, Chicago&rsquo;s City Hall and preservationists over the past year.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS2508_Prentice%20Women%27s%20Hospital_Flickr_TheeErin_4.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Prentice Women's Hospital (Flickr/_TheeErin_4)" />If you haven&rsquo;t paid much attention to the fate of Bertrand Goldberg&rsquo;s paean to brutalism, here&rsquo;s the skinny.&nbsp;Northwestern University has long maintained it needed to tear down the Prentice building to make way for a top-of-the-line medical research facility. Last year, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-landmarks-commission-clears-demolition-old-prentice-womens-hospital-105420">declined to give the building landmark status</a>, but only after it had granted preliminary landmark status during the same meeting. The strange about-face happened days after Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave his blessing to Northwestern.</p><p>Alice (who, incidentally, is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/south-side-dan-ryan-107313">answering a Curious City question </a>as well) thought there should be some kind of accounting, so she asked:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Like Prentice Hospital, what are other historic Chicago buildings that have been demolished and why?</em></p><p>It just so happens that WBEZ&rsquo;s architecture <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey">blogger Lee Bey</a> says he&rsquo;s got time to help out, and will give us a tour of other noteworthy Chicago demolitions during next Wednesday&rsquo;s broadcast of the Afternoon Shift. But the conversation should start here and now: If you know of a notable (in your opinion or <a href="http://architecturaltrust.org/historic-preservation/historic-preservation-in-the-united-states/failures-a-successes">others&rsquo;</a>) building that has been lost to history, please name and describe that building in the comment section.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s one entry to get us started.</p><p><strong>The Chicago Stock Exchange: the grandaddy of controversial demolitions</strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Chicago%20Stock%20Exchange%20CC.jpg" style="width: 214px; height: 300px; float: right;" title="The effort to save the Chicago Stock Exchange from the wrecking ball helped found the preservation movement. (Wikimedia Commons/Cervin Robinson)" />The original Chicago Stock Exchange has been gone for over 40 years, but chances are you have seen its remnants. Its arched entrance lives on the corner of Columbus and Monroe outside the Art Institute; the original trading room is tucked into the museum&rsquo;s interior. Designed by Louis Sullivan, along with his partner Dankmar Adler, the exchange, which showcased Sullivan&rsquo;s flare for ornamentation, was completed in 1894 and torn down less than 100 years later. Mayor Richard J. Daley&rsquo;s plans to demolish the building in the 1960s sparked a bitter struggle, at a time when little emphasis was placed on architectural preservation.&nbsp;No one did more to trumpet the preservationist cause than photographer Richard Nickel, a Sullivan enthusiast who gained local recognition for traveling the country documenting the Chicago architect&rsquo;s body of work. Nickel died in 1972 while photographing the Stock Exchange&rsquo;s destruction.</p><p><em>Becky Vlamis is a WBEZ producer. Follow her&nbsp;@bvlamis</em></p></p> Fri, 24 May 2013 10:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/casualties-history-what-notable-buildings-has-chicago-lost-107352 The plot thickens: Threatened Portage Theater suddenly up for possible landmark status http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-04/plot-thickens-threatened-portage-theater-suddenly-possible-landmark-status <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/portage theater_flickr_eric alix rogers.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nthpBwHIMgI" width="420"></iframe></p><p>In a surprise move, the city plans to ask a commission to grant preliminary landmark status to the Portage Theater--a decision that could complicate a congregation's controversial plans to purchase and significantly alter the 92-year-old North Side movie house.</p><p>Staff from the Historic Preservation Division of the city's Department of Housing and Economic Development will ask the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to confer the designation at the commission's meeting Thursday, according to an agenda<a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/zlup/Historic_Preservation/Agendas/CCL_April_2012_Agenda.pdf"> posted online</a>. If the proposed preliminary designation includes the marquee, facade and interiors of the building, approval by the commission could virtually forbid alteration or removal of those elements while a permanent designation is worked out.</p><p>The Portage's future came into question last month when word surfaced that Chicago Tabernacle, an Albany Park-based ministry, made an offer to purchase the still-functioning movie theater building at 4042 N. Milwaukee and convert it into a place of worship. In addition to the marquee removal, the church is considering changes to the auditorium and eliminating the storefronts.</p><p>The theater and its architecture is featured in the above video. The theater owned and operated by two different entities. The owners have been attempting to sell the theater since last year.</p><p>Chicago Tabernacle's plans have hit a wave of resistance from the Six Corners community and the larger body of theater fans seeking to preserve the movie house, which screens an ecletic mix that includes rare and silent films and horror movies. The interior of the 1300-seat single-screen theater as a stand-in for the Biograph Theatre in the 2009 John Dillinger flick, <em>Public Enemies.</em></p><p><em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> film critic Roger Ebert spoke up for the Portage last month, tweeting: "Chicago has countless churches but not enough theaters like the very special Portage. Help save it." A "Save the Portage Theater" <a href="https://www.facebook.com/SaveThePortageTheater">page on Facebook</a> has 2,700 followers. The website of Ald. John Arena (45th) last week reported the councilman received two emails--out of 389--in favor of a special use zoning permit that would allow the church to operate in the space. "The remainder support preserving the Portage in its present form," Arena said on the site.</p><p>But Chicago Tabernacle's pastor, the Rev. Al Toldeo told the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> last month the church plans to undertake a multi-million dollar repair job on the church--"We would be willing to really make it beautiful"--and believed his congregation would be an economic driver for the area.</p><p>The city's zoning commission will meet April 20 concerning the special use permit. More as it develops...</p></p> Sun, 01 Apr 2012 20:56:59 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-04/plot-thickens-threatened-portage-theater-suddenly-possible-landmark-status Gary congregation seeks National Register status for midcentury modern church http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2012-03-25/gary-congregation-seeks-national-register-status-midcentury-modern-church-97 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-28/Gary modernist church_lee bey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-25/P3252256.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 473px;" title="The interior of St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, Gary, Ind. "></p><p>Worshippers at an historically black <span class="yshortcuts" id="lw_1332894474_0">Episcopal church</span> in Gary have mounted an effort to get their architecturally-daring midcentury modern building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.</p><p>Built in 1959, St. Augustine's Episcopal Church at 19th and Ellsworth would be Gary's first postwar National Register listing, if approved. The church was designed for the congregation by noted Chicago architect Edward D. Dart.</p><p>"It's a beautiful church," said longtime St. Augustine's member Paula DeBois who is leading the National Register effort. "St. Augustine's seems suited to being listed on the National Register."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-25/P3252317.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 534px;" title=""></p><p>St. Augustine's is an early work by Dart, whose modernist designs are being appreciated anew, particularly after his <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/metroblossom/444429813/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><span class="yshortcuts" id="lw_1332894474_1">Emmanuel Presbyterian Church</span></a>, <span class="yshortcuts" id="lw_1332894474_2">built in 1965 at 1850 S. Racine in Chicago</span>, was callously wrecked in 2007. His 1972 addition to the Lorado Taft Midway Studio on the University of Chicago campus was razed in 2009 to make way for the Logan Art Center.</p><p>Dart's modernism differed from the midcentury steel-and-glass esthetic of, say, Mies van der Rohe or Skidmore Owings &amp; Merrill. His worked with wood, brick, concrete, and angles--not unlike his contemporaries such as Harry Weese, or his mentor Paul Schweikher.</p><p>Dart designed about 100 buildings and churches including St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle; his own church, St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Barrington; <a href="http://www.ship-of-fools.com/mystery/2000/193Mystery.html">First St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church,</a> a brick and glass beauty from 1970 at 1301 N. LaSalle, and more. He was also responsible for scores of striking modern suburban Chicago homes.</p><p>While a partner at what was then Loebl Schlossman Dart &amp; Hackl, he designed Chicago's Water Tower Place, but died in 1975 at age 53 before the building was completed.</p><p>Dart, a white North Shore architect working with the black professional congregation in Gary is a "<span id="yui_3_2_0_1_1332894466970296">very unique and compelling American story" that deserves a national spotlight, DeBois said.</span></p><div><p><span>"Here's a congregation that&nbsp;chartered as an Episcopal Colored Mission in 1927 in a segregated era," she said. "Yet, they had the means and the sophistication to secure Edward D. Dart to build their new church home. The result is this magnificent structure that we see today.</span>"</p></div><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-27/P3252247.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 436px;" title=""></p><p>For St. Augustine's--on a relatively tight budget of less than $100,000 according to DeBois' research--Dart produced a striking piece of architecture rendered in brick, red oak and redwood with a remarkable curved tent-like roof. As the above photos show, Dart brought the roof's curves inside the church allowing the exposed wood beams meet like hands in prayer.</p><p>St. Augustine's caused a bit of a sensation after it was completed. In 1960, the design won an American Institute of Architects Distinguished Building Award and an Honor Award from the Church Architectural Guild. The Chicago Tribune gushed over the building in a 1959 article with full color photos--although the newspaper never mentioned (or showed) the church's black congregation.</p><p>Not at all bad for a design that was "Plan B." Dart originally designed a more elaborate church that proved too expensive, DeBois said. Here are exterior and interior images of that first plan:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-25/P3252305.jpg" style="width: 557px; height: 640px;" title="The exterior of Dart's original design."></p><p style="text-align: center;"><br><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-25/P3252303.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 383px;" title="The interior of Dart's original design."></p><p>But rather than abandon the project due to cost, Dart and the church's leadership worked together to produce a better-looking building for less money. Credit also goes to the late black structural engineer Richard Johnson, Sr., a St. Augustine's member who figured out those glorious curved beams that hold up the roof. (Johnson was the father of Chicago architect Philip Craig Johnson, of Johnson &amp; Lee Architects.)</p><p>"The second designed was accepted," DeBois said. "Personally, I love the second design."</p><p id="yui_3_2_0_1_1332894466970154">DeBois is wrapping up her work and expects to submit the nomination to the National Park Service this spring. If approved, the well-preserved edifice would join 18 other National Register sites in the northwest Indiana city.&nbsp;</p><p>"It's refreshing to see a long-time congregation working to preserve its heritage by recognizing that the modernist building it commissioned is one of its most valuable assets," said Lisa DiChiera, director of advocacy for the preservation organization Landmarks Illinois. DeBois reached out to the organization while researching Dart and his work.</p><p>DiChiera said the nomination would placed needed additional attention on Dart's work in the wake of the demolition of Emmanuel Presbyterian and the Midway Studio addition--and the unknown future of the shuttered and for sale <a href="http://www.landmarks.org/2009_8.htm">Church of the Resurrection</a> in West Chicago.</p><p>With an aging and dwindling congregation, DeBois said the designation will help make sure the church is recognized and preserved in the years to come.</p><p><span id="yui_3_2_0_1_1332894466970296">"The congregation remains dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the church," DeBois said. </span></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-25/P3252292.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 473px;" title="St. Augustine's member Paula DeBois is leading the National Register effort."></p></p> Wed, 28 Mar 2012 13:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2012-03-25/gary-congregation-seeks-national-register-status-midcentury-modern-church-97 Leader of Landmarks Illinois to move on http://www.wbez.org/story/leader-landmarks-illinois-move-90900 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-23/Prentice Hospital_WBEZ_Lee Bey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The head of the preservation group Landmarks Illinois is leaving his post at the end of October.</p><p>President and Executive Director Jim Peters will move on to consult and teach historic preservation at the University of Illinois at Chicago and other places.</p><p>Peters joined the group about ten years ago after working for Chicago's Department of Planning and Development, where he played various roles including director of Central Area Planning and, later, deputy commissioner of the Landmarks Division.</p><p>Under his leadership, Peters said he tried to diversify Landmarks Illinois’ annual list of “most endangered” buildings to include other structures.</p><p>“It's beyond the big houses of the rich and famous,” Peters said. “I think preservation’s moved beyond that quite awhile ago. You go in communities, you figure out what’s important in a community. Sometimes, it’s not houses and big buildings. Sometimes it's a structure, bridges or studios of an artist or archaeological sites.”</p><p>Peters also has focused on drawing attention to mid-century modern structures, what he likes to call buildings of “the recent past.” Peters named architects like Bertrand Goldberg, Edward Dart, Walter Netsch and Harry Weese as among those who did pioneering work in Chicago.</p><p>“They really broke the mold of what buildings looked like from the early part of the century,” he said. “They broke the box in a way. That’s what intrigued me. Their buildings had form that conveyed the form of what was happening inside.”</p><p>Yet, Peters said these buildings from the 1950s to the 1970s are almost forgotten. He points to the recently demolished campus of Michael Reese Hospital that Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius had a hand in designing. He also cites Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital Building, which is on the current “most endangered” list.</p><p>“The public fails to understand they’re significant – they’re too new,” Peters said. “Everyone’s used to saying, ‘We’ve got to save Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, old Victorians.’ These buildings are caught in the middle. People don’t realize these buildings are significant. They don’t strike them as old.”</p><p>Under Peter’s leadership, Landmarks Illinois also partnered with Richard Driehaus to provide funding to several counties to repair deteriorating courthouses, which Peters called “the great buildings” in these communities. He said the grants allowed repairs to key features like clocks and statues that were getting “short shrift” due to funding cutbacks.</p><p>In a press release, Board Chairman Shelley Gorson called Peters’ contribution “incalculable.”</p><p>“There is simply no one better at working with all interested parties in preserving our architectural treasures,” Gorson said.</p><p>A national search is underway for his replacement.&nbsp; Board member Jean Follett will act as interim director.</p></p> Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/leader-landmarks-illinois-move-90900 Threatened historic places list includes Cook County buildings http://www.wbez.org/story/culture/art/threatened-historic-places-list-includes-cook-county-buildings-84836 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/prentice_top_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The <a href="http://www.landmarks.org/">annual list of Illinois' ten most endangered historic places </a>came out today.</p><p>Three of the most threatened places named by Landmarks Illinois are in Cook County.</p><p>President Jim Peters said the former Park Ridge home and studio of Alfonso Iannelli made the list. Peters says Iannelli, who collaborated with architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, was one of the most significant artists of his time, and one of the least known today.<br> <br> "He did a lot of sculpture work that you see on these Prairie-style buildings, and he was one of the first people to do that to where he did sculpture that became a part of a building rather than tacked on," Peters said.<br> <br> Another building that made the list, Prentice Women's Hospital, by Bertrand Goldberg, resembles a four-leaf clover in concrete. Northwestern University wants to tear the old hospital down, but is delaying getting a permit temporarily at the request of the local alderman.<br> <br> Peters said the New Regal Theater on Chicago's South Side was included, too, because it has gone into foreclosure.</p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 19:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/culture/art/threatened-historic-places-list-includes-cook-county-buildings-84836 Threatened historic places list includes Cook County buildings http://www.wbez.org/story/culture/art/threatened-historic-places-list-includes-cook-county-buildings-84835 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/prentice_top_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The <a href="http://www.landmarks.org/">annual list of Illinois' ten most endangered historic places </a>came out today.</p><p>Three of the most threatened places named by Landmarks Illinois are in Cook County.</p><p>President Jim Peters said the former Park Ridge home and studio of Alfonso Iannelli made the list. Peters says Iannelli, who collaborated with architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, was one of the most significant artists of his time, and one of the least known today.<br> <br> "He did a lot of sculpture work that you see on these Prairie-style buildings, and he was one of the first people to do that to where he did sculpture that became a part of a building rather than tacked on," Peters said.<br> <br> Another building that made the list, Prentice Women's Hospital, by Bertrand Goldberg, resembles a four-leaf clover in concrete. Northwestern University wants to tear the old hospital down, but is delaying getting a permit temporarily at the request of the local alderman.<br> <br> Peters said the New Regal Theater on Chicago's South Side was included, too, because it has gone into foreclosure.</p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 19:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/culture/art/threatened-historic-places-list-includes-cook-county-buildings-84835