Chicago 7 Most Endangered Buildings - 2011
202 & 220 S. State
Century and Consumers Buildings, Photo Credit by Chuckman Collection
Anshe Kenesseth Israel/ Shepherds Temple, Photo Credit by Eric Allix Rogers
Chicago Theological Seminary
Chicago Theological Seminary, Photo Credit by Eric Allix Rogers
St. Laurence Church - 2011 Chicago 7
St. Laurence Catholic Church, Photo Credit by Eric Allix Rogers
Pullman Historic District
Pullman Row Houses, Photo Credit by Eric Allix Rogers
Overview and Map - 2011 Chicago 7
Children's Memorial Hospital
Childrens Memorial Hospital, Photo Credit by Ward Miller, Preservation Chicago
Prentice Women’s Hospital
Prentice Hospital, Photo Credit by Preservation Chicago
Commanding an imposing presence on the 200 block of South State Street, two historic terra cotta buildings, located at 202 and 220 South State Street respectively, could be lost to future redevelopment by the Federal Government. The irreparable damage that demolition of these historic buildings will have on South State Street cannot be underestimated.
Shepherd’s Temple, a majestically scaled church that dominates historic West Douglas Boulevard, was originally built as the Anshe Kanesses Israel synagogue. Sadly, this magnificent edifice stands vacant, deteriorating and without adequate funds for the long-desired dream of its owner to restore it to an active house of Christian worship. Once one of North Lawndale’s grandest temples, unless its current pastor can raise the desperately needed funds to complete his vision, it may soon have a date with the wrecker’s ball.
Update:After a heroic final attempt by a coalition of community leaders, preservationists and other stakeholders failed, Shepherd’s Temple was demolished in the spring of 2012.
The University of Chicago has recently purchased the Chicago Theological Seminary campus and intends to renovate the three buildings into the Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. However, serious concerns have been raised by the planned destruction of these important interior elements, as well as to the ultimate fate of the entire Woodlawn Avenue historic corridor.
The stunning Romanesque revival St. Laurence church, along with its classi cal rectory, convent, and school, were shuttered by the Archdiocese of Chicago eight years ago. The religious complex is beautifully detailed and the interior of the church itself is reported to be remarkably intact, including beautiful mural work and other paintings. Until the site was shuttered by the Archdiocese, the school, church, and rectory were a vital community center in Grand Crossing and a significant architectural and cultural landmark to the neighborhood. However, a new senior living center planned for the site may spell doom for these beautiful buildings.
Update: In the spring of 2012, it was reported that the financing for the senior living center had fallen through. As of yet, no demolition permit has been applied for.
Designed as the first self-sufficient industrial community in the United States, George Pullman’s “model” town has survived a world-famous strike and almost total demolition for an industrial park. However, in 1972, the residential area south of 111th Street was designated a Chicago Landmark District and has been thriving ever since. Unfortunately, the historic district north of 111th Street, created in 1993, is in dire peril.
Update: The city of Chicago created a grant program drawn from TIF funds that allows owner-occupied residents to receive up to $12,000 to make immediate structural repairs to their historic North Pullman row houses. The program has so far been an overwhelming success.
Situated at the six-corner Lincoln, Fullerton, and Halsted intersection, the Children’s Memorial Hospital complex has been a Lincoln Park anchor for over a century. However, their impending move to a new Streeterville campus in 2012 has set off a multi-year community design process that has put perhaps the most valuable 6 acres in Chicago in play. Preservation Chicago is urging the preservation of 6 historic buildings.
Chicago’s Prentice Women’s Hospital, designed by Chicago architect Bertrand Goldberg and completed in 1975, was groundbreaking for its cutting edge cantilevered concrete design, advanced engineering and its progressive plan for the organization of medical departments and services. Now, merely 35 years old, this amazing masterwork is threatened with demolition by Northwestern University.
Update: On April 5, 2011 it was reported that Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) had brokered a delay in Northwestern University’s plan to immediately apply for a demolition permit for Prentice, even though the building is not scheduled to be vacated until September. On April 7, 2011 Landmarks Illinois joined Preservation Chicago by also listing Prentice as one of their Most Endangered buildings of 2011. Since those actions, a robust debate has broken out in the press (see links below) culminating in the long-awaited reuse plan released by Landmarks Illinois on April 22.