Preservation Chicago recently learned that a block of East Superior Street in the Gold Coast’s historic McCormickville District with a cluster of 1870’s and 1880’s Italianate and Victorian Row Houses is threatened with demolition. Preservation Chicago discovered this new threat, broke the story to the media, and began to deploy its rapid response advocacy to prevent the demolition.
A Chinese investor based in New York reportedly assembled much and possibly the entire block with the intention of clearing all the historic buildings and building a high-rise building. Some business owners have been warned of a possible redevelopment and are preparing for a 60 day notice to vacate. These orange-rated buildings would trigger the 90 Day Demolition Delay Ordinance.
Preservation Chicago strongly opposes the demolition of the orange rated row-houses at 42, 44 and 46 E Superior dating from the 1870’s and 1880’s. The status of the adjacent seven-story art deco limestone building and the historic four-story red brick Giordano’s building relative to the development plan is unknown at this time.
“To ensure the protection of these buildings, Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation Chicago, is hoping that area residents will help push for the creation of a new landmark district. “This is McCormickville. This is where the McCormick family lived before and after the Great Chicago Fire.” And with the continued demolition of other shorter, older buildings in the area, Miller says that there are only a handful of the original McCormickville buildings left. “We need to value every inch of space where there are historic buildings that tell the story of the neighborhood.”
Preservation Chicago has been very concerned of the increasing frequency and recent losses of other low-rise historic neighborhood buildings due to increased development pressure. Developers are increasing considering both surface parking lots and blocks of intact historic buildings as potential development sites.
Preservation Chicago applauds the Ukrainian Consulate General’s Office for recognizing the significance of their historic Victorian building on Huron near State Street, and protecting their building against an adjacent high-rise development.
Preservation Chicago is also very concerned about the displacement and loss of small, locally-owned restaurants and retail businesses that employ Chicagoans and contribute to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods.
A new McCormickville Landmark District would be a powerful tool to protect this neighborhood’s historic building fabric and the vibrancy of this community.