What has been reported to be the last remaining arcade in Chicago, and one of the last remaining in the nation, is threatened with demolition and replacement with a seven-story building. Located at the corner of Broadway, Devon and Sheridan in Edgewater, the 94-year old Woodruff Arcade has served dozens of small tenants since it was first opened circa 1923.
“In 1922, W.J. Woodruff received a building permit from the city for his arcade, according to the Edgewater Historical Society. Architect Herbert Green designed a handsome but utilitarian red brick building that opens up inside with iron staircases, large interior windows into the internal courtyard, and that big skylight.” (WBEZ, 6/22/17)
The Edgewater Historical Society is leading an effort to Save the Woodruff Arcade with a petition drive focused at convincing 48th Ward Alderman Osterman to oppose the demolition. According to the Society’s webpage, the 48th Ward alderman can save this building if there is sufficient community support.
The arcade currently houses over a dozen small business and offices. All tenants were given notice that they would need to vacate their spaces by December 31, 2017. The former owner operated the arcade for over 30 years, but sold the building to Borekci Real Estate, a company based in Ankara, Turkey, and Algonquin Venture Real Estate LLC based in Northbrook, Illinois.
Preservation Chicago and the Edgewater Historical Society recently met with Alderman Osterman and advocated for the preservation of the building, even if the new development is built atop, or straddles the existing Woodruff Arcade. Alderman Osterman requested that the developers met with architect Thom Greene and Preservation Chicago to see if the accommodations could be made.
Petition to Save the Woodruff Arcade