A demolition permit was released on November 21, 2017 for 1217 W. Washington Boulevard, the orange-rated Chicago Machinery Building designed by D.H. Burnham & Company and dating to 1910. This three-story commercial and industrial building has an outstanding façade with highly decorative ornamentation and an elaborately detailed cornice. The owner is Peppercorn Capital, which owns multiple historic properties in the neighborhood, applied for a demolition permit on August 23, 2017 and received the demolition permit at the expiration of the 90-Day Demolition Delay. During the Demolition Delay period, decision makers were completely unresponsive to advocacy efforts by Preservation Chicago. Despite the release of the demolition permit, Preservation Chicago will continue to advocate for its reuse for as long as the building remains standing.
The character of the historic West Loop is under intense pressure from new construction. With new buildings under construction ranging from 10 to 18 stories, historic two and three story industrial and commercial buildings on big lots are prime targets for demolition and redevelopment. There is an urgent need for a Greektown/West Loop Chicago Landmark District that would recognize, celebrate and protect this wonderful and highly endangered historic neighborhood. Downzoning would help to reduce redevelopment pressure on historic properties.