Alderman Tunney Signals Support for the Landmarking the Serbian American Museum & Club St Sava

Alderman Tunney is expected to support the Preliminary Landmark Designation of the Serbian American Club/St Sava at the April 6 Landmarks Commission meeting. Preliminary Landmark Designation status would prevent a demolition permit from being issued and initiate the process of applying Permanent Landmark Status to the building. All are welcome to attend the April 6 Commission on Chicago Landmarks meeting at City Hall, Room 201A at 12:45.

Preservation Chicago applauds 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney for his willingness to initially consider the landmarking request and for his ultimate decision that this significant building deserves landmark protection.

Thanks to the rapid-response advocacy of Preservation Chicago, community leaders and community organizations, DPD Landmarks staff initially considered the request for Preliminary Landmark Designation and recommended that the Landmarks Commission grant preliminary landmark status. Preservation Chicago applauds DPD Landmarks staff for prioritizing this important historic building.

As part of a planned sale to a developer, the board of the Serbian American Club had twice submitted a request for a demolition permit, which triggered the 90-day demolition delay. For many months, Preservation Chicago has been providing assistance to the Serbian-American community and Lakeview residents that have been leading the effort to stop the sale and demolition of the Serbian American Museum & Club St Sava. An online petition to stop the sale and demolition received nearly 900 signatures. Preservation Chicago has been in communication with Alderman Tunney and his staff, has written letters of support to DPD Landmarks staff in support of landmark designation, and has included updates in the monthly Preservation Chicago newsletter.

This preservation effort might yield even greater benefits for Lakeview. Blair Kamin reported that, “Tunney held a community meeting Feb. 28 to discuss a possible landmark district for an area that would include the Barry Avenue mansion and other properties. The district would be bounded by Sheridan and Broadway, and Belmont and Oakdale avenues, Lawson said.

But while Tunney backs landmark status for the mansion, he has not committed to the district. “He would like to have a buy-in from the owners,” Lawson said.” (Kamin, 3/10/17)

The Serbian American Museum & Club St Sava has operated since 1952 from the historic 11,400 square foot mansion in Lakeview East. This extraordinary Prairie Style home, originally the D.O. Hill House at 448 W. Barry Ave was designed by Frederick W. Perkins and was completed in 1902. Its graceful proportions, broad porch, intricate classical ornament, unique and highly-ornamented arched third floor dormer and fine detailing with Roman brick make it a natural candidate for a Designated Chicago Landmark.

Even among the many wonderful historic homes in Lakeview, the Hill House is so important that it was individually recognized for its architectural significance on a short list of 14 homes from the hundreds of homes within the 1972 Lakeview Historic District National Register Nomination Report.

This orange-rated building is architecturally outstanding and has served an important cultural resource for the Chicago Serbian community for over 60 years. Preservation Chicago fully supports a Chicago Landmark Designation and strongly supports a wider Chicago Landmark District to protect greater number of significant Lakeview homes and buildings.

Preservation Chicago urges the Landmarks Commission, 44th Ward Alderman Tunney, Serbian and Lake View neighborhood organizations and Lakeview neighbors to continue to take the steps necessary to protect this important historic landmark and others in the neighborhood.

Additional Reading
Column: Alderman moves to protect Lakeview mansion from demolition, Chicago Tribune, Blair Kamin, 3/10/17

Serbian museum lists Lakeview East mansion for $3.85 million, Chicago Tribune, 7/20/16

Photo Gallery, 448 W Barry Ave CHICAGO, IL 60657 Curbed Chicago, AJ Trace, 7/21/16

Lakeview Historic District National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1972

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