The East Superior Block of 1880’s Row Houses Threatened with Demolition Reinforces Need for McCormickville/Cathedral Landmark District

Preservation Chicago strongly opposes the demolition of three orange-rated row houses at 42, 44 and 46 E. Superior dating from the 1870’s and 1880’s. The adjacent seven-story Art Deco limestone building and part of the historic four-story red brick Giordano’s building at 730 N. Rush Street, identified as significant in the Illinois Historic Structures Survey, are also threatened with demolition by a proposed development.

“These are all really wonderful buildings and they could make part of a landmark district,” said Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago. (Koziarz, 3/14/17)

At the public meeting held by 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly regarding the super tall building proposed by New York based Symmetry Property Development, Ward Miller’s passionate statement in support of preservation was meet with an enthusiastic round of applause from the over 300 residents in attendance.

Preservation Chicago discovered this remerged threat in fall 2016, broke the story to the media, and began to deploy its rapid response advocacy to prevent demolition. An Asian investor based in New York assembled much, if not all, of the block with the intention of clearing all the buildings and building a high-rise hotel. Some business owners had 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 has been very concerned over the increasing frequency and recent losses of low-rise historic Near North Side buildings, in and around an area established by Cyrus McCormick’s family and once known as “McCormickville”. As development pressure grows and as surface parking lots are being developed, developers are actively targeting remaining clusters of intact, low-rise, historic buildings as development sites. Numerous historic buildings and historic clusters have been demolished recently,and another cluster of Victorian row houses 12-22 W. Erie St. is actively threatened with demolition for another new hotel development. 

Preservation Chicago is also concerned about the displacement and loss of small, locally-owned restaurants and retail Chicago Legacy 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 strengthen the vibrancy of this community.

“To ensure the protection of these buildings, 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, 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.” Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation, Curbed Chicago 12/8/16

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