1. LOSS: New Chapter for Lincoln-Montana Building “Sullivanesque” Terra Cotta

After a multi-year preservation effort, the Lincoln-Montana Building at 2454 N. Lincoln Avenue is gone. This historic 1923 corner building was ‘orange-rated’ on the Chicago Historic Resources Survey and designed by the highly regarded Chicago architectural firm of Rissman & Hirschfeld (also the architects of the Gold Coast’s Cedar Hotel and the Knickerbocker Hotel). Of particular importance, Lincoln-Montana Building’s terra cotta ornament was “Sullivanesque” in style.

Though Preservation Chicago, Allan Mellis, Alderman Smith and other community partners were unable to prevent the demolition of the Lincoln-Montana Building, we were able to ensure, through a signed community development agreement, that the building’s decorative ornamental “Sullivanesque” terra-cotta would be carefully removed and donated to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois, where it will be incorporated into the facade of their new visitors center and part of its new $7.5 million, two-block Vintage Main Street exhibit.

We wish to express a special thanks to Fred Ash and David Diamond of the Illinois Railway Museum for their dedication to preserving this ornament, integrating it into their new visitors center, and for coordinating the transportation of the materials to Union, Illinois. Work began to remove the ornamental “Sullivanesque” terra cotta on July 26, 2017. The salvage work was completed by Jimmy Nuter of American Vintage Reclamation.

Preservation Chicago would have strongly preferred to see the Lincoln-Montana Building preserved and facade to be incorporated into the new development plan. However, Preservation Chicago does wish to thank all the community leaders and owners for their support of the salvage efforts for this ornamental terra cotta.

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