THREATENED: Temptation Chocolates Building Demolition Delay Extended

The Temptation Chocolates Building was added to the 90-Day Demolition Delay list on December 1, 2017 requesting “removal of existing terra cotta cladding and replacement of windows.” After initial advocacy work and to allow time for an engineering analysis of the building’s historic terra cotta to be completed, the Alderman’s office, city officials and owner, Aberdeen Development, by mutual agreement, extended the demolition permit an additional 90 days to June 8, 2018. Negotiations are ongoing between city officials and the developer.

The engineering report confirmed that some repair work is required for the historic terra cotta façade but was largely focused on the upper floor roofline and ground floor storefronts and could be characterized as reasonable maintenance of a 100-year-old façade. The complete demolition of the historic façade and replacement by a contemporary curtain wall is not required.

Despite city officials’ interest in seeing the building protected, Preservation Chicago is concerned that the building remains in jeopardy. We strongly urge 11th Ward Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson and the City of Chicago Landmarks Division to take steps to protect this important orange-rated building and ultimately to consider Landmark designation.

It is a six-story office and retail building with an outstanding white terra cotta façade and decorative neo-gothic ornamentation. The original Temptation Chocolates sign, detailed cornice, and historic sconces add delightful detail to the building at street level. Located at the corner of Halsted Street and 19th Street in Pilsen, the Temptation Chocolates Building is one of the tallest buildings in the vicinity and significantly contributes to the wonderful collection of historic buildings that makes this stretch of Halsted Street so visually compelling and so attractive to creative tenants and art institutions.

Chicago was once the Candy Capital of the Nation. The strong connection to this important Chicago industry and the beautiful architecture make this building and district an outstanding candidate for a Chicago Landmark Designation.

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