LOSS: 16 W. Maple Demolished Despite 11th Hour Advocacy

16 W. Maple Street, c. 1880, Demolished October 2019. Photo Credit: Ward Miller

“After standing for more than 130 years along Maple Street, a four-story greystone in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood is officially no more. Crews demolished the historic structure for an upcoming 22-story development, approved by the Chicago Plan Commission in September.

“The old stone building at 16 W. Maple was built in the 1880s as a single-family residence, according to Preservation Chicago. It featured burnt red terracotta ornamentation, including a pair of detailed exterior columns and a decorative lion’s head medallion embedded in the pediment. The structure most recently housed the Merlo on Maple restaurant.

“The old building held an orange designation in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, which required it to serve a 90-day demolition hold after its owners applied for permits to tear the property down. The city-mandated delay expired in August, and the demolition permit was granted in late September, according to Chicago Cityscape.

“Its high-rise replacement, designed by Chicago-based architecture firm Booth Hansen, will rise 330 feet and include 18 high-end condo units and retail space on its lower floors. The new building comes from developers David Pisor and James Lasky, who also built the neighboring Maple & Ash steakhouse.

“Preservationists have long advocated for protecting downtown Chicago’s rapidly dwindling supply of historic (albeit non-landmarked) 19th-century buildings. In March, the Chicago Commission on Landmarks started the process of approving a new historic district that would protect 16 post-fire mansions and row homes on the city’s Near North Side. The Queen Anne greystone at 16 W. Maple, however, was not among those properties.” (Koziarz, 10/29/19)

Preservation Chicago had been working with urgency to save this building from demolition. We had been in regular contact with 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins, the Alderman’s office, and the developer David Pisor.

After the demolition delay expired and the demolition permit issued, our last hope was the retention of the 3-story facade which could be incorporated into the base of the new construction tower. It would have served as a highly beautiful entrance and maintain a pedestrian-oriented scale at street-level. The developer had expressed interest in this concept but unfortunately did not move forward with this direction.

Read the full story at Curbed Chicago

Historic Queen Anne greystone bites the dust for new 22-story Gold Coast tower; Built as a single-family residence, the old structure recently housed a restaurant, Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago, 10/29/19

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