LOSS: University of Chicago Demolishes American Taxi Service for a…Vacant Lot

The American Taxi Service Building, 5608 S. Stony Island Avenue, Built 1928, Demolished October 2019. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers

“The University of Chicago is proceeding with its demolition of a historic building across from Jackson Park at 5608 S. Stony Island Avenue. Known as the American Taxi Service Building, the school-owned property was completed in 1928 and featured a sturdy brick and concrete construction with terracotta ornamentation and glass block windows.

“Although the 91-year-old building seemed to be in reasonable shape from the outside, university officials told the Chicago Maroon in September that it was “unsafe” and in state of “terrible disrepair.” The structure also failed a city code inspection in June, according to the publication. A university representative said the school has no future plans for the property once the building is brought down.

“Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, tells Curbed Chicago that he would have liked to have seen more engagement with local stakeholders regarding the fate of the now-doomed building. “Perhaps there was a nonprofit in the neighborhood that could have used the space?” Miller suggests. “It’s being demolished for—all we know—a vacant parcel, so it seems especially wasteful.”

“The demolition is part of a larger conversation the University of Chicago needs to have about historic preservation, says Miller. “It would be great if the school was more receptive to landmarking buildings on its campus that meet the criteria for protection, as well as engage in more robust discussions about what is being done with its off-campus sites such as the taxi building,” says the preservationist.”

Read the full story at Chicago Curbed

University of Chicago demolishes historic ‘taxi building’ across from Jackson Park; The 1928 structure will be replaced by a vacant lot for the foreseeable future, Jay Koziarz, 10/22/19

University to Demolish Taxi Building, Camille Kirsch, The Chicago Maroon, 9/30/19

Requiem for the Taxi Building; Demolishing historical architecture like the taxi building raises concerns about patterns of luxury development across Hyde Park.Sam Joyce, The Chicago Maroon, 10/30/19

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