“An old coal-fired power plant might not be the first idea that comes to mind when Chicagoans think of buildings in need of saving in the city, but a group of preservationists are calling for just that.
“Vacant since 2011, the old Union Station Power House is an example of the city’s industrial roots and a monument to its history as a mover of people and freight, according to Preservation Chicago’s Executive Director Ward Miller.
“Preservation Chicago has the old “boiler plant” listed as one of the seven most threatened buildings in the city and is making a last-ditch effort to save the building by finding someone who will give it new life.
“We’re still hoping to find a developer that can reuse it and to get the city involved,” Miller said when reached by phone earlier this week. “We want more opportunity to have [the public’s] voices to be heard and determine if there is a way to avoid demolition.”
“Whether its future holds a second life as a data center, an addition to the city’s expanding Riverwalk or something even more distinctive, the building should be saved for future generations to enjoy, Miller said, noting that London’s Tate Modern Museum was once the Bankside Power Station.
“When seen from Roosevelt Road while crossing the Chicago River’s south branch, the boxy building’s large, twin smoke stacks rise into the sky with some of the city’s most iconic architecture as its backdrop.
“Amtrak’s plan would turn the lot into a parking lot at a cost of $13 million, according to Miller, who cited documents the organization has seen through their work as a consulting party on the project. He believes a decision to demolish the building could be made in the next couple of months.” (Hendrickson, 10/9/19)