THREATENED: Hollenbach Building to be Demolished for New Construction

The Hollenbach Building, 808 W. Lake Street, by Worthmann & Steinbach in 1912. Photo Credit: Debbie Mercer
The Hollenbach Building, 808 W. Lake Street, by Worthmann & Steinbach in 1912. Photo Credit: Debbie Mercer
Fulton-Randolph Market District Designation Report District Map. Map Credit: City of Chicago. Indication of Hollenbach Building location by Preservation Chicago.

“The Hollenbach Building is a building at 808 W. Lake Street in Chicago’s Fulton Market District, which was designed by Worthmann & Steinbach and was built in 1912. It was built at a cost of $12,000, and was owned by Charles Hollenbach, housing the Hollenbach Seed Company. An addition was proposed in 1919, to be designed by Worthmann & Steinbach, but no permit was ever issued for its construction. Hollenbach Seed Company left the building in 1958, moving to the northwest suburbs.

“In 2013, the building was sold to One Off Hospitality Group for $1.7 million. The first floor currently houses One Off Hospitality Group’s Publican Quality Bread. Developer North Park Ventures plans to demolish the Hollenbach Building and adjacent buildings and build a 19-story hotel and office building.” (Hollenbach Building, Wikipedia Page)

“A Chicago developer wants to build a 19-story hotel and office building on the eastern edge of the Fulton Market District, the latest big proposal for the fast-changing neighborhood.

“Adding to a string of recent plans for commercial buildings that would drastically change the physical character of the former meatpacking district, a venture of Chicago-based North Park Ventures proposes a glassy, 228,000-square-foot structure along the 800 block of Lake Street, according to a zoning application filed yesterday with the city.

“North Park proposes demolishing a row of small properties at 800, 808 and 810 W. Lake St. and developing the new building with parts rising two and three stories and the main tower rising 265 feet, hovering over the CTA tracks at the northwest corner of Lake and Halsted streets. (Ecker, Crains, 7/25/19)

The Fulton-Randolph Market District final Landmark recommendation was approved by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks on May 13, 2015. Every building included in this district received protection against demolition. However, any buildings beyond the borders are without protections. The Hollenbach Building is a beautiful historic building that could have been a contributing building included within the district, but it was excluded for unknown reasons. Preservation Chicago worked hard to advocate for the approval of the Fulton-Randolph Market District. At the time, there were objections from certain owners who preferred financial gain over neighborhood cohesion.

The Hollenbach Building should be preserved and incorporated as part of the larger development. At a minimum, the facade should be retained and integrated into the new construction. There is a successful example of a façade adaptive reuse a few blocks away at 905 West Fulton Market. In that case, the condition was more deteriorated than at 808 W. Lake Street, yet it was successfully incorporated into the new development and provides a sense of character and authenticity to the new construction. Preservation Chicago urges North Park Ventures and the City of Chicago to pursue this direction.

Read the full story at Crain’s Chicago Business.

Hotel and office proposal adds to Fulton Market frenzy; North Park Ventures wants to develop a 19-story building at the corner of Lake and Halsted streets in the fast-changing neighborhood. Danny Ecker, Crain’s Chicago Business, 7/25/19

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