“The former home of La Luce Italian restaurant, which was nearly torn down late last year, is officially a Chicago Landmark.
“City Council on Wednesday formally designated the building a Chicago Landmark after community uproar last year when its owner sought to demolish the building.
“Built in 1892 as a Schlitz brewing saloon and tied house, the Queen Anne Victorian building at 1393-1399 W. Lake St. was La Luce’s home from 1989 until the restaurant closed in 2016.
“The building is ‘one of the few remaining and best preserved early examples of a Schlitz Brewery tied house,’ said Kandalyn Hahn, a staffer with the Department of Planning and Development.
“With City Council approval, the building will join at least 10 other tied houses that have been landmarked by the city.
“In November, city officials revoked a demolition permit for the vacant building at the corner of Lake Street and Ogden Avenue after saying it had been issued in error.
“Veritas LLC, co-owned by Anthony Giannini and Steven DeGraff, bought the building with the intention of razing it, their zoning attorney told the landmark commission. They said they were unaware the city would consider landmarking the building.
“After the city yanked the first permit, Veritas immediately filed for another one. As news of the potential demolition spread, Preservation Chicago launched an online petition to save the building, which got over 8,000 signatures. Then the city’s Department of Planning and Development moved to obtain landmark status for the 130-year-old building.
“The city’s landmarks commission sided with the preservationists in April, granting the building protected status and rejecting the owners’ application to tear it down.
“Maurice Cox, the city’s planning commissioner, said the building was a ‘pretty rare asset. You lose them one building at a time, until you are hanging on to one or two exemplars. I would encourage the development team for this particular site to embrace those assets that will in fact enrich [the development]'”. (Laurence and Peña, Block Club Chicago, 7/21/21)
Preservation Chicago is thrilled at this outcome. We have advocated for the building’s preservation since 2016 and with urgency over the past year since its change of ownership. Thanks to all of the 8,343 individuals who signed the petition to save the building, to officials at the City of Chicago that took steps to rapid steps revoke the erroneously released demolition permit, and all of the stakeholders and decisionmakers who helped to protect this unique and beautiful Chicago building.
After Being Spared From The Wrecking Ball, Victorian Building Formerly Home To La Luce Receives Landmark Status; Built in 1892 as a Schlitz brewing saloon and tied house, the Queen Anne Victorian building was La Luce’s home from 1989 until the restaurant closed in 2016, Justin Laurence and Mauricio Peña, Block Club Chicago, 7/21/21
Former La Luce Building In West Loop Saved From Demolition Again, Given Temporary Landmark Protection; The former Schlitz Tied House dates back to 1891. Most tied houses of this size and stature have been torn down, city officials said, Mauricio Peña and Hannah Alani, Block Club Chicago, 4/1/21
After Being Spared From The Wrecking Ball, Victorian Building Formerly Home To La Luce Could Get Landmark Status; If approved, the recommendation would be the first step in designating the Fulton Market building, which dates back to 1891, a city landmark, Mauricio Peña, Block Club Chicago, 3/31/21
Threatened West Loop building from 1891 could be spared from redevelopment; The Commission on Chicago Landmarks will decide the fate of the historic former tied house at the corner of Lake and Ogden, Jay Koziarz, Urbanize Chicago, 3/30/21
129-Year-Old Victorian Building, Former Home To La Luce, Scheduled For Demolition; The former Italian restaurant and Midwest Performance Cars buildings are being torn down, likely to make way for a development, Jay Koziarz, Block Club Chicago, 12/2/20