Is Chicago Experiencing a Historic Preservation Crisis? By AJ LaTrace in Chicago Magazine

By AJ LaTrace
Excerpts from Chicago Magazine Article published on May 16, 2018

Lots of buildings flagged by preservationists for their importance have come down in recent years. 2018 could be just as bad.

In the West Loop, excavators can still be seen at the site of what was just a few weeks ago a rare industrial building designed by D. H. Burnham & Company, the storied firm led by Daniel Burnham, the legendary Chicago city planner and lead architect for the 1893 World’s Fair. Built over 100 years ago, the three-story masonry building at 1217-1227 W. Washington Boulevard was unceremoniously demolished in April, with its elaborate ornamentation and glazed brick reduced to a pile of rubble.

Lots of buildings flagged by preservationists for their importance have come down in recent years. 2018 could be just as bad.

In the West Loop, excavators can still be seen at the site of what was just a few weeks ago a rare industrial building designed by D. H. Burnham & Company, the storied firm led by Daniel Burnham, the legendary Chicago city planner and lead architect for the 1893 World’s Fair. Built over 100 years ago, the three-story masonry building at 1217-1227 W. Washington Boulevard was unceremoniously demolished in April, with its elaborate ornamentation and glazed brick reduced to a pile of rubble.

Developers often harken back to Burnham’s famous “make no little plans” screed when unveiling new proposals for Chicago, but what are Burnham’s words worth when little to no value is attached to the buildings crafted by his firm? Despite the 2015 passage of a new landmark district in the area to protect buildings exactly like this one, the property somehow slipped through the cracks.