The preservation community has been concerned about the future of Truc Lam Buddhist Temple, also known as the Paul Revere Masonic Temple, located at 1521 W. Wilson at Ashland since it was listed for sale as a potential redevelopment site in May 2017. On October 14, 2017 Uptown Update reported that a demolition and redevelopment proposal had been submitted to 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar’s Zoning Advisory Committee.
This redevelopment proposal from Mavrek Development and Sullivan Goulette & Wilson Architects is contingent upon the upzoning from RS-3 to RT-4. The upzoning would allow construction of a 12-unit courtyard-style condo building. In addition to the loss of the historic structure, the proposed condo building’s size, density, minimal set-back, and brick material seems inappropriate given all the existing adjacent wood frame single family homes.
A public meeting or meetings regarding the requested upzoning has not yet been announced.
The existing 14,000 square foot building is in good condition and could be converted residential, community center, dance or yoga studios, office, or many other possible adaptive reuses. Please see interior photos here.
If the proposed condo plan moves forward, the existing historic building would be completely demolished. The building served as a private social club and later, the Paul Revere Masonic Temple. Preservation Chicago helped to advocate for this historic building about ten years ago prior to the purchase of the building for use as a Buddhist Temple. We advocated for a Chicago Landmark Designation of the building at that time. Initial steps were taken, but unfortunately, the Buddhist Temple leadership did not consent to landmark designation and as a result, the building has no formal historic protections.
Preservation Chicago is actively pursuing a new preservation-oriented owner for this site. Please contact us if you have interest or if you are aware of any potential interest parties.