On April 18th, Ward Miller presented a Historic Landmark Toolkit presentation at the invitation of the Mid-North Association regarding the proposed Lincoln Park West Landmark District neighborhood initiative. The presentation explored historic landmark buildings within the proposed district, referenced examples of other historic landmark districts in proximity, and presented empirical data from studies of existing landmark districts.
The purpose of the presentation was to help inform community stakeholders regarding Landmark Districts, dispel widely-held landmark myths, and to empower community catalysts to achieve their preservation goals. The 40 minute presentation was followed by questions and answers. The meeting was well received with over 40 community members in attendance. Another outcome of the presentation was that community members began a conversation regarding expanding the boundaries of the proposed Landmark District to protect additional historic properties fronting Lincoln Park. This idea would extend the proposed District from Fullerton to Armitage and protect the Lincoln Park streetwall; much like the Michigan Boulevard Landmark District protects Grant Park.
“LandmarkLincolnPark.org” is a neighborhood initiative from a group of residents based near Lincoln Park West and Fullerton, which has launched an outstanding website and is advocating to designate a new Lincoln Park Landmark District.
The recent sale of the seven-story, 48-unit apartment building at 325 W. Fullerton Parkway, marks the first time this building has been sold since it was built in 1917. The same family has owned the building for four generations. (Gallun, Crain’s, 4/17/17)
Despite the beauty of this historic building, it is not orange-rated, so there would be no warning or 90 Day Demolition Delay hold in the event of a demolition permit application. Fortunately, the Chicago-based buyer, Newcastle has suggested they value the building’s historic element and plan to renovate the structure. Considering the importance of this collection of historic buildings, the protections afforded by a Chicago Landmark District seem appropriate.
“The demolition threat is real for many of the stately residences along Lincoln Park West and Fullerton Parkway which form an elegant and welcoming backdrop to Chicago’s Lincoln Park and its most popular cultural and recreational amenities, such as Lincoln Park Zoo, the Conservatory, and North Pond.
These historic buildings, along with their neighbors along Belden and Commonwealth Avenues, are essential to Lincoln Park’s distinct feeling and sense of place. Built between 1907 and 1924 for some of Chicago’s most influential citizens and designed by several of Chicago’s most celebrated architects, this lovingly preserved district showcases the finest in the City’s residential design of the early 20th century. It is a treasure for its residents, for Chicago as a whole, and for everyone who visits Lincoln Park’s attractions.” Adapted from LandmarkLincolnPark.org.
To protect this district’s beauty and distinguished architectural history, and in addition to preserving the Lincoln Park streetscape and gateway to the community beyond, LandmarkLincolnPark.org requests the City of Chicago to grant this district Landmark status. Preservation Chicago fully supports this community-based effort and goal.