The outrage, sadness and grief felt by many Lake View neighbors by the sudden demolition of the 1870’s era Italianate cottage at 702 West Wellington was shared widely as Preservation Chicago’s “Spotlight on Demolition” helped to spread the news of this loss.
“Spotlight on Demolition” is an initiative intended to help bring more community and media attention to the frequent loss of historic single family homes in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Unlike large historic buildings such as the Chicago Tribune Tower or the Old Main Post Office, these small homes typically have no protection against demolition and often vanish “overnight” after being bought by a developer. The creation of new and expanded Chicago Landmark Districts would help to prevent these homes from being demolished.
The story of 702 West Wellington was widely viewed through social media and was picked up by Fox 32 Chicago News which aired a two minute story on the local newscast. During the newscast, Dane Placko interviewed Preservation Chicago’s Ward Miller and 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney.
Alderman Tunney voiced his efforts in cooperation with the City and community groups to create an East Lake View Historic Landmark District. Preservation Chicago applauds Alderman Tunney for his leadership in helping to protect historic Lake View homes and buildings from demolition. Preservation
Chicago also applauds Fox 32 Chicago News and Dane Placko for focusing on this important issue.
702 West Wellington was built in the years immediately following Chicago’s Great Fire of 1871.
Because certain historic elements of the home had been modified over its 140 year life, such as the addition of siding, it was passed over by the Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS). As a result, it was not protected by the 90-Day Demolition Delay for orange rated buildings identified by the CHRS.
This “was really unfortunate, because the home described the history and evolution of the buildings and houses in Lake View prior to its annexation in 1889 to the City of Chicago,” said Ward Miller. (Fisher, Patch, 4/26/18)
Preservation Chicago supports the periodic calls for the CHRS to be updated, or for buildings of a certain age, perhaps built prior to 1890, to be automatically assigned a Demolition Delay.