The Temptation Chocolates Building was added to the 90-Day Demolition Delay list on December 1, 2017 requesting “removal of existing terra cotta cladding and replacement of windows.” After initial advocacy work and to allow an engineering analysis of the building’s historic terra cotta to be completed, the Alderman’s office, City officials and owner, Aberdeen Development, by mutual agreement, extended the demolition permit additional 90 days to June 8, 2018.
The engineering report has confirmed that some repair work is required for the historic terra cotta façade, but was largely focused on the upper floor roofline and ground floor storefronts and what could be characterized as reasonable maintenance of a 100 year old façade. The complete demolition of the historic façade and replacement by a contemporary curtain wall is not required.
Despite city officials interest in seeing the building protected, Preservation Chicago is concerned that the building remains in jeopardy. The 90-Day Demolition Delay expires on June 8, 2018 and either another extension is required or the demolition delay hold must be released per the ordinance.
We implore 11th Ward Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson and the City of Chicago Landmarks Division to take steps to protect this important orange-rated building and ultimately to consider consent to Landmark Designation.
If you wish to voice your opinion, Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-254-6677.
The Temptation Chocolates Building is listed in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey as orange-rated. It is a six-story office and retail building with an outstanding white terra cotta façade and decorative neo-gothic ornamentation. The detailed cornice, historic sconces, and the original Temptation Chocolates sign add delightful detail to the building at street level.
Constructed in 1916, the building was designed by architect A.L. Himelblan. The Gallanis Brothers commissioned the structure at 1929 S. Halsted Street for a price of $120,000 to house their highly successful chocolate company. Their company that enjoyed a reputation for “purity, fine flavor and wholesome qualities” and which had “been shipping their chocolates to all parts of the country, besides supplying an immense local trade.” (National Corporation Reporter, page 212, 3/9/1916)
Located at the corner of Halsted Street and 19th Street in Pilsen, the Temptation Chocolates Building is one of the tallest buildings in the vicinity and significantly contributes to the wonderful collection of historic buildings that makes this stretch of Halsted Street so visually compelling. It is in part because of these highly beautiful buildings that which has attracted creative tenants and institutions such as the Chicago Arts District, Chicago Museum of Art and Social Justice, Artspentry, Chicago Art Department, Renegade Craft Fair, Kym Abrams Design, True Productions, Studio Oh!, Art of Imagination, and many more.
Chicago was once the Candy Capital of the Nation. The strong connection to this important Chicago industry and the beautiful architecture make this building an outstanding candidate for a Chicago Landmark Designation. Additionally, this building is a significant contributing building to the wonderful collection of outstanding building located along Halsted Street and throughout Pilsen. Pilsen should be an urgent priority for protection by a Chicago Landmark District along 18th Street, between Halsted Street and Ashland Avenue and including portions of those streets.
Preservation Chicago has been in communication with 11th Ward Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson and the City of Chicago Landmarks Division to advocate for a preservation-oriented solution for the Temptation Chocolates Building. Preservation Chicago will continue to strongly advocate to prevent the removal or destruction of this highly decorative terra cotta façade.