Controversial Logan Square Facade-ectomy Headed to Chicago Plan Commission

A proposal to perform Chicago’s special kind of architectural surgery on a Logan Square building is being met with continued resistance by at least one neighborhood group.

The West Bucktown Neighborhood Association is upset that 1st Ward Alderman Joe Moreno has decided to send the latest version of the plan for 1970 North Milwaukee Avenue to the Chicago Plan Commission for consideration.

Rendering of 1970 North Milwaukee

Rendering of 1970 North Milwaukee

The project is described this way in the agenda for the Commission’s December 15th meeting:

The Applicant is proposing to construct a mixed-use building with a maximum height of 96’ which includes approximately 7,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 132 dwelling units on the floors above. The proposal will include 16  automobile parking stalls.

What the legalese doesn’t explain is that this is the location of the Weyland Building, built in 1907 and designed by John Ahlschlager.  He’s the same hand that crafted the Schulze Baking Company building in Washington Park.

Unlike the Schulze building, the Weyland Building is not landmarked, so Clayco originally planned to knock the whole thing down and start over.  Its later decision to preserve the facade was hailed by one online business publication as a triumph of neighborhood groups and developers working together.

But the height of the new building remains a sticking point.  The original proposal was for an eight-story building.  Neighborhood groups want six.  The developer came back with a seven-story plan, which is the one being sent to the commission.  But some feel that it’s still too monumental a project for this block, and will serve as a monolithic wall running down the street, blighting what could be a more lively urban space.

Rendering of 1970 North Milwaukee

Rendering of 1970 North Milwaukee

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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