Sweet Salvation as Fannie May’s House is Saved from Demolition
Jun27

Sweet Salvation as Fannie May’s House is Saved from Demolition

A lot of Chicago’s roots have been torn out over the last decade or so. Marshall Field’s became Macy’s.  White Hen became 7-Eleven.  And Fannie May moved manufacturing to… Ohio. While the offices eventually moved back home (though it’s owned by the Nutella people in Italy now), the betrayal still stings.  So it was with no small sense of joy and gluttony that we devoured Dennis Rodkin’s...

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Fulton High-Rise Greened, Bows to Arthur “Stainless Steel Balls” Harris
Jun21

Fulton High-Rise Greened, Bows to Arthur “Stainless Steel Balls” Harris

It was Two-fer Thursday for LG Development at the Chicago Plan Commission this past week.  The prolific constructors of all things great and small used to be content just kitting out Damen Avenue perfume boutiques. Now it’s ben cleared for takeoff with another high-rise in downtown Chicago. This project is at 210 North Aberdeen Street in West Town, just barely clipping one corner of the Fulton Market Historic District.  It sits...

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Bridgeport Church Seeks Preservation, While Lincoln Park Holy Site Heads to Demolition
Jun01

Bridgeport Church Seeks Preservation, While Lincoln Park Holy Site Heads to Demolition

The news about the dwindling number of Chicago holy places is mixed this week.  On Thursday (June 3, 2021), the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider two proposals related to the city’s religious history. Monastery of the Holy Cross (via Apple Maps) In Bridgeport, the Monastery of the Holy Cross is up for landmark status.  It’s the former Immaculate Conception Church on the corner of 31st Street and Aberdeen that...

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These Are the Most Endangered Buildings in Illinois
May09

These Are the Most Endangered Buildings in Illinois

While Illinois hasn’t yet reached Atlanta or Los Angeles-levels of disregard for its built history, fewer and fewer people seem to understand the value of the past. For this reason, the work of Preservation Illinois is becoming more and more important. The group has put out its annual list of the state’s Most Endangered Buildings. And while there is the usual smattering of buildings and boulevard that nobody’s ever...

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South Loop Church’s Massive Tiffany Window Goes Out For Repairs
Apr04

South Loop Church’s Massive Tiffany Window Goes Out For Repairs

At a time when too many of Chicago’s holy places are being abandoned, or worse, we bring you a good news story out of the South Loop. The enormous Tiffany window at Second Presbyterian Church has been removed for conservation. Stained glass window being removed from Second Presbyterian Church in March, 2021. (Courtesy of Friends of Historic Second Church.) Thousands of people have admired the 16-foot-tall window during services,...

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Another Piece of Chicago Architecture History Goes From Dust to Dust
Mar28

Another Piece of Chicago Architecture History Goes From Dust to Dust

Easter is a time to celebrate miracles.  But unless The Big Guy, Himself decides to go all Lazarus on 1319 South Ashland Avenue, Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church is gone forever. Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church in August 2020 (Courtesy of Little Italy Spy Blake) Little Italy Spy Blake tithed our tip line with the news that demolition crews have finally done with demolition crews do, and turned this once...

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City Preserving the Morton Salt Shed
Mar01

City Preserving the Morton Salt Shed

For almost a hundred years, the Morton Salt complex at 1357 North Elston Avenue, has been welcoming commuters to downtown Chicago.  Now the city landmark with a lower case “l” is becoming an official City Landmark, with an uppercase “L.”   The Morton Salt complex, before the eastern shed was torn down last year (via Apple Maps) This coming Thursday (March 4, 2021), the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will...

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Trib Tower Rock Tally Down to 149, As One Piece Moves to the Suburbs
Feb21

Trib Tower Rock Tally Down to 149, As One Piece Moves to the Suburbs

Eight years ago, we received an e-mail from a teacher asking for a list of all of the stones embedded in the facade of the Tribune Tower.  Neither she, nor we, were able to find a full list on the internet, so we spent half a day wandering around what was then the home of the Chicago Tribune, jotting down the rocks. The resulting article, listing all 149 rocks, is now our fifth-most-read article, with over 13 million views. Tribune...

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Chicago’s Newest Landmark is a Loop Skyscraper
Feb06

Chicago’s Newest Landmark is a Loop Skyscraper

There are plenty of Chicago skyscrapers that are city, or even national landmarks.  But it’s been a while since we got a new one.  That changed a few days ago when 225 West Randolph Street became the newest Chicago landmark.  You may know it as the Southwestern Bell Building, or the Ameritech Building.  Or if you’re really old school, the Illinois Bell Building. 225 West Randolph / Illinois Bell Building / Southwestern...

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Salt Shed to Pepper West Town With Entertainment, Bars, Offices
Feb01

Salt Shed to Pepper West Town With Entertainment, Bars, Offices

The massive salt shed that has greeted commuters coming into town on the Kennedy Expressway since before there was a Kennedy Expressway is about to start a new chapter in its existence.   Morton Salt’s Elston Avenue terminal (by Cosmo1976 [CC BY-SA 3.0) The Chicago Plan Commission has approved a $30 million project to turn the old Morton Salt Elston Avenue Terminal into a mixed-use development. It was a little over five...

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