Illinois’ Most Endangered Buildings: 2018 Edition
Apr25

Illinois’ Most Endangered Buildings: 2018 Edition

Architecture and history advocacy group Landmarks Illinois is out with its annual list of the most endangered buildings and places in Illinois. The group has been putting out the lists for a while now and seems to be earning a bigger and bigger voice in the public discourse about what gets praised and what gets razed in the land of Lincoln. In honor of Illinois’ bicentennial, this year’s list includes several items that...

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Thompson Center Tops 2017 Endangered Places List
Apr06

Thompson Center Tops 2017 Endangered Places List

Landmarks Illinois is out with its annual list of the most endangered places in the Land of Lincoln.  At the top of the list is a state office building that Chicagoans love to hate: The Thompson Center (100 West Randolph Street). The Thompson Center’s beauty is most certainly in the eye of the beholder.  Some find it a fine example of post-modern deconstructionism.  Others think it’s a garish display of outdated...

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Amtrak Honored For Union Station Renovations
Nov18

Amtrak Honored For Union Station Renovations

If you prowl the halls of Congress, you don’t hear a lot of good things said about Amtrak.  It’s a popular punching bag among beltway insiders who like to grips about money not spent in their districts.    But if you’re a regular Amtrak rider (3k miles this year for me), you’ve probably noticed that things are — slowly, but surely — getting better at America’s largest passenger railroad. One of those...

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Woodlawn Apartments, Loop Hotel, Grand Crossing Art Space Get Preservation Award
Sep23

Woodlawn Apartments, Loop Hotel, Grand Crossing Art Space Get Preservation Award

Three Chicago buildings are among nine statewide that have been selected for this year’s Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award. The award is given annually by Landmarks Illinois, the advocacy group dedicated to preserving the state’s important landmarks. The Stony Island Arts Bank at 6700 South Stony Island Avenue won the award for restoration.  You’ll remember this is the building that used to be the...

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Slice of Life: Can The St. Adalbert Towers Be Saved?
Apr15

Slice of Life: Can The St. Adalbert Towers Be Saved?

Demolition of historic structures will always raise passion levels to peak anxiety. When the subject of said demise involves an old Chicago church, that angst skyrockets through the roof. Just ask fans of the former Saint Dominic’s Church in Cabrini-Green, or West Town’s Saint Boniface, just to name two. Saint Boniface still has a chance to be saved, but the venerable Saint Dominic lives on only in memory. Now...

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Panel Discusses Challenges Of Preservation At Landmarks Illinois Award Presentation
Oct21

Panel Discusses Challenges Of Preservation At Landmarks Illinois Award Presentation

The nuts and bolts of managing and preserving a historic place were part of a fascinating discussion prior to last weekend’s Landmarks Illinois presentation of the annual Driehaus Foundation Awards. The subjects participants touched on were familiar to all preservationists—fund raising, attracting visitors, and what they might do if a big company offered an equally big check, with a slight catch. Glessner House Museum’s executive...

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Preservation Efforts Recognized At Landmarks Illinois Driehaus Awards Presentation
Oct21

Preservation Efforts Recognized At Landmarks Illinois Driehaus Awards Presentation

Rebuild Foundation took home the Project of the Year Award for its Dorchester Art + Housing project. The initiative reused the townhouses of an abandoned public housing development in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood, and converted a blighted block into something far different—a cultural hub focused around an active art center, along with 32 mixed-income rental units. Dorchester representative Demecina Beehn accepted the award...

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How Don Draper And “Mad Men” Drew More Attention To Endangered Illinois Buildings
Apr30

How Don Draper And “Mad Men” Drew More Attention To Endangered Illinois Buildings

When a new season of “Mad Men” begins, it often generates popularity of classic cocktails–Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Tom Collinses. The show also has helped call attention to an endangered but important Chicago architectural style. Mid-century modern buildings are on the 2015 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois list, and Landmarks Illinois president Bonnie McDonald credits the AMC hit “Mad Men” for its celebration of style in...

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