West Burton Place Preliminary Landmark Approval
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News of the recent unanimous decision to review landmarking the West Burton Place District in the Old Town Neighborhood of Chicago by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks comes to us from Zac Bleicher, director of the Edgar Miller Legacy. Read more after the jump... Zac writes: "It is with profound gladness that I write you with the news that yesterday the Commission on Chicago Landmarks unanimously approved the motion to move forward and review landmarking...
News of the recent unanimous decision to review landmarking the West Burton Place District in the Old Town Neighborhood of Chicago by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks comes to us from Zac Bleicher, director of the Edgar Miller Legacy. Read more after the jump...
"It is with profound gladness that I write you with the news that yesterday the Commission on Chicago Landmarks unanimously approved the motion to move forward and review landmarking of the West Burton Place District.
What does this mean? First, there will be a 9-12 month review process involving more study, education and discussion with the affected property owners, and public hearings. While land-marking is not a foregone conclusion, as it still must be approved by the City Council, it is uncommon for a district or building to be submitted for landmark status by the Commission and then be rejected by the City Council. The landmark status is strongly supported by Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr., of the 27th Ward.
In terms of the demolition of 159 West Burton Place, unfortunately this preliminary effort towards landmarking does not revoke the developer’s demolition permit. What it may do is tie up his building permits and demand a revision of his plans according to recommendations from the Landmarks Commission for maintaining the aesthetic integrity of the street scape.
What it definitely does do is send the message to the developer that, going forward, his every move will be heavily scrutinized by the neighbors, the city, the media and the public. We have heard that he is entertaining serious buyout offers, and as of this date, no demolition has begun. He could also choose to do a tasteful rehab of the interior, save the facades of the building, and still walk away with a profit and his reputation untarnished.
Getting in front of the Landmarks Commission in such short time was no small feat. A major neighborhood activism effort helped to spread the word and raise awareness in the greater Chicago community. Additionally, a comprehensive draft proposal to the Landmarks Commission was submitted by Amy Keller, Executive Vice President of the Chicago Art Deco Society, Keith Stolte, an attorney and officer of the Carl Street Studios Condominium Association, and myself, in the hopes that this would help the Commission agree to review the landmark designation. Clearly they were pleased with our quick and thorough work.
Of course, there is still more work to do, but this milestone is a victory for the City of Chicago, the Old Town community, and especially the Carl Street Studios and Burton Place neighborhood. A landmark status will help keep the block intact for the enjoyment and inspiration of many generations to come."
Thanks Zac--we look forward to hearing more positive news about this promising development and hope it helps in the effort to save 159 West Burton Place. Follow the link to learn how you can help the cause.
Image via www.sos-saveourstory.org