Historic Edgar Miller Carl Street Studios Threatened
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We recently received notice from several Old Town neighborhood residents and the Chicago Art Deco Society (CADS) that a building on the historic block of Burton Place is slated for demolition on July 15, 2015. The building is at 159 W. Burton Place and was recently sold to a developer. A demolition permit has been applied for to build a large and intrusive new structure. Since the current home is immediately adjacent to the Carl...
We recently received notice from several Old Town neighborhood residents and the Chicago Art Deco Society (CADS) that a building on the historic block of Burton Place is slated for demolition on July 15, 2015. The building is at 159 W. Burton Place and was recently sold to a developer. A demolition permit has been applied for to build a large and intrusive new structure. Since the current home is immediately adjacent to the Carl Street Studios designed by Edgar Miller, Sol Kogen, and Jesus Torres, its demolition would cause irreparable damage to the historically important surrounding structures. Learn more after the jump...
CADS has been working hard with concerned neighbors to inform preservation groups, meet with the alderman, and discuss concerns with the Department of Buildings and demolition. Yesterday, they met with the new owner of the building slated for demolition to inform him of the importance of Burton Place, CADS's renewed efforts to landmark buildings (and, indeed, the entire block as a historic district), and how demolition would not only destroy a vital building on the block to tell the story of the evolution of Burton Place, but also cause extensive and irreparable damage to the historic handmade home.
While the owner seemed to be receptive to concerns and the Edgar Miller legacy, it now appears as though he is moving full steam ahead with demolition. This is an unfortunate development, and one that we hope can be delayed until the owner is able to re-consider his plans, or sell the building to another buyer who is sensitive to the street's legacy.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Neighbors and CADS have already met with the necessary stakeholders, and everyone with the City and other preservation groups are informed of what's happening.
You can support ongoing efforts to preserve the block by doing the following:
- Spread the word to neighbors, family, and friends about the historic significance of the block. For more information, we encourage you to read Edgar Miller and the Hand-Made Home by Richard Cahan.
- Write to the Alderman and Department of Buildings about concerns you have that the demolition can destroy not only the historic character of the block, but also irreparably damage the original Edgar Miller windows, mosaics, and priceless artwork at the Carl Street Studios:
- Write to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks that you support the neighbors and CADS's effort to get the West Burton Place Historic District (recognized on the National Register of Historic Places) designated as a Chicago Landmark. You can send letters of support to Amy Keller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've been in the Carl Street Studios and I can tell you its one of the most magical spaces I've ever been in. Erecting a giant, visually insensitive building near it would radically damage the interplay of light and shadow on the building as well as destroy the character of the neighborhood around it.
Hopefully a loud enough outcry will protect this unique part of Chicago and preserve the integrity and long-term safety of some of the most unique and artistic homes in the country.
Visit the CADS website to learn more and become a member to support causes like this.
Image via Bill Blidy