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Endangered History
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Chicagoland Watch List Announced - 13 endangered historic sites range from a Frank Lloyd Wright house to quickly vanishing neon signs
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - Landmarks Illinois, 7th Annual Chicagoland Watch List, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bertrand Goldberg, Ten Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois
Contributed By: Justin Lyons, Landmarks Illinois
Email The Author: lyonsj@lpci.org
Website: http://www.Landmarks.org

Landmarks Illinois, the state’s leading voice for historic preservation, announced its 7th annual Chicagoland Watch List today, revealing the focus of the organization’s advocacy efforts in the Chicago metropolitan area during the next year. The list contains an array of structures including what would be the first intact Frank Lloyd Wright-designed residence to be demolished in the U.S. in over 30 years, several structures by modernist architect Bertrand Goldberg, former Vice President Charles Gates Dawes’ 1894 French Chateaux-style mansion, neon signs and more.

“This eclectic list of historic structures shows the range of preservation issues we are facing throughout the Chicago metropolitan area,” said Landmarks Illinois President and CEO, Jim Peters. “This list complements the statewide ‘Ten Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois’ list we announce each spring and establishes the advocacy focus for our dedicated board of directors, staff and members.”

The 2008-2009 Chicagoland Watch List contains 13 sites: five within the Chicago city limits, seven in surrounding suburbs and one “thematic” listing. The Watch List includes:

Chicago Listings:

  • A rare surviving gas station from U.S. Route 66, the Castle Car Wash at (3801 W. Ogden Ave.)
  • Architect Andrew Rebori’s tiny Fine Arts Building Annex (421 S. Wabash Ave., built 1924)
  • The Harper Theater Buildings in the Hyde Park-Kenwood Historic District at Harper Ave. and 53rd St. (built 1913)
  • Bertrand Goldberg’s distinctive Prentice Hospital in the booming Streeterville neighborhood (333 E. Superior St., built 1975)
  • A late 19th-century YWCA building at 830 S. Michigan Ave. (built 1894), one of the oldest buildings located along the historic “streetwall” facing Grant Park

Chicago Suburbs:

  • A Classical Revival-style complex that housed the David C. Cook Publishing Company in Elgin (850 N. Grove St., built 1901)
  • Two Bertrand Goldberg designed buildings and a late 19th-century horse barn at Elgin Mental Health Center (750 S. State St., built 1966-67)
  • U.S. Vice President Charles Dawes’ former residence in Evanston, whose lavish interior is not protected (225 Greenwood, built 1894)
  • A Frank Lloyd Wright-designed residence in Glencoe (1027 Meadow Rd., built 1915)
  • The Park subdivision in Glenview—a rare surviving example of a subdivision laid out by a church group (Park Drive, built 1893-1903)
  • A one-room schoolhouse in Orland Township surrounded by strip malls and commercial growth (14299 S. Wolf Rd., built 1910)
  • One of the oldest airport buildings in the region, Hanger 1 at Chicago Executive Airport (Palwaukee Airport, 1120 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, built 1929)

Thematic Listing:

  • Large-scale neon signs from the post World War II era, which are rapidly being lost throughout the metropolitan area to redevelopment and changing advertising.  

In operation for more than 30 years, Landmarks Illinois has saved countless architectural and historic treasures throughout the state of Illinois.  For more information about Landmarks Illinois and the Chicagoland Watch List, visit www.Landmarks.org.


Keywords: Landmarks Illinois, 7th Annual Chicagoland Watch List, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bertrand Goldberg, Ten Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois

Posted: September 18, 2008
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