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The Pace of Chicago Demolitions Worries Preservationists

In neighborhoods with lots of new development, buildings cited in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey are coming down fast.
June 1, 2018, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Preservationists in Chicago are concerned that the pace of development is putting historically significant structures at risk before anything can be done to save them. Giving several examples of recent demolitions, including buildings designed by the firm of famed Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, AJ LaTrace writes, "The majority of these buildings were noted as being either architecturally or culturally significant in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS), a comprehensive review and tally of historic buildings completed and published by the city in the mid-'90s."

Areas dramatically losing their historic building stock are often the same places undergoing rapid new development. Some of the most affected neighborhoods include Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Logan Square, and the West Loop.

The fear is that "communities and preservation advocates simply do not have enough time to line up a buyer or produce a plan for adaptive reuse when demolition threats surface." 

Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, "suggests that new development and preservation don't have to be mutually exclusive, but says that the Chicago Historic Resources Survey exists as a tool to help plan for a community's future."

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Published on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 in Chicago Magazine
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