After nearly a year of diligent and unrelenting preservation advocacy efforts, the highly ornate Prairie Style historic 11,400 square foot Daniel O. Hill House/Serbian American Club/St. Sava located at 448 W. Barry Avenue in East Lake View is safe. It entered the Preliminary Determination process to become a protected Chicago Landmark following the successful vote at the Chicago Commission on Landmarks’ August 3rd meeting and cannot be demolished during this designation process. Designed for silk merchant Daniel O. Hill by architect Fredrick W. Perkins in 1902, it has served as the Serbian American Museum/St. Sava since 1952. Its graceful proportions, broad porch, intricate classical ornament, unique and highly-ornamented arched third floor dormer and fine detailing with Roman brick made it a natural candidate for consideration as a Designated Chicago Landmark.
Preservation Chicago applauds 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney for his strong leadership and vocal opposition to the demolition of this important historic building and East Lake View landmark. In addition to the Alderman, the successful outcome of this rapid-response advocacy effort extends to community leaders, the Serbian American community, community organizations and residents, Preservation Chicago, Landmarks Illinois, and DPD Landmarks staff which considered the request for Landmark Designation and recommended that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks grant preliminary protections and begin the landmark process.
The building remains listed for sale with an asking price of $3,850,000. According to the museum board, the landmarked building is worth $1 million less that the property as vacant land. The difference in valuation is largely due to a historic single-family home being burdened with a high-density, multi-family zoning. Adjusting zoning to better conform to existing use would eliminate much of this disparity for this and many other historic homes throughout Lake View and other Chicago neighborhoods.
Preservation Chicago and community stakeholders remained vigilant until the building’s future was secured; either by being sold to a preservation-sensitive buyer or through landmark protection. The building was clearly significant enough to be eligible for an individual landmark. Preservation Chicago continues to support an expanded East Lake View or “Meekerville” Historic Landmark District in the future.
A hearing is scheduled regarding the property at City Hall on the morning of January 22, 2018 in Room 201A. All are welcome to attend.