After a multi-year effort, preservation partners celebrated the final approval by City Council of the Uptown Square Landmark District. This district provides protection to 57 properties within the Uptown Entertainment District, located along the commercial corridors of Lawrence, Broadway, and Racine. Landmark buildings now protected include the Uptown Theater, Aragon Ballroom, Riviera Theater, Essanay Studios, Green Mill, Wilson Avenue “L” Station, Lawrence Hotel, People’s Church/Preston Bradley Center, and many of the beautiful historic commercial retail buildings, hotels and office buildings that make Uptown such an extraordinary neighborhood. The Landmark District also provides important economic incentives to help stimulate increased historically-sensitive investment and renovation.
In additional to strong advocacy for the Landmark District, Preservation Chicago pushed the proposal further by asking for the designation to extend beyond the façades and to include protections for the many wonderful interior lobbies and other notable spaces of the Riviera, Aragon and Uptown, the Uptown National Bank Building, and the WPA-Works Progress Administration murals in the Post Office.
Preservation Chicago wishes to commend 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman for his strong support for Uptown’s historic buildings and in his efforts to make this long-envisioned Landmark District a reality. We wish to thank City of Chicago DPD Landmarks staff for their commitment to bringing this District to fruition. We also want to recognize the Uptown organizations and community members for their ongoing support through this long process.