Chicago Historic Resources Survey & You

You’re invited to join historian & conservationist Elizabeth Blasius and LivingRoom Realty Broker Susannah Ribstein for a discussion on the Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS), the City of Chicago’s primary municipal guide to its historic buildings. We’ll talk about the basics of the Survey, how it’s used, how it affects all Chicagoans, and take a look at some example survey resources in the West Town neighborhood. We’ll conclude with an open discussion on how you think the Survey could be improved.

This event is not just for preservationists! Everyone is invited to attend, especially those interested in:

  • Local architecture and history
  • Maintenance of diverse and affordable housing stock in Chicago
  • Economic potential of neighborhood landmarks
  • Trends and concepts in property development & demolition

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
6:30 PM 8:00 PM
LivingRoom Realty
1530 West Superior Street

Chicago Historic Resources Survey & You Event Link

Space is limited, so please RSVP to

About the Chicago Historic Resources Survey:
The Chicago Historic Resources Survey was planned and conducted between 1983 and 1994 with the goal of identifying new architectural Landmarks. It resulted in a color-coded system ranking all buildings which were at the time of the Survey more than 50 years old, according to their level of historic integrity and significance. Now, the survey data is also used to protect non-Landmarked buildings: if a demolition permit is approved for any building with one of the top two significance ratings (Orange or Red), it is subject to a 90-day delay to allow an opportunity to find an alternative to demolition.

The Survey is now over 25 years old, and was only partially digitized. As a result, many residents are unaware of its existence or how to access its data. In addition, thousands of buildings constructed between the 1930s and 1960s now fall into the 50-year threshold for historical relevance and need to be added. As contemporary interest in Mid-Century Modern architecture builds, now is a great time to evaluate how the Survey can help us catalog these resources. This event seeks to educate audience members on the CHRS’s enduring impact on their property and neighborhoods, and invites them to participate in a conversation about its future.

The Chicago Historic Resources Survey on the City of Chicago Website 

The Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS) on Preservation Chicago’s Website 

“Chicago needs a new architectural survey to protect its vernacular and postmodern heritage,” by Elizabeth Blasius, Architect’s Newspaper, September 21, 2018

Scans of original survey maps on (comprehensive but not very user-friendly)


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