“Early Chicago Skyscrapers” for UNESCO World Heritage Site Designation by AIA Chicago and Preservation Chicago


There is strong support to designate “Early Chicago Skyscrapers” as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A UNESCO World Heritage Site designation would further recognize the Chicago’s contributions to the built environment and to increase education regarding these architecturally significant structures. Other sites nominated include Civil Rights Sites, Native American Sites, The Statue of Liberty, and Central Park in New York City.

Preservation Chicago and AIA Chicago are honored to present this 5-minute video prepared for the US/ICOMOS 50th Anniversary Conference was held virtually on April 9th, 2022. We were asked to create this video by the US/ICOMOS on behalf of the many Chicago-based preservation partners which organized the 2016-2017 effort to begin the lengthy process of establishing “Early Chicago Skyscrapers” as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The initial list of nine “Early Chicago Skyscrapers” were included due to their architectural significance and owners consent. Additional significant “Early Chicago Skyscrapers” would likely be added as this process advances.

  1. The Auditorium Building & Theater
  2. The Rookery Building
  3. The Monadnock Building
  4. The Ludington Building
  5. The Second Leiter Building/Leiter II Building
  6. The Old Colony Building
  7. The Marquette Building
  8. The Fisher Building
  9. Schlesinger & Mayer/Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company Store
With thanks to:
Preservation Chicago
The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
The Alphawood Foundation
The TAWANI Foundation
Chicago Architecture Center
Landmarks Illinois
The Coalition in Support of a Pioneering Chicago Skyscrapers World Heritage List Nomination
  • Jen Masengarb, AIA Chicago
  • Ward Miller, Preservation Chicago
  • Gunny Harboe, Harboe Architects
  • Kevin Harrington, Professor Emeritus, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Pauline Saliga, Society of Architectural Historians
  • Lynn J. Osmond, Chicago Architecture Center
  • Gary T. Johnson, Chicago History Museum
And with special thanks to:
Teddy Holcomb, Video Editor
Cathie Bond, Director of Events, Preservation Chicago
Eric Allix Rogers, Photographer


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