“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.
The Auditorium Building & Theater
The Rookery Building
The Monadnock Building
The Ludington Building
The Second Leiter Building/Leiter II Building
The Old Colony Building
The Marquette Building
The Fisher Building
Schlesinger & Mayer/Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company Store

With thanks to:
AIA-Chicago
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

Watch the ‘Early Chicago Skyscrapers: a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site’ video (5:00 min)

Watch the 2022 US/ICOMOS Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention video (69 min)

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