Fast-Track Preliminary Landmark Designation Might Save Serbian American Museum from Demolition

Preservation Chicago has been providing assistance to the Serbian-American community and Lakeview residents that have been leading the effort to stop the sale and demolition of the Serbian American Museum & Club St Sava. Preservation Chicago has been in touch with Alderman Tunney and his staff and has written letters of support to DPD Landmarks staff in support of landmark designation.

Thanks to the rapid-response advocacy of Preservation Chicago, community leaders and community organizations, DPD Landmarks staff considered the request for Preliminary Landmark Designation and has recommended that the Landmarks Commission grant preliminary landmark status. Preservation Chicago applauds DPD Landmarks staff for prioritizing this important historic structure. Preliminary landmarks status would prevent the demolition permit from being issued at this time. Preservation Chicago is optimistic that the vote to Landmarks Commission will approve designation. This matter will considered by the Commission of Chicago Landmarks starting at 12:45 Thursday, Dec 1. All are welcome to attend.

Please take a moment to voice your support and sign the online petition to stop the sale and demolition of the Serbian American Museum & Club St Sava. The online petition has over 820 signatures. (Please note that no donation is required to sign the petition)

Despite statements to the media that the seller desired a preservation outcome, the property listing suggests otherwise.

“ATTENTION DEVELOPERS, RARE OPPORTUNITY IN LAKE VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD!!!! ZONED RM5 Almost 3 city lots extra deep 72×176!!!! Buyer is responsible to tear the building down at his own expense.”
Link to Urban Real

On October 18, a demolition permit application was submitted on behalf of the Serbian American Museum to “wreck and remove” the building and coach house.

The Serbian American Museum & Club St Sava has operated since 1952 from the historic 11,400 square foot mansion in Lakeview East. This extraordinary Prairie Style home, originally the D.O. Hill House at 448 W. Barry Ave was designed by Frederick W. Perkins and was completed in 1902. Its graceful proportions, broad porch, intricate classical ornament, unique and highly-ornamented arched third floor dormer and fine detailing with Roman brick make it a natural candidate for consideration as a Designated Chicago Landmark.

Even among the many wonderful historic homes in Lakeview, the Hill House is so important that it was individually recognized for its architectural significance on a short list of 14 homes from the hundreds of homes within the 1972 Lakeview Historic District National Register Nomination.

This orange-rated building is architecturally outstanding and has served an important cultural resource for the Chicago Serbian community for over 60 years. Preservation Chicago fully supports a historic landmark designation. Preservation Chicago urges the Landmarks Commission, 44th Ward Alderman Tunney, Serbian and Lake View neighborhood organizations and Lakeview neighbors to take steps to protect this important historic landmark.

Suggested Reading

Photo Gallery, 448 W Barry Ave CHICAGO, IL 60657 Curbed Chicago, AJ Trace, 7/21/16

Serbian museum lists Lakeview East mansion for $3.85 million, Chicago Tribune, 7/20/16

Lakeview Historic District National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1972


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