The historic four-story building at North Avenue and Richmond across from Humboldt Park has been demolished. Located at 2932 W. North Avenue, this attractive brick building with limestone base and doorway, bands of bay windows and projecting cornice was built around 1900. Located just beyond the borders of the Logan Square Boulevards Landmark District, there were few protections to prevent this loss.
The developer, Wilmot Properties, purchased the building with the intention to demolish and replace it with a 5-story building. Wilmot Properties demolished the Carbit Paint Building on an adjacent parcel in December 2017. Preservation Chicago wanted to see this building saved and incorporated into the new development. At the very least, the historic facade should have been saved and blended into the new building. This is another significant and disappointing loss.
When 1st Ward Alderman Joe Moreno was pressed on this issue, his office released a written statement that “since the building was not designated as a Landmark or orange-rated historic building, the owner is within his rights to demolish a building which he characterizes as structurally unsound.”
It is true that the building failed a building code inspection in 2014 which cited bricks bulging in a section of the basement foundation wall, graffiti tags, and no access to verify smoke detectors or inspect the rear porch. There is no reason for this building to have been demolished other than the developer’s preference to maximize profit and buildable area on this parcel and to replace small, older units with large, new units.
Preservation Chicago and community preservation partners encouraged 1 st Ward Alderman Joe Moreno to take steps to prevent this demolition, and it appeared that the demolition was delayed in response to this outreach, However, Alderman Moreno lost his bid for reelection on February 26, 2019, and demolition began on 2932 W. North Avenue on the following day.
Both 2932 W. North Avenue and the Carbit Paint buildings were listed as contributing buildings in the National Register Historic Places as part of the Chicago Park Boulevard System Historic District. While inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places makes buildings eligible for tax credits, it does nothing to delay or prevent demolition.
Ward Miller, Executive Director for Preservation Chicago, said, “Not only is the community losing two historic buildings, but it’s also losing the historic street wall next to Humboldt Park. These world-famous parks, of the highest caliber, really do need these street walls to give a visual end and completeness to the park landscape. This developer already tore down the nice Carbit Paint building. Do we need to tear down three quarters of this block? This is historic for a reason, and this is a situation where we should be looking — at a minimum — at preservation of the facade.”
Another Historic Humboldt Park Building Being Razed To Make Way For Modern Apartments: ‘This Is Historic For A Reason’; The second historic building was just issued a demolition permit, angering local preservationists, Mina Bloom, Block Club Chicago, 1/16/19