LOSS: Mercy Home Demolishes Beautiful Historic Building at 221 S. Racine for a Vacant Lot

221 S. Racine. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers
221 S. Racine. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers

Mercy Home is in the process of demolishing the building at 221-225 S. Racine.

Despite dating from 1892 and having a highly intact, beautiful limestone façade, it is not Orange-rated because this building was overlooked by the Chicago Historic Resources Survey.

Without any protections, Mercy Home was able to receive a same-day demolition permit without any delay, oversight or approval. The permitting and demolition have proceeded rapidly.

Per Mercy Home in a letter to Preservation Chicago dated March 4, 2020, “ We currently do not have plans for future development of the site at this time.” Preservation Chicago anticipates this rare building type of fine carved limestone will be replaced with a vacant lot or paved parking lot.

In additional to the loss of the historic building, Chicago is experiencing an affordable housing shortage with some reports estimating 120,000 units needed. This building has provided 10 units of rental housing for Chicagoans for 128 years. It’s a shame to see these units lost and replaced with a vacant lot.


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