“McCormickville” Landmark District Needed to Save Threatened Gold Coast Buildings

Preservation Chicago has been very concerned over the increasing frequency and recent losses of low-rise historic Near North Side buildings, in and around an area established by Cyrus McCormick’s family and once known as “McCormickville”. As development pressure grows and as surface parking lots are decreasing in number, developers are actively targeting clusters of intact, low-rise, historic buildings as development sites. Numerous historic buildings and historic clusters have been demolished recently, and a cluster of East Superior Street 1870’s and 1880’s Italianate and Victorian Row Houses is actively threatened with demolition.

Preservation Chicago is also concerned about the displacement and loss of small, locally-owned restaurants and retail Legacy Businesses that employ Chicagoans and contribute to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods. A new “McCormickville” Landmark District would be a powerful tool to protect this neighborhood’s historic building fabric and strengthen the vibrancy of the community.

Preservation Chicago strongly opposes the demolition of the three orange rated row-houses at 42, 44 and 46 E Superior dating from the 1870’s and 1880’s. The status of the adjacent seven-story Art Deco limestone building and the historic four-story red brick Giordano’s building at 730 N. Rush Street, identified as significant in the Illinois Historic Structures Survey, are unknown at this time, but are also potentially threatened by the same proposed hotel development.

Preservation Chicago discovered this remerged threat in fall 2016, broke the story to the media, and began to deploy its rapid response advocacy to prevent the demolition. A Chinese investor based in New York reportedly assembled much, if not all, of the block with the intention of clearing all the buildings and building a high-rise hotel. Some business owners have been warned of a possible redevelopment and are preparing for a 60 day notice to vacate. These orange-rated buildings would trigger the 90 Day Demolition Delay Ordinance.

“To ensure the protection of these buildings, Preservation Chicago is hoping that area residents will help push for the creation of a new landmark district. This is McCormickville. This is where the McCormick family lived before and after the Great Chicago Fire. And with the continued demolition of other shorter, older buildings in the area, that there are only a handful of the original McCormickville buildings left. We need to value every inch of space where there are historic buildings that tell the story of the neighborhood.” Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation, Curbed Chicago 12/8/16

Preservation Chicago applauds the Ukrainian Consulate General’s Office for recognizing the significance of their historic Victorian building on Huron near State Street, and protecting their building against an adjacent high-rise development.

Suggested Reading

Preservationists want a new landmark district in River North, AJ LaTrace, Curbed Chicago, 12/8/16

Demolition Work Begins on 19th Century Buildings at State and Huron, Curbed Chicago, 2/25/16

New Concerns Over River North’s Disappearing Rowhomes, Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago, 2/11/16


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