“A surviving Victorian building in Chicago’s rapidly developing Fulton Market district, originally a Schlitz tavern and later the home of the Italian restaurant La Luce, has been temporarily spared a date with the wrecking ball.
“City officials on Wednesday revoked a demolition permit for the building, located at 1393-1399 W. Lake St., that was mistakenly issued Monday, according to Peter Strazzabosco, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Planning and Development.
“The permit has been put on hold through March 1 [revised to March 30 and again to April 30] under Chicago’s so-called demolition delay ordinance, which requires city officials to review applications to tear down potential landmark buildings.
“‘This sort of slipped through,’ said Ward Miller, executive director of the advocacy group Preservation Chicago.
“An online Preservation Chicago petition that calls for the building to be permanently saved had gathered more than 1,000 signatures as of Thursday morning. [Now up to ~8,000 signatures]
“Built in the early 1890s and featuring such flourishes as a corner turret, the four-story structure is rated ‘orange,’ the second-highest rating, in the city of Chicago’s color-coded survey of potential landmark buildings.
“This time, preservationists hope the delay will give them time to persuade the city to confer landmark status on the building or to convince the owner to save its facades as part of an upcoming development.
“The building is “beautifully designed and crafted,” Miller said. “It’s really an intriguing building that just your regular citizens who walk and drive by have such an affection for it.” (Kamin, Chicago Tribune, 12/3/20)
Preservation Chicago’s research indicates that the Schlitz brand belted globe symbol designed by artist Richard W. Bock was introduced at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, one year after the Lake Street Tied House was built. This may explain why the characteristic Schlitz brand belted globe does not appear on the building’s façade. Artist Richard W. Bock was also credited with designing the lunettes and large spandrel friezes which framed the stage in Adler & Sullivan’s Schiller/Garrick Theater completed in 1892 and demolished in 1961.
Preservation Chicago has advocated for the building’s preservation since 2016 and over the past six months since its change of ownership.
129-Year-Old Victorian Building, Former Home To La Luce, Scheduled For Demolition; The former Italian restaurant and Midwest Performance Cars buildings are being torn down, likely to make way for a development, Jay Koziarz, Block Club Chicago, 12/2/20