THREATENED: Developer Reveals Plans to Demolish 720 N. Wells

720 N. Wells prior to painting of exterior brick, built in 1872. Photo credit: Google Maps
720 N. Wells, built in 1872. Photo credit: Google Maps
207 W. Superior. Photo credit: Google Maps

“Two historic structures are set to meet the wrecking ball at the southwest corner of N. Wells St and W. Superior St. Announced in Alderman Reilly’s newsletter to constituents, the demolition will begin in March and be completed in June. Planned by Topography Hospitality and KF Partners LLC, the structures are set to be replaced by a five-story new development, but the scope of that project is unclear.

“The three-story brick and wood framed structure at 720 N. Wells was built in 1872, around the time of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but is green rated on the Chicago Historic Resources Survey with no protections from demolition. The Italianate structure at 207 W. Superior is estimated to be from the 1880s and is listed as orange-rated on the Chicago Historic Resources Survey. It was placed on the 90-day demolition delay list in mid-2023 and was ultimately released in August 2023.

“As noted in Alderman Reilly’s newsletter, Milburn Demolition will be serving as the demolition contractor, with the demolition permits awaiting issuance. The new development is expected to begin in September of this year, but no permits have been filed.” (Lukas Kugler, Urbanize Chicago, 2/6/24)

Preservation Chicago is working with urgency since the news broke to advocate for a preservation-sensitive alternative to the proposed demolition plan. Despite its architectural and cultural significance, and despite its age and good condition, 720 N. Wells has zero protections against demolition and was announced without any warning. Ironically, the small building the rear at 207 W. Superior is orange-rated and went through a 90-Day Demolition Delay. This is a very intact block and should be protected by Chicago Landmark Status.

Read the full story at Urbanize Chicago

 

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