THREATENED: Historic Apartment Building Fronting Humboldt Park to Be Demolished

Carbit Paints Building, 2942 W. North Avenue, Photo Credit: Google Maps Street View

 

Proposed New Construction Building, Photo Credit: Wilmot Properties

The historic four-story building located at North Avenue and Richmond across from Humboldt Park has been issued a demolition permit. 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.

The developer Wilmot Properties purchased this 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.

Both 2932 W. North Avenue and the Carbit Paint Buildings were listed as “contributing buildings” in the National Register of 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.

Andrew Schneider, president of Logan Square Preservation told Block Club Chicago, “We are disappointed that yet another property nominated for the National Register bordering Humboldt Park is slated for demolition. We argued against the demolition of the neighboring Carbit Paint building, in part because the incentives that these up-zonings create to reduce the value of existing buildings to merely the land they sit on.”

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’s sprawling namesake 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 a nice building. Do you 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.”

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.”

In fact the building did fail 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 be demolished other than the developer’s preference to maximize the buildable area on this parcel and to replace small, older units with large, new units.

Preservation Chicago would like to see this building saved and incorporated into the new development. At the very least, the historic facade should be saved and blended into the new building.

Additional Reading
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

Humboldt Park historic building to come down, replaced by modern apartments, Mina Bloom, Chicago Sun-Times, 1/6/18

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