THREATENED: Nordine Home on 90-Day Demolition Delay Despite Interest From Preservation-Oriented Prospective Buyer

“A demolition permit has been filed for the former home of late voice actor and jazz poet Ken Nordine, setting off a city review over whether razing the mansion is the right course of action.

“Nordine, a renowned voice actor, radio host and inventor of “word jazz,” lived with his family in the last remaining single-family home in the 6100 block of North Kenmore Avenue. Nordine died early last year, putting the fate of the stately mansion up in the air and sparking a neighbor-led preservation effort.

“In late December, Nordine’s estate filed for a demolition permit for the home, city records show. The demolition filing has neighbors worried about the building’s fate. “We’re hopeful” the home will be saved, said Bob Remer, president of the Edgewater Historical Society. “But we’re not out of the woods yet.”

“The Nordine Home, as it is known to neighbors, has been rated “orange” in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey. Because of its “orange” status, the demolition permit for the Nordine Home has been given an automatic 90-day delay. The delay allows the city’s Department of Planning and Development to review the teardown request and consider if the building is worth preservation. The Nordine House is orange-rated is a demolition request will trigger a 90-day demo delay.

“In an email to constituents, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said he is monitoring the demolition permit process and is generally in favor of historic preservation. “I strongly support the preservation of historically significant buildings,” Osterman said in an email.” (Ward, Block Club Chicago, 1/21/20)

Recognizing the importance of the house designed by architects Pond & Pond in 1902, Preservation Chicago has presented to the owner/seller and the Alderman a highly-qualified cash buyer who can match the developer’s offer and who would preserve the historic home. Yet despite this win-win alternative, the current owner/seller continues to proceed towards demolition. Their application on December 12, 2019 for a demolition permit started the 90-Day Demolition Delay count-down for this property. Preservation Chicago is working closely with the Edgewater Historical Society and our Statewide preservation partner Landmarks Illinois to bring about a preservation sensitive outcome.

Read the full article at Block Club Chicago

As Edgewater Neighbors Fight To Save Late Jazz Poet Ken Nordine’s Mansion, Estate Moves To Demolish It Neighbors are hoping to save the stately mansion that is the last single-family home on its Edgewater block, Joe Ward, Block Club Chicago, 1/21/2020


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