THREATENED: Owner Neglect Accelerates Deterioration of Lake Street Schlitz Tied House

Lake Street Schlitz-Brewery Tied House / formerly La Lucé restaurant, 1892, 1393-1399 W. Lake Street in March 2021. Photo Credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
Lake Street Schlitz-Brewery Tied House / formerly La Lucé restaurant, 1892, 1393-1399 W. Lake Street after neglect and vandalism on September 1, 2022. Photo Credit: Alex Krikhaar
Board-up in progress at landmarked former La Luce, September 6, 3:20 pm. Photo credit: Lynn Becker tweet @LynnBecker

Preservation Chicago notified the City of Chicago regarding the shockingly deteriorated condition of the Lake Street on September 1, 2022. Excerpt below from letter submitted to the City of Chicago by Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation Chicago.

“We wanted to share this photo with you of the former Schlitz-Brewery Tied House on Lake Street, also known as the former La Luce Restaurant, and located at 1393-1399 W. Lake Street in Chicago.

“This building is now a Designated Chicago Landmark and owned by a developer, which has over the past year since it was Landmarked, has been left open numerous times and vandalized. This is absolutely shameful and illegal to have a building in this condition, which we feel is intentional.

“We at Preservation Chicago have outreached to the attorney for the developer last Thursday afternoon, as well as in the past. Also, many calls to DPD and 911, in the past, to keep people safe and out of the building, as well as reduce vandalism to this amazing structure. We’ve also outreached to the Alderman’s office on Thursday afternoon, but this owner/developer needs to stabilize and restore this building, as it’s an embarrassment to the City and our Landmarks program.

“Please let us know how we can further assist in this effort. As you can see in the photo, vandals are removing the decorative copper sheet metal from the bay windows, defacing the building with graffiti and breaking and removing windows. This is unconscionable to allow to occur to a designated Chicago Landmark.

“It’s my personal opinion is if this developer/owner cannot clean-up this terrible mess and restore this Chicago Landmark building, perhaps they should be considered banned from doing business in Chicago in the future. This is unfortunate all around, but its terrible when a developer/owner allows this to occur. They need to know that this action needs to be reported to the Building Department for code and life safety violations and needs correcting or considered for court action.”

The communication had the desired impact and within a few days, workmen were photographed securing the building.

Schlitz-Brewery Tied House / formerly La Lucé restaurant became a Chicago Landmark in July 2021 after a rapid response preservation advocacy effort to when its owner attempted to demolish it. Dating from 1892, this Queen Anne Victorian building is, according to Maurice Cox, Commissioner of Planning and Development, at the landmark hearing, a ‘rare asset.”

Preservation Chicago has long advocated for the building’s preservation and will continue to advocate for it until its in a safe place.

After Being Spared From The Wrecking Ball, Victorian Building Formerly Home To La Luce Receives Landmark Status; Built in 1892 as a Schlitz brewing saloon and tied house, the Queen Anne Victorian building was La Luce’s home from 1989 until the restaurant closed in 2016, Justin Laurence and Mauricio Peña, Block Club Chicago, 7/21/21

Former La Luce Building In West Loop Saved From Demolition Again, Given Temporary Landmark Protection; The former Schlitz Tied House dates back to 1891. Most tied houses of this size and stature have been torn down, city officials said, Mauricio Peña and Hannah Alani, Block Club Chicago, 4/1/21

After Being Spared From The Wrecking Ball, Victorian Building Formerly Home To La Luce Could Get Landmark Status; If approved, the recommendation would be the first step in designating the Fulton Market building, which dates back to 1891, a city landmark, Mauricio Peña, Block Club Chicago, 3/31/21
Column: Former Fulton Market restaurant and Schlitz tavern is safe from wrecking ball — for now — after city revokes demolition permit, Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune, 12/3/20
Petition signatures and comments to Save the Lake Street Tied House

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