THREATENED: Strong Community Opposition Delays Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings Demolition Zoning Hearing (Chicago 7 2024)

Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Turner Manufacturing Company Building, 2309-2325 S. Keeler, Alfred S. Alschuler, 1918 – 1921, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Turner Manufacturing Company Building, 2309-2325 S. Keeler, Alfred S. Alschuler, 1918 – 1921, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Western Felt Works, 1916, R.C. Fletcher, 4115 W. Ogden Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Threatened demolition of Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings including Western Felt Works and Turner Manufacturing Company Buildings makes the front page of the Chicago Tribune Business Section on April 17, 2024. Image credit: Chicago Tribune
Letter from Alderman Michael Rodriguez in opposition to the proposed development at Ogden and Keeler dated May 15, 2024. Image credit: Aldermanic Office of the 22nd Ward

“North Lawndale residents are pushing back on a plan to demolish a dozen historic manufacturing buildings and replace them with a logistics operation they fear will send large diesel trucks rumbling through their streets, shaking their homes and polluting the air.

“Real estate developer IDI Logistics owns and plans to rebuild on more than 15 acres along West Ogden between Pulaski and Keeler in the Lawndale Triangle neighborhood.

“The Chicago Plan Commission is scheduled to consider the IDI proposal at a City Hall meeting Thursday morning. Residents hope the commission will halt the proposal.

“‘If nobody stands up, we can continue to be railroaded and run over,’ said resident Norvetta Landon.

“Some of the buildings are historically significant dating back more than a century, preservationists say, but IDI plans to tear them all down and replace them with an almost 250,000 square foot structure.

“Landon filed a lawsuit last month in Cook County Circuit Court seeking to stop the demolition. She has no lawyer but said she hopes an environmental or preservation advocacy organization will join her suit.

“Landon is concerned about the lead and asbestos removals for the dozen buildings as well as the safety safeguards in place around the area. Already, she’s noticed broken glass from the buildings landing near the sidewalk where children pass, a problem that would’ve been fixed with simple preventative measures, she said.

“Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd) said he will not support the project if it includes a sizable trucking distribution facility.

“Instead, he said he prefers manufacturing that creates ‘higher-paid career-oriented jobs, more unionization and less trucking for a community already dealing with an overburdened trucking environment.’

“Large logistics operations on the Southwest Side have brought thousands of trucks that contribute to poor air quality, chronic respiratory issues and a nuisance to neighbors who say they see drivers often cut through residential streets.

“Residents and other opponents of the IDI project also noted that the old factory buildings on Ogden recently housed small businesses. Preservationists said the buildings could be redeveloped to house small business incubators.

“‘We want to grow this city in a very healthy way,’ said Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago. ‘Our mission is rebuilding some of these communities that have suffered from severe disinvestment.’

“The most significant buildings threatened but worthy of historic preservation are the Western Felt Works building on Ogden and two others that once housed Turner Manufacturing, a maker of wall decorations, on Ogden and Keeler, Miller said.” (Chase, Chicago Sun-Times, 5/15/24)

Read the full story at Chicago Sun-Times

 

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