WIN: Developers Chooses Adaptive Reuse for Werner Brothers Storage Building, Instead of Demolition (Chicago 7 2023)

Werner Brothers Storage Building, a 2023 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. 1921, George S. Kingsley, 7613 N. Paulina Street. Photo credit: Serhii Chrucky
Werner Brothers Storage Building, a 2023 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. 1921, George S. Kingsley, 7613 N. Paulina Street. Photo credit: Serhii Chrucky

“Updated plans have been revealed for the mixed-use development at 7603 N Paulina Street in Rogers Park. Located on the northeast corner with W Howard Street just north of the CTA Red Line Howard stop, the project was originally announced in 2022 with two phases involving the demolition of the Werner Bros storage building. Now Housing For All LLC is back with a revised proposal for the affordable housing project designed by Cordogan Clark & Associates.

“Originally proposed to be built in two phases starting with demolishing a collection of one-story commercial buildings to be replaced with a six-story structure, and followed by the demolition of the Werner storage building for a further expansion. However plans have now changed not too long after the 1921-built, glazed terra cotta building made the 2023 most endangered buildings list, prompting the preservation of its fanciful renaissance-revival style ornamentation once called Chicago’s most beautiful warehouse.

“The revised plans still call for a two-phase build out with the first phase still rising six stories on the corner butting up to the Werner building. On the ground floor will be 4,400 square feet of commercial space prioritized for tenants the project is replacing, as well as a community room, fitness room, laundry facilities, and bike storage. It is also worth noting that neither of the two facade options from the last proposal were advanced, instead it will be clad in beige masonry with ornamental base, corner, and parapet details.” (Achong, Chicago YIMBY, 5/25/23)

Preservation Chicago applauds developer Shelly Tucciarelli of Housing For All for reconsidering the adaptive reuse of the Werner Brothers Storage Building. Additionally, we applaud 49th Ward Ald. Maria Hadden and community members who strongly advocated for a preservation sensitive alternative for this development.

Affordability and preservation are strongly symbiotic and mutually beneficial. We consider Werner Brothers Storage Building to be an ideal candidate for affordable housing adaptive reuse. Historic preservation is highly compatible with affordable housing and we strongly encourage the reuse and incorporation of this beautiful historic structure, particularly its terra cotta cladding, into the new construction.

Preservation Chicago believes that affordable housing and transit-oriented development are necessary components of healthy communities. Through collaboration between the local community, developers, and preservationists, we are confident that both goals of providing affordable housing and retaining historic architecture can be met, resulting in an even more successful and dynamic project and more vibrant communities.

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