“The Commission on Chicago Landmarks [recommended] on [Aug. 5, 2021], landmark status for a cluster of four late 19th century buildings in Lincoln Park, including one that a developer once planned to tear down.
“The three-story brick buildings at the intersection of Halsted and Willow streets represent an important architectural era in the city and highlight the major role that Germans played in the neighborhood’s development, according to a report from the Department of Planning and Development.
“The proposal has been in the works for years and is moving forward with the support of the owner of three of the properties, Laramar Goup, said Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), who represents Lincoln Park. Laramar has agreed to preserve its structures as part of a larger development plan that would include two new apartment buildings on Halsted, she said.
“This has been in the hopper for a very long time, and we’re glad it’s coming up,” Smith said. “Laramar has had a history in our neighborhood of buying historic buildings and keeping them. We appreciate their efforts.”
“The proposal would protect buildings at 1727-1729 N. Halsted, currently the home of Boka restaurant; 1733 N. Halsted, occupied by Pizza Capri; 1730-1732 N. Halsted, the longtime home of Vinci, an Italian restaurant; and 1800 N. Halsted, where the Willow Room, another bar and restaurant, opened four years ago. The buildings, which include apartments on their upper floors, were constructed between 1880 and 1890.
“Back in 2013, Chicago developer Golub floated a proposal to raze the building at 1800 N. Halsted, then the home of the Black Duck Tavern & Grille, to make way for an apartment development on the block.
“Designed in the Italianate and Queen Anne Style popular in the late 19th century, the four buildings serve as well-preserved examples of the period and provide a “gateway” to Lincoln Park from the city, according to the planning department report.
“‘Taken together, these buildings create a sense of place that exemplifies the historical significance of neighborhood mixed-use buildings and the streetscapes they created,’ the report says. The buildings also ‘exemplify the importance of Chicago’s Germans, one of the largest ethnic communities in the city’s history,’ according to the report. The area between Chicago and Fullerton avenues was the “epicenter” of the German community in Chicago in the late 19th century.” (Crain’s, 12/3/20)
Preservation Chicago has been working with community advocates and neighborhood organizations for almost five years. Special thanks to Deirdre Graziano, Diane Levin, Diane Gonzalez, and Allan Mellis for their tireless efforts and to 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith and 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins for their strong support. This recommendation for Landmark Designation is a wonderful outcome.
These four Lincoln Park buildings could be landmarks soon; A city panel is considering a preliminary proposal to assign landmark status to historic properties at the corner of Halsted and Willow streets, Crain’s Chicago Business, 12/3/20