WIN: Little Village Arch Landmarked

“Strong. Sturdy. A broad base.

“This is how Ald. Michael Rodriguez describes the iconic Little Village arch. It’s also how he describes his community.

“‘I think it represents the strength of the community,’ Rodriguez said of the arch. ‘I think it represents the vitality of the community and the beautiful culture that the Mexican American community has not only in Little Village but throughout the midwestern United States.’

“The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to make the arch an official Chicago landmark, bringing a months-long effort to a close. The designation also marks the first time a Mexican architect’s work has been granted landmark status.

“The arch spans West 26th Street in the Southwest side neighborhood, symbolically welcoming residents and visitors to ‘the Mexican capital of the Midwest’ and serving as an entry point into one of the liveliest commercial corridors in Chicago, only second to North Michigan Avenue in gross retail sales, according to a report by the Little Village Chamber of Commerce.

“Lifelong Little Village resident Cristy Calderon, 24, hopes the landmark status will bring positive attention to the neighborhood.

“Little Village has for decades served as a point of entry from Mexico into Chicago and the rest of the Midwest. An influx of Mexican immigrants in Little Village between 1960 and 1980 revived commerce and retail in the neighborhood — particularly on West 26th Street.

“It was built in 1990 and designed by Chicago architect Adrián Lozano in the same Spanish colonial style arches commonly found in Mexican cities, towns, haciendas and religious sites. It features a stucco and terracotta structure, a wrought-iron grille, a metal banner that reads ‘Bienvenidos a Little Village’ and a mechanical clock.

“Lozano, the architect of the arch, also designed the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Benito Juarez Community Academy, both in Pilsen. He died in 2004.

“The landmark designation will protect the structure from significant alteration or demolition, preserving it for future generations.” Stratman, (Chicago Sun-Times, 1/26/22)

Read the full story at the Chicago Sun-Times

Little Village arch gains official landmark status; City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to make the arch an official Chicago landmark, ending a months-long effort. The designation also marks the first time a Mexican architect’s work has been granted landmark status, Josephine Stratman, Chicago Sun-Times, 1/26/22

Little Village Arch, Gateway To ‘The Mexican Capital Of The Midwest,’ Is Now An Official City Landmark; Built in 1990, the landmark designation is the first for an architect of Mexican descent in Chicago, Justin Laurence, Block Club Chicago, 1/26/22

Little Village Arch expected to get landmark status Wednesday, John Byrne, Chicago Tribune, 1/25/22

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