Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Preservation Chicago announces 8 most endangered historic sites

Early on in my hard core period of learning all kinds of stuff about urban revitalization and historic preservation, I came across a searing series from the Chicago Tribune about how the City of Chicago did an overall survey to determine particularly important elements of the built environment, but then they never did much with the information, and many of the buildings were lost. Each article was profusely illustrated with photos of the building, often a full page or more.

-- "Squandered Heritage Part 1: Search and Destroy"
-- "Squandered Heritage Part 2: Demolition Machine
-- "Squandered Heritage Part 3: Alternatives"

Preservation Chicago is the city-wide preservation organization, and their "Chicago 7," list every year (yes, a name check riff of the famous 1960s trial, but like a "baker's dozen" they add an eighth entry), often employs the listings to draw attention to structural issues with preservation policy and practice.

The Woodruff Arcade is a neighborhood building, not a large Downtown building.  It's faced with demolition and replacement by a 7 story new construction building.

WTTW-TV, the Chicago PBS station, did a feature on this year's list, Preservation Chicago Announces 7 ‘Most Endangered’ Sites of 2018," which includes an arcade building, an electricity substation, and most prominently, Jackson Park, which is to be the home of the Obama Presidential Library and Union Station, which like once proffered proposals for Grand Central Station in New York City, faces new development of tower buildings to capture the air rights from the station.

-- Chicago 7 list, 2018

For example, in year's past the list has included whole neighborhoods on the list, to draw attention to inadequate protections at the scale of a neighborhood. This year they've done that by including "brick paved streets."

Each item is detailed through a supplemental extensive write up, such as this one on Jackson Park.

Separately, note that "Chicago Tonight" is a nightly news, arts and entertainment program that airs on WTTW-TV, the Chicago PBS station. While many PBS stations have weekly shows that cover local matters, I think this may be the only such show broadcasting multiple times per week.

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