by Michael R. Allen
Preservation Chicago has released its annual “Chicago 7” list of endangered buildings. Far from a useless cry, the list has always been a measured and prescient examination of true threats to historic buildings of all ages and types. For Chicago urbanists, the list is a rallying cry. For those of us elsewhere, it’s the best reference for preservation issues in Chicago. (It’s also an inspiring model, much like Landmarks Association of St. Louis’ annual Eleven Most Endangered and Eleven Most Enhanced lists.)
One of the great things about the list is that its creators are flexible in what makes up a list item. Often, an item can be a district or neighborhood and this year has a few larger districts.
This year’s list features the following buildings:
I am delighted that Preservation Chicago is focusing attention on the Archer Avenue district amid Bridgeport’s gentrification boom, which may lead to massive demolition for admittedly urban new construction. And I’m doubly delighted to see anyone champion the Julia C. Lathrop Homes, an early low-rise federally-funded housing project that is a descendant of St. Louis’ Neighborhood Gardens Apartments. Chicago’s loss of the ABLA Homes went largely unmourned, although both the design and construction quality of mid-century low-rise housing projects make them great candidates for reuse.
See the Chicago 7 list here.