Preservation Chicago has released their 2008 "Chicago 7" list. The grass roots advocacy organization, established in 2001, is dedicated to raising awareness of the wrecking-ball threat to many of the city's architectural and historically significant treasures.
Preservation Chicago's 2008 most endangered:
1. Chicago Landmarks Ordinance
2. American Book Company Building
3. Devon Avenue Commercial District
4. Grant Park
5. Booker Building
6. Daily News Building and Plaza
7. Norwood Park
The history of each site is outlined on the website; simply click on the picture.
The Chicago Tribune has a good article titled, "How to protect the Daily News Building" by Blair Kamin.
The inclusion of Grant Park on the list is significant and unconventional.
Established in 1835, extended to the north in 1845 and then further east in 1899, Grant Park has always tempted development despite its designation as “forever open, clear and free”. In 1890, A. Montgomery Ward sued to have all structures removed and prevent new structures from being built. An 1897 Supreme Court decision upheld a circuit court decision prohibiting the City from constructing any buildings in the park. Ward omitted the Art Institute of Chicago from his original complaint and the museum was allowed to remain. This exception has been used to support the argument that museums are permitted in the park even if other buildings are not. When in 1906 the Field Museum of Natural History proposed to build in the park, Ward again sued and the Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier decision. The current proposal by the Children’s Museum renews this long standing dispute over the use of public parkland.
For more information on the history of Grant Park:
Encyclopedia Chicago entry on Grant Park and Chicago historian Carl Smith's interpretive essay on The Plan of Chicago.
A related post by The Chicago Traveler outlined the threat to The Chicago Athletic Association building and anex. There are several beautiful photos on the site of some of the architectural detail. What a huge loss of history this would be...Sad...
PRESS RELEASE: Chicago Architecture Foundation
Do We Dare Squander Chicago’s Great Architectural Heritage?
New Free Exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Foundation
January 22, Chicago -- Do We Dare Squander Chicago’s Great Architectural Heritage? a new, free exhibition, runs February 7 through May 9 at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Avenue. A protest sign carried by
photographer and preservationist Richard Nickel inspired the exhibition’s title. Nickel’s 1960 fight to save Adler & Sullivan’s Garrick Theater sparked the modern
preservation movement. The exhibition focuses on three motivations behind the desire to preserve the built environment: to celebrate design, to foster identity, and to revitalize city life.
“This exhibition asks why people want to preserve their communities. By choosing which buildings and places to save, preservationists help define Chicago’s appearance, image, and history,” said Gregory Dreicer, Vice President of Exhibitions
Do We Dare Squander Chicago’s Great Architectural Heritage? examines the role of historic preservation in the construction of Chicago and its identity. It features the stories of individuals and grassroots groups who have undertaken preservation efforts and evaluates the results of their actions. CAF is presenting programs, which are open to the public, to complement the exhibition.
Details and dates are available
The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a fitting host for Squander because a group
of preservationists, formed in 1966 to save H. H. Richardson’s Glessner House on
Prairie Avenue, birthed the organization. The Chicago Architecture Foundation has
grown to serve more than 400,000 people a year through tours, exhibitions, and