LCA’S ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE
The city of Chicago “harbors a cache of architectural gems that are tucked away in its neighborhoods” Blair Kamin and Patrick Readon wrote in their multi-part Tribune series A Squandered Heritage (January 2003). If we come to understand these structures, they provide us with a visual historical legacy well worth treasuring and preserving. Over twenty years ago, every building in Chicago was analyzed, inventoried, and color-coded based on each structure’s historical and architectural worth by the Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS)*.
The color coding (red, orange, yellow-orange, green, purple and blue) defined a structure’s level of architectural and historical significance. The Survey, though valuable for its documentation, did not protect even the most significant of buildings against demolition. Because of the razing of many of these historically noted buildings , the city in 2003 approved and issued a demolition delay ordinance to protect red and orange-rated buildings. This ordinance provides a 90-day temporary hold on the issuance of demolition permits. The delay is to provide time to explore development alternatives to demolition. To date, this ordinance has saved only a few of the structures it was designated to help. We wish to educate and inform our members on these historical structures within our association boundaries. Though some of the buildings may be beyond saving, many are worth the effort. All are worth noting.
A red property possess an architectural feature or historical association that makes the property potentially significant in the broader context of the city ( Chicago), the State of Illinois or the United States of America. There are approximately 300 “red” properties identified in the CHRS. No building was inventoried as red within LCA boundaries by the survey.
Lincoln Central Association is honored to harbor over 100 orange-rated buildings. An orange rated building possesses an architectural feature or historical association that is significant within the context of its community. Orange rated buildings can be landmarked. An early work (1880-1889) of Adler and Sullivan, 2310-2312 Lincoln, was listed as “orange, but was later designated a Chicago Landmark. Yorndorf Hall (Northeast corner of Halsted and North Avenue) is another outstanding example of an orange-rated building within LCA boundaries that was later designated a landmark building. Other orange-rated buildings that have been land marked within our boundaries include the Burling row houses in the 2200 block of Burling.
A yellow-orange building lacks individual significance but may still contribute to a city landmark district.