The Chicago Alderman Who Outlawed Tall Hats and Tried to Outlaw Football

John Morris Leave a comment

1930 N. Cleveland, once home to Alderman Plotke [John Morris/Chicago Patterns]

At 1930 N. Cleveland St, a white Italianate cottage (above) stands as an ornate link to Nathan Plotke, a mostly forgotten Chicago alderman and Illinois state legislator, who, in 1897 made national headlines with two articles of legislation.

He gained notoriety for his efforts to prohibit the wearing of tall hats in a theater, and later ridicule for his attempt to outlaw football in the city of Chicago. He was additionally remembered by his children for making an incorrect prediction about the Great Fire in 1871.

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Preservation Chicago’s 2019 Chicago 7 Most Endangered Announced

Eric Allix Rogers Leave a comment

Thompson Center [Eric Allix Rogers/Chicago Patterns]

    Thompson Center [Eric Allix Rogers/Chicago Patterns]

Preservation Chicago released its annual Chicago 7 Most Endangered list today. Predictably, some long-simmering and contentious preservation fights made repeat appearances. The spaceship-like Thompson Center, now all but certain to be sold by the State of Illinois, once again makes the cut. This landmark of postmodernism faces an uncertain future regardless of ownership, but a sale might clear the way for demolition and replacement.

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2018 Retrospective for Chicago Historic Preservation

Chicago Patterns Staff Leave a comment

1501 W 18th St. Part of Preliminary Recommendation for Pilsen District [John Morris/Chicago Patterns]

In years past, our yearly retrospective of architectural preservation in Chicago consisted of mostly losses with a few small wins. In 2018, however, a few significant victories changed the tone of how the city’s historic resources are maintained and preserved.

Some of same trends from years past continued in 2018: the loss of late 19th century Italianate homes and flats in near-NW side neighborhoods and Victorian cottages in places like Lakeview and Lincoln Park. Some of these erasures are stories of displacement, as long-term residents in older buildings are pushed out as developers erect expensive single-family homes and 2/3 flats in the place of existing buildings.

But on the plus side, two themes emerged in 2018: new landmarks and community action.

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Neighbors Launch Preservation Push in Bronzeville: Save Our Stable!

John Morris 1 comment

As we reported in September, a long-vacant building designed by Holabird and Roche in Bronzeville is facing imminent demolition. On Tuesday night, a group of stakeholders and neighbors gathered to discuss the history of the building and chart out a vision for its rehabilitation.

The permit was issued in late October; time is quickly running out. But with the help of Preservation Chicago and Landmarks Illinois, the ad-hoc group has a plan and an online petition to save it.

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