Rallying to Save a Twice-Burned Woodlawn Landmark

Eric Allix Rogers Leave a comment

Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in 2014. [Eric Allix Rogers/Chicago Patterns]

Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, 2014. [Eric Allix Rogers/Chicago Patterns]

The smell of smoke was heavy on the air for miles around on the morning of October 7, 2015. Neighbors awoke to the news that the Shrine of Christ the King, 6401 S. Woodlawn Ave., had suffered a devastating fire – the second in the history of the building. When the hoses were packed up, the walls were still standing, but this pillar of the Woodlawn community faced an uncertain future. Members and neighbors are now fighting for its future. Learn why the building is worth saving, and what you can do to help.

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The Surviving Post-Fire Buildings in Chicago’s Loop

Gabriel X. Michael 13 comments

Lake-Franklin Group, viewed from northwest corner of Lake and Franklin Streets. [Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns]

Within Chicago’s Loop neighborhood, among the urban canyons of soaring glass & steel office buildings, there is a unique and rare collection of architecture: the commercial buildings erected in the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire. These are commonly referred to as the “Post-Fire” era buildings, built from 1872 up until the advent of modern building materials and advanced construction techniques. These unprecedented approaches to commercial architecture facilitated the birth of the multi-story “skyscraper” in the early-mid 1880s, notably William Le Baron Jenney’s Home Insurance Building erected in 1883.

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Historic Chicago Subdivision in Decay: Samuel Eberly Gross Rowhouses of Fifth Avenue

Gabriel X. Michael 5 comments

2900 block of West Monroe Street, viewing northwest from an alley connecting Fifth Avenue and Monroe Street, April 2015. (Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns)

When renowned Chicago real estate developer Samuel Eberly Gross purchased swaths of land near present-day Fifth Avenue and Sacramento Boulevard, the area was not much of a neighborhood, but the undeveloped outskirts of western Chicago—very rural and surrounded by farms.

With the assistance of architect Lars Gustav Hallberg in 1887, he erected a series of upscale Queen Anne-style rowhouses to serve a growing, fashionable professional population working downtown; Chicago’s central business district was 3 miles to the east down Madison Street, and the recently established Garfield (then “Central”) Park was 4 blocks to the west at Homan Avenue (3400 West) for city residents’ enjoyment.

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On Death Row in Lake View: Gothic-Styled Herdegen-Brieske Funeral Home (Updated)

John Morris 8 comments

John Morris/Chicago Patterns

 

Update 03/29/15:

Crain’s Chicago Business reports the property was sold to Stone Street Partners for $3.8 million. In the article, Stone Street CEO David Trandel states they intend to keep the building intact as they develop around it–including 10 apartments.

NBC Chicago reports the entire interior will be gutted, and that the current owner is looking for retail or a restaurant to lease the space. Fortunately, it appears this structure won’t be a victim of facadism.

This outcome is the best that could’ve been hoped for, and we commend David Trandel of Stone Street Partners for recognizing the cultural and architectural significance of this building.

Original article from 11/2014 below.

At the intersection of Wellington and Southport, a 1920s Gothic-styled funeral home sits empty and faces an uncertain future. A few weeks ago it was released from the city’s Demolition Delay list, a status change that allows for demolition to proceed. Since 1985, this architecturally significant structure has been the Herdegen-Brieske Funeral Home. But business recently ceased operations and both the land and building are up for sale.

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