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Ultra-Ornate Amber Building Inching Toward Restoration

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In the midst of rumormongering the development prospects for 1850 W Chicago Avenue we were steered back to a Curbed post from last September dealing with speculation for the derelict terra cotta structure at 1620 W Chicago. Sitting opposite the ever-handsome Goldblatt, this run-down artifact was being marketed for its residential possibilities. At the time, the preservation community and East Village Association were concerned with thwarting strip-mall style development. That appears to have happened, with the architectural firm Building Blocks, Inc. purchasing the property in May. According to Kevin Miske, masonry specialist at Building Blocks, the company is also the general contractor and is ratcheting up the paperwork to get going with a full restoration of the Amber Building's terra cotta, cast iron storefront, and "monumental sized wood windows". A stop work order was seen on the premises a couple weeks ago, but Miske tells us it's over the city's concern with a minor facade detail and will be resolved in short order.

Building Blocks is filing for a build out permit in October with interior work expected to begin 4-6 weeks later. The concept calls for ground floor commercial and two floors of offices. The firm will occupy one floor, with remaining spaces reserved for other members of the architecture/design community. "We hope that our restoration of the Amber Building will be a catalyst for other developers to do the same for the many historic structures within the local community," says Miske in an email to Curbed. And, just to get you salivating, Building Blocks is in talks with a restaurant/brewery tenant for that ground floor space (was our old headline psychic or what!?) . More updates to come!
·Something Brewing at Chicago and Ashland? [Curbed Chicago]
·Official Site: Building Blocks, Inc.