After a recent public hearing on the contested Fulton-Randolph Historic District landmarking designation at the beginning of this month, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks has unanimously approved of the measure to the make Fulton-Randolph area an official Landmark District. Opponents of the designation, including many involved in the Randolph Fulton Market Association, have been critical of the plan, arguing that the designation would inhibit new development—which is exactly the goal of the preservationists who have fought in support of the Landmark District. The Fulton Market area has become a hotbed of office development activity, but will this new measure put the brakes on the area's real estate boom?
[The properties affected by the measure]
According to Landmark Commission Chairman Rafael Leon, "The Fulton-Randolph Market District represents more than 160 years of Chicago's association with food-related manufacturing and distribution. The designation will help ensure this legacy continues to contribute to the character and economy of the Near West Side." The commission made its decision based on various municipal criteria required for such designation, including the area's value as an example of city heritage, with a distinctive theme, "exemplary" architecture, and the ability of district structures to convey relevant historic, community, and economic themes. The 74-acre area includes 142 properties, including 87 "contributing" buildings, 44 "non-contributing" buildings, and 11 vacant lots.
The Landmark District will ensure that buildings in the area will not be demolished or significantly altered, and that new projects for non-contributing sites be delivered in area vocabulary. There will also be limits to exterior elevations, in order to preserve neighborhood character. Next step for the district is the submittal of the Landmark Commission's recommendation to City Council, which could happen this June.
·Landmarks Commission to Discuss Fulton-Randolph Historic District Plan Tomorrow [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous Fulton Market coverage [Curbed Chicago]