The battle for the future of Old Town's beloved Carl Street Studios continues, but the new owner of 159 W. Burton Place has an ace in his deck—a demolition permit. The building is a part of the Carl Street Studios development that was created by SAIC students and architects Sol Kogen and Edgar Miller in the 1920s. The development took three mansions and transformed them into studios for artists, and helped usher in a new creative and cultural era for what would become the Old Town neighborhood. The particular building in danger was purchased this past April for $1.35 million by a developer who plans on replacing it with new residences. Despite the situation, preservationists are appealing to the developer to keep the exterior of the building intact.
The move has been controversial among Old Town residents and preservationists, who have been fighting to save the building. A petition created by the group SOS (Save Our Story, Save Our Street) has received over 1,000 signatures and is currently aiming to get 1,500. Meanwhile Zac Bleicher of the Edgar Miller Legacy group has been spreading the word to local media about the potential demolition, but believes there could still be some hope. "We are continuing to press the developer to do the right thing and respect the history and integrity of the block by rehabbing instead of demolishing the building," Bleicher tells Curbed, "Over 1000 people have signed our petition and at least half that many have personally commented on its importance to the City of Chicago and the Old Town community. Yes, we're asking [the developer] to use his heart. We realize that's not the way to maximize profits but we believe some things are more important than money, and his project would still be profitable."
·Old Town's Historic Carl Street Studios Building Under Threat [Curbed Chicago]
·Please sign this petition to preserve 159 W Burton Place [Change.org]
·159 W Burton Pl Chicago, IL 60610 [Redfin]