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Preservationists want a new landmark district in River North

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Preservation Chicago says that a row of Italianate buildings in River North are being threatened with demolition

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Nearly two years after a combination hotel and residential tower was proposed for a stretch of Superior Street in River North, preservationists are sounding the alarm about another plan for the site, which would see the demolition of several historic buildings. According to Preservation Chicago, some business owners in the buildings along Superior are being warned of a possible redevelopment and are preparing for 60 day notices to vacate the properties.

Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago tells us that three of the buildings that are being targeted are orange rated, meaning that there is a 90 day demolition delay so that the city can further investigate the historic significance of the buildings and perhaps try to arrange for their preservation. And as far as the new plan for the site? Miller says that there’s a Chinese investor based in New York who is seeking to build a high-rise—possibly a hotel—in place of the string of buildings.

However, to ensure the protection of these buildings, Miller is hoping that area residents will help push for the creation of a new landmark district. “This is McCormickville,” Miller said. “This is where the McCormick family lived before and after the Great Chicago Fire.” And with the continued demolition of other shorter, older buildings in the area, Miller says that there are only a handful of the original McCormickville buildings left. “We need to value every inch of space where there are historic buildings that tell the story of the neighborhood,” Miller concluded.