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Preservationists Concerned Over Sale of Historic Wicker Park Building

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The building at 1530 N. Damen is being shopped around for redevelopment

An old Wicker Park building in a prime location is being marketed as a redevelopment opportunity, but preservationists are concerned that the building at 1530 N. Damen could potentially be demolished in order to construct a new development at the site. Interra Realty is shopping the building, which is located just steps from the Damen Blue Line station, as a future transit-oriented development. According to a promotional email, Interra does suggest that adaptive reuse or a complete redevelopment are possible for the building.

According to Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation Chicago, the building was designed by Frederick "Fritz" Foltz, of Treat & Foltz and completed in 1906 for the Metropolitan Business College. In an email to area preservationists, Miller comments on the possibility of demolition. "Noting that the 1530-32 N. Damen building is not 'orange-rated' in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey and is in a TOD (Transit-Oriented Development) zone, we are all concerned about the possibly that the building could be demolished or harmed," Miller stated. He adds, "It’s our collective view that this is a significant building, which should be considered for protection and a reuse idea."