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Preservation unlikely for Edgewater’s threatened Woodruff Arcade

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Community concerns could see the design of its mixed-use replacement evolve

Image courtesy of Ward Miller/Preservation Chicago

Despite a push by local preservationists to save Edgewater’s Woodruff Arcade building, the 1923 structure at 6361 N. Broadway Street will likely be demolished for a new mixed-use development. The 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman believes its replacement—a seven-story, 58-unit apartment building with ground floor retail—is too far along in the redevelopment process for the City of Chicago to consider pursuing a protected landmark designation.

The elected official, however, did say that he was in talks with developers Borekci Real Estate and Algonquin Ventures Real Estate LLC about improving the design of the new building, reported EdgevilleBuzz. There are even some hopes that a solution could be found that would incorporate pieces or at least design influences from the old structure.

The latest public rendering of ‘The Arcade’ development.

The mixed-use proposal is already on its third design iteration and is expected to evolve to reflect feedback from the alderman and the community . Meanwhile, commercial real estate broker Edgemark recently changed the name of the development from ‘Loyola Gateway’ to ‘The Arcade’ in its marketing materials as a nod to the likely doomed older building.

Once common across Chicago, two-story commercial arcades were considered the forerunners of the modern shopping mall. The Woodruff building is the last example of its kind in Chicago—and possibly the nation.