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Historic Burnham facade could be saved from demolition in West Loop

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Preservationists have just four days

City of Chicago

A historic West Loop building designed by D. H. Burnham & Company in 1910 faces demolition, but preservationists are trying to save the gorgeous glazed brick exterior.

And they have until Monday.

The orange-rated building at 1217 W. Washington Boulevard has a highly decorative facade with glazed white brick and detailed red window arches.

Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, spoke to the owner, Peppercorn Capital Thursday morning. The company isn’t interested in selling the building or reusing the exterior in the new construction. While that type of preservation is ideal, there are other options too.

The owner said they’d be willing to donate the exterior, Miller said. If Preservation Chicago can find someone willing to remove the exterior at their own expense, a piece of Burnham’s design could be saved.

So, how much would that cost? Miller estimates a range of a couple hundred thousand dollars.

He’s also spoken with nearby developers and the Illinois Railway Museum to see if they’d be willing to use the exterior in some way.

While the likelihood of survival for this historic building appears grim, Miller said, this wouldn’t be the first case where a solution was found in the 11th hour.