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Tour the city’s most endangered architectural treasures with Preservation Chicago

The annual “Chicago 7 Most Endangered” bus tour returns Saturday

Art deco detailing on the Laramie State Bank building.
Eric Allix Rogers/Preservation Chicago

Chicagoans hoping to avoid the lakefront crowds at this weekend’s Air and Water Show have a chance to instead explore some of the city’s threatened architectural treasures. On Saturday, August 17, Preservation Chicago will conduct its annual guided bus tour of the endangered buildings, parks, and public artworks from this year’s “Chicago 7” list.

Led by Preservation Chicago’s executive director Ward Miller and Forgotten Chicago’s Jacob Kaplan, the excursion will visit sites such as the art deco Laramie State Bank in Austin, Woodlawn’s Loretto Academy, downtown’s James R. Thompson Center, and Roman Catholic churches. The tour provides in-depth background on each site as well as an appreciation for what would be lost if they were demolished or, in the case of Jackson Park, adversely altered.

However, one structure from this year’s Chicago 7 list that’s absent from the event is the Crawford Power Station designed by the architects Graham, Anderson, Probst and White in 1926. The Little Village utility building is currently being demolished and replaced by 1,000,000-square-foot distribution warehouse.

The tour’s air-conditioned bus will depart at 10 a.m. from Preservation Chicago’s office at 4410 N. Ravenswood Avenue and return at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and include light snacks and beverages. Participants also have the option to purchase lunch at one of the stops.

The atrium of the James R. Thompson Center.
Eric Allix Rogers/Preservation Chicago