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Mapping Chicago's Seven Most Endangered Buildings in 2015

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For the city's 178th birthday Preservation Chicago has delivered its annual list of seven historic buildings that it believes are the most threatened: the Chicago 7. This year's list includes a variety of types of buildings, ranging from the once elegant South Side Masonic Temple to the industrial Finkl steel factory in Lincoln Park. Not all buildings highlighted by Preservation Chicago throughout the years have been so lucky to survive, but some have received new life after hard fought preservation battles. Here are this year's most endangered buildings mapped.


·Preservation Chicago [Official Website]
·Mapping Chicago's Seven Most Endangered Buildings of 2014 [Curbed Chicago]

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1. Agudas Achim North Shore Synagogue

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5029 North Kenmore Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640

Date built: 1922
Architect: Dubin &Eisenberg
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"Described as 'the last grand Chicago synagogue' its constructionwas a result of a merging of two congregations, the First Hungarian Congregation, known as 'Agudath Achim' founded in 1884 on Chicago’s West Side and the former Uptown community based North Shore Congregation known as the 'Sons of Israel.' Agudas Achim Synagogue is a magnificent structure, built in a combination of styles and detailing including influences of the Romanesque-Revival style (particularly at the arched entry to the synagogue) and with Spanish and Art Deco influences on the upper walls and cresting.
The building had been recently listed for sale and it is thought that a developer may purchase the structure and that the historic property may be threatened by a potential demolition."

2. Clarendon Park Community Center

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4501 North Clarendon Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640

Date built: 1916
Architect: C. W. Kallal
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"The Clarendon Park Community Center and Field House was created to 'facilitate lasting public access to the lake and to insure the health of all Chicagoans.' Clarendon Municipal Bathing Beach demonstrated Chicago’s commitment to the 'Reclamation of the Lake Front for the People' by Chicago Plan Commissioner Walter Moody. There was an important recognition as the Lake waters reputation shifted from the source of water-born illnesses and pollution several decades earlier and such amenities as the Clarendon Park facilities ushered in a new era and message, which reached national prominence in various publications, The building, designed by city architect, C.W. Kallal in a Mediterranean Revival Style, an architectural style that was used for such buildings as Marshall and Fox’s South Shore Country Club of 1916 (now South Shore Cultural Center) and the 63rd Street Bathing Pavilion in 1919. This style, also referred to as the 'Italian Resort Style' was defined by tall towers capped with hipped-roofs clad in clay tiles, large entry colonnades, porticos, loggias and open-air promenades compliments this style of architecture.
The Clarendon Park Community Center has experienced multiple alterations over time, some of them being extensive, heavy-handed and inappropriate. Due to some of these changes and additions, water infiltration has impacted the building and the community’s ability to use several spaces and rooms. City Code issues, necessary improvements and maintenance issues continue to be deferred."

3. A. Finkl & Sons Company Buildngs

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1332 West Cortland Street
Chicago, IL 60614

Date built: 1903-1950
Architect: Various architects
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"The A. Finkl and Sons Steel plant represents the manufacturing and industrial might of the City of Chicago, dating from the early 20th Century. This steel mill comprising 28 acres of land centrally located and surrounded by residential and commercial community area. It represents a bygone era of manufacturing in our central cities. The site was once home to several steel forging factories, fronting the Chicago River, much like the sites on the west side of the river being connected with leather processing and tanning factories, several which still exist and one which remains operational.
Currently the large commercial site is vacant and demolition permits have been issued for certain parts of the site, situated on the riverfront, without thought given to the many existing historic buildings. Preservation Chicago believes that adaptive reuse is possible and in many cases on the Finkl campus could preserve the industrial history within the PMD-Planned Manufacturing District."

4. Main Building (IIT)

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Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616

Date built: 1891-1893
Architect: Patten & Fisher
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"The Main Building at the Illinois Institute of Technology was designed by architectural firm of Patten & Fisher in 1891 and completed in 1893. It was built with funds from Philip D. Armour, a prominent entrepreneur and innovator who founded Armour & Company, the company that established Chicago as the meatpacking capital of the world. The building was the first building constructed on the campus and was designed to hold classrooms and offices for the school, then known as the Armour Institute of Technology. Main Building is a designated Chicago Landmark, which places the structure among some of Chicago’s finest and most significant buildings.
In the last several years, IIT has invested significant funds to repair and restore many of the iconic modern buildings of Ludwig Mies van Der Rohe on its campus. Main Buildingis also in need of investment and restoration. IIT is now seeking a developer to restore the building for adaptive reuse."

5. Neon Signs Throughout the City

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5210 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640

Date built: Various
Architect: Various
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"Chicago’s historic neon signs were oncea prominent part of Chicago’s landscape andcityscape, fronting almost every commercial street throughout the city. Once a popular form of advertising from the 1930s to the 1960s, the neon sign graced such buildingsas The Drake Hotel, the Marshall Field & Company Store, Santa Fe Building, restaurants and all sorts of businesses. While many examples remain, they are becoming rare celebrated features.
Preservation Chicago has been instrumental in trying to encourage retention, restoration and reuse of these signs, both recently and in the past. However, the cost of maintaining them,coupled with regulations and regular inspections of these signs have sometimes resulted in their loss and replacement with other less vibrant forms of advertisements."

6. Pioneer Arcade & New Apollo Theater

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1541 North Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60651

Date built: 1914, 1925
Architect: Jens J. Jensen,William A. Bennett
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"Along with its neighbor the New Apollo Theater, the visually-striking Pioneer Arcade is one of the last remaining anchor commercial buildings that comprise the business and entertainment center at North Avenue and Pulaski Road (formerly Crawford Avenue). The Pioneer Arcade is also Chicago’s largest surviving 1920s-era commercial recreationcenter, or “rec,” and was a popular West Side venue for bowling and billiards for over 80 years.
The last owner of the Pioneer Arcade closed the bowling alley in the mid-2000s. The building’s current owner, Hispanic Housing Development Corporation (HHDC), planned to incorporate the rehabbed historic PioneerArcade into a larger mixed-use development adjoining the site. A downturn in the economy over the past few years reduced the scale of the overall development plans to include only the new apartment structure extending to the corner of North Avenue and Pulaski. The New Apollo Theater and the Pioneer Arcade are two fine examples of neighborhood commercial structures that are currently vacant or underutilized. Both structures, located directly across the street from one another have suffered from deferred maintenance over time."

7. South Side Masonic Temple

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6400 South Green Street
Chicago, IL 60621

Date built: 1921
Architect: ClarenceHatzfield
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"The South Side Masonic Temple is an orange-rated building, designed by Clarence Hatzfield in 1921 and located in the Englewood community of Chicago. The building was located near to one of Chicago’s most successful neighborhood retailing and entertainment districts at 63rd and Halsted, second only to State Street in the Loop. A great many of the historic structures associated with this commercial intersection have been lost over time. The loss of the historic 63rd and Halsted streetwall has been so significant that the commanding presence of the Masonic Temple is now visible from many vantage points near this once prominent and bustling intersection.
The South Side Masonic Temple is an extraordinary building and a long-time landmark in Englewood, despite many years of vacancy and deferred maintenance. Unfortunately, the structure, that first appeared on our Chicago 7 Most Threatened Buildings List in 2004, continues to deteriorate and is exposed to the elements. It has also been on the Chicagoland Watchlist of our sister organization, Landmarks Illinois in 2003-2004 and 2009-2010."

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1. Agudas Achim North Shore Synagogue

5029 North Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640

Date built: 1922
Architect: Dubin &Eisenberg
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"Described as 'the last grand Chicago synagogue' its constructionwas a result of a merging of two congregations, the First Hungarian Congregation, known as 'Agudath Achim' founded in 1884 on Chicago’s West Side and the former Uptown community based North Shore Congregation known as the 'Sons of Israel.' Agudas Achim Synagogue is a magnificent structure, built in a combination of styles and detailing including influences of the Romanesque-Revival style (particularly at the arched entry to the synagogue) and with Spanish and Art Deco influences on the upper walls and cresting.
The building had been recently listed for sale and it is thought that a developer may purchase the structure and that the historic property may be threatened by a potential demolition."

5029 North Kenmore Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640

2. Clarendon Park Community Center

4501 North Clarendon Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640

Date built: 1916
Architect: C. W. Kallal
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"The Clarendon Park Community Center and Field House was created to 'facilitate lasting public access to the lake and to insure the health of all Chicagoans.' Clarendon Municipal Bathing Beach demonstrated Chicago’s commitment to the 'Reclamation of the Lake Front for the People' by Chicago Plan Commissioner Walter Moody. There was an important recognition as the Lake waters reputation shifted from the source of water-born illnesses and pollution several decades earlier and such amenities as the Clarendon Park facilities ushered in a new era and message, which reached national prominence in various publications, The building, designed by city architect, C.W. Kallal in a Mediterranean Revival Style, an architectural style that was used for such buildings as Marshall and Fox’s South Shore Country Club of 1916 (now South Shore Cultural Center) and the 63rd Street Bathing Pavilion in 1919. This style, also referred to as the 'Italian Resort Style' was defined by tall towers capped with hipped-roofs clad in clay tiles, large entry colonnades, porticos, loggias and open-air promenades compliments this style of architecture.
The Clarendon Park Community Center has experienced multiple alterations over time, some of them being extensive, heavy-handed and inappropriate. Due to some of these changes and additions, water infiltration has impacted the building and the community’s ability to use several spaces and rooms. City Code issues, necessary improvements and maintenance issues continue to be deferred."

4501 North Clarendon Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640

3. A. Finkl & Sons Company Buildngs

1332 West Cortland Street, Chicago, IL 60614

Date built: 1903-1950
Architect: Various architects
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"The A. Finkl and Sons Steel plant represents the manufacturing and industrial might of the City of Chicago, dating from the early 20th Century. This steel mill comprising 28 acres of land centrally located and surrounded by residential and commercial community area. It represents a bygone era of manufacturing in our central cities. The site was once home to several steel forging factories, fronting the Chicago River, much like the sites on the west side of the river being connected with leather processing and tanning factories, several which still exist and one which remains operational.
Currently the large commercial site is vacant and demolition permits have been issued for certain parts of the site, situated on the riverfront, without thought given to the many existing historic buildings. Preservation Chicago believes that adaptive reuse is possible and in many cases on the Finkl campus could preserve the industrial history within the PMD-Planned Manufacturing District."

1332 West Cortland Street
Chicago, IL 60614

4. Main Building (IIT)

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 South Federal Street, Chicago, IL 60616

Date built: 1891-1893
Architect: Patten & Fisher
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"The Main Building at the Illinois Institute of Technology was designed by architectural firm of Patten & Fisher in 1891 and completed in 1893. It was built with funds from Philip D. Armour, a prominent entrepreneur and innovator who founded Armour & Company, the company that established Chicago as the meatpacking capital of the world. The building was the first building constructed on the campus and was designed to hold classrooms and offices for the school, then known as the Armour Institute of Technology. Main Building is a designated Chicago Landmark, which places the structure among some of Chicago’s finest and most significant buildings.
In the last several years, IIT has invested significant funds to repair and restore many of the iconic modern buildings of Ludwig Mies van Der Rohe on its campus. Main Buildingis also in need of investment and restoration. IIT is now seeking a developer to restore the building for adaptive reuse."

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616

5. Neon Signs Throughout the City

5210 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640

Date built: Various
Architect: Various
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"Chicago’s historic neon signs were oncea prominent part of Chicago’s landscape andcityscape, fronting almost every commercial street throughout the city. Once a popular form of advertising from the 1930s to the 1960s, the neon sign graced such buildingsas The Drake Hotel, the Marshall Field & Company Store, Santa Fe Building, restaurants and all sorts of businesses. While many examples remain, they are becoming rare celebrated features.
Preservation Chicago has been instrumental in trying to encourage retention, restoration and reuse of these signs, both recently and in the past. However, the cost of maintaining them,coupled with regulations and regular inspections of these signs have sometimes resulted in their loss and replacement with other less vibrant forms of advertisements."

5210 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640

6. Pioneer Arcade & New Apollo Theater

1541 North Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60651

Date built: 1914, 1925
Architect: Jens J. Jensen,William A. Bennett
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"Along with its neighbor the New Apollo Theater, the visually-striking Pioneer Arcade is one of the last remaining anchor commercial buildings that comprise the business and entertainment center at North Avenue and Pulaski Road (formerly Crawford Avenue). The Pioneer Arcade is also Chicago’s largest surviving 1920s-era commercial recreationcenter, or “rec,” and was a popular West Side venue for bowling and billiards for over 80 years.
The last owner of the Pioneer Arcade closed the bowling alley in the mid-2000s. The building’s current owner, Hispanic Housing Development Corporation (HHDC), planned to incorporate the rehabbed historic PioneerArcade into a larger mixed-use development adjoining the site. A downturn in the economy over the past few years reduced the scale of the overall development plans to include only the new apartment structure extending to the corner of North Avenue and Pulaski. The New Apollo Theater and the Pioneer Arcade are two fine examples of neighborhood commercial structures that are currently vacant or underutilized. Both structures, located directly across the street from one another have suffered from deferred maintenance over time."

1541 North Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60651

7. South Side Masonic Temple

6400 South Green Street, Chicago, IL 60621

Date built: 1921
Architect: ClarenceHatzfield
What Preservation Chicago says about it:
"The South Side Masonic Temple is an orange-rated building, designed by Clarence Hatzfield in 1921 and located in the Englewood community of Chicago. The building was located near to one of Chicago’s most successful neighborhood retailing and entertainment districts at 63rd and Halsted, second only to State Street in the Loop. A great many of the historic structures associated with this commercial intersection have been lost over time. The loss of the historic 63rd and Halsted streetwall has been so significant that the commanding presence of the Masonic Temple is now visible from many vantage points near this once prominent and bustling intersection.
The South Side Masonic Temple is an extraordinary building and a long-time landmark in Englewood, despite many years of vacancy and deferred maintenance. Unfortunately, the structure, that first appeared on our Chicago 7 Most Threatened Buildings List in 2004, continues to deteriorate and is exposed to the elements. It has also been on the Chicagoland Watchlist of our sister organization, Landmarks Illinois in 2003-2004 and 2009-2010."

6400 South Green Street
Chicago, IL 60621