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Added Jul 20 2012

For those of you who have been following this story, the building located at 2734 N. Milwaukee in Logan Square will have its historic and unique Art Deco façade removed in the coming weeks to be replaced with standard modern brick.

Logan Square Preservation (of which I am a member) only became aware of the plan to remove the façade of the building, which until last year was covered with corrugated steel and housed a Pearl Vision, after a public meeting to discuss a zoning variance for an existing parking lot in the rear in March.

LSP’s leadership feels like the façade could have been saved but that last-ditch nature of attempts to obtain city funding and preserve it were stymied by leases signed by the building’s owners and the timing with which everything unfolded. After it's completed the building will house a brewpub along Milwaukee and a dialysis center in the back.

The loss of the building (I call it a loss, since the historic components are mostly to be removed) is a real tragedy in light of its connection to the Hairpin Lofts and Art Center project one block to the north that has been beautifully restored. This loss is especially sad in a neighborhood that prizes its historic resources as much as ours and given the example of the Hairpin building and the incredible restoration of the Logan Theater, recently completed just down the street.

It was originally built by Sol Goldberg, owner of the Hump Hairpin Manufacturing Company and built in 1931, the beginning of the Great Depression. Goldberg was described in a Chicago Tribune article of July 26, 1931 as a “consistent builder of business blocks throughout the present depression.”

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  • Continued from previous post...

    It was designed by the firm of Leichenko and Esser and completed in September of that year. A two-story fireproof store and loft building, it originally housed Lebow, Inc. on part of the first floor and all of the second, and the Palmer Apparel Shops, Inc., Florsheim Shoes and some other leases filled out the first floor. It had a total of six Milwaukee storefronts. Lebow, Inc. apparently had a large ornamental marble and bronze stairway that led to their second floor.

    Members of LSP reached out in several attempts to restore the beautifully ornamented exterior façade that originally had a crenellated cornice. The owners were well-intentioned and worked with us at the last minute in an attempt to preserve the historic façade, but the pressure of time has resulted in a very sad loss of an important corner building. We appreciate that the owners are working hard to invest in the community and have volunteered to re-install some of the ornamentation in the new façade. The building could have been glorious. Instead, we'll have something that looks as if it could have been built anywhere.

    I've included images with this message, the building in 1962 looking at its corner southeast along Milwaukee Ave., the original rendering from 1931 and a photo of the building's Spaulding elevation as it appears today.

  • Per a request from Everyblock, I put this entire post together but included the photos I reference above here:

  • How bad is the facade that it needs to be removed? None of it can be salvaged? I haven't been up there in awhile, so I've yet to see it without the corrugation.

    Also wasn't the Harding theater next door before it was demolished? It's really a shame we keep losing the architecture that makes Chicago what it is. If I wanted to live in Schaumburg I wouldn't have moved to the city :(

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    That's a shame. I would have hoped that alongside the owner who tried to preserve it, the brew pub, or their architect would have had enough awareness not only of its historic and aesthetic values but also the neighborhood values in Logan Square to make the extra effort to preserve it.

  • Yosef, I should mention that the brewpub owner also asked for the building to be restored - it was too late, unfortunately.

  • FYI, your link doesn't work.

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    Too late in terms of what? Permits that were pulled can be revised. Contracts for construction amended, etc. If everybody is willing, they'll find a way. Of course at the end it comes to time and money and whether a preserved Art-deco brew pub will sell more beer than the white box "urban-modern" version. I think in Logan Square, it will.

  • Chris - the photos have been moved into this post.

  • How is it too late? I don't care for that nonsense -- you just don't do it. Has it happened already? That building is a perfect partner to the building down the street (what only those corners are landmarked? Why not the next block? And the brewpub owner CAN do something about it -- it's his restaurant -- can't he object/pull out if need be? Liquor permits haven't even been issued yet for his business either so there's that/

  • matt h Strolling advocate.

    Brew. Pub?
    Cool. Well. I wonder if it's a new'un, or if that is the site that Three Floyds are going to be using for their Chicago expansion.

  • Meredith W.D. Chicagoan since 2002; LoganSq home & busin. owner

    @Andrew, are there larger images? These are all viewing as 1-inch squares (when clicked through). Thank you for the info. Last year I'd given a tour of some arts facilities in the neighborhood, and Hairpin Arts Center was one of our stops. At that time, when we walked past this building, and saw the camels, it was believed restoration was in process. I'm tempted to say we were told that (but I might be mis-remembering). Did something change in the intentions of the owners/leasers?

  • Andrew,

    I see the pics but when I click on them they're still the size of thumbnails.

  • Ryan Living all over Chicago

    This is sad! I lived in that area all last year and on a daily basis passed this building. Once I saw construstion begining and they were tearing some of the artificial facade of I could see the old bricks peaking through. By the time I had moved alot of this old was exposed and I was curious how old the building was and what not. The old brick looked cool and was a lot less of an eye-sore than the artificial facade. I had wondered to myself why they ever put the facade up to begin with. I hope something can be done to save the old brick, I would imagine it will look cooler than what ever then new brick looks like. Good luck saving it even though they say its too late!!!

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    If it's not broke....don't fix it!

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    Looking at the facade today,it appears that some damage has occurred on part of the Spaulding facade as they were removing the anchors for the metal cladding. But it is not so horrendous that it can't be repaired, and with the lessons learned from their first attempt which was on the side street, it's possible that the Milwaukee avenue side can be saved an the rest of the anchors removed with less damage. That is, if the owner and the brew-pub actually care enough about it or are given the proper motivation.

    It also appears that there is a zoning change requested as the current zoning won't allow a brew pub at that location, so this is at the preliminary design stage yet. Nothing about it could really be that final.

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    Yosef, "if the owner and the brew pub actually care " . The owner CARES VERY much, and is sadend but unfortunately caring doesn't cover the cost of the masonry.

  • Amy Resident

    Does anyone know more about the brewpub that's coming in? I believe there was a hearing about it at Café con Leche this past Tuesday. Perhaps a petition promising to boycott it if they do not restore the facade might have some effect? I'd gladly sign--there are plenty of other drinking and dining options nearby that are not destroying the street fabric.

  • Amy, I sympathize with what you're saying, but the owner of the brew pub did speak out in favor of restoring and preserving the facade.

  • And to everyone, regarding the size of the photos attached to this thread, they were moved from the original post - I've forwarded the originals to everyblock and asked for them to be replaced. Hopefully the full size images will be re-posted soon.

  • Amy Resident

    I see (should have read closer). Is there really nothing we can do? Can we express our opposition to the zoning change to Alderman Colon? If the zoning change isn't approved (as Yosef Asseo said), the brewpub can't move in, and I assume the impending occupancy is the reason why the facade needs to be dealt with in a rush, after sitting as-is for years?

  • rms

    It is sad that the historic facade will be lost. However, I don't think you can realistically blame the brew pub. Based on the original post, it appears that the b.p. signed a lease with the owners of the building. The lease undoubtedly addressed when the space would be delivered. The delivery date is the date from which the b.p.'s opening for business will inevitably flow. You can't ask a small business person, who probably took out financing given the scope of the business, to voluntarily back up the date it can start making money for a period of months. It's sad to lose the buildings historic facade, but on the bright side, it will be nice to have a business revitalizing that corner of Milwaukee ave.

  • Amy Resident

    I agree--certainly we shouldn't blame the b.p. owner, and I wouldn't want to fight the destruction of the facade in a way that would hurt that small business. I just meant to point out that the lack of time to obtain grant funding, etc. to restore the facade stems from the delivery date that the building's owner promised the b.p. (as rms points out). The key is: how to apply pressure to the owner without affecting the b.p.?

    What seems fishy/lazy/irresponsible on the owner's part is that the structure has sat unrestored so long, and now all of a sudden there's no time to preserve the facade. I pass this corner every day and workers have been gutting the inside of the building for a long time now. I know the grant process is slow, but if the owner had truly been committed to restoration, I would think he/she could have gotten some grants by now, and the restoration could have happened concurrently with the work on the interior.

    It seems reasonable to me that a zoning change ought to be contingent on an agreement to preserve a historically valuable structure. If a property owner is granted a zoning change that will make his/her property more valuable, it seems only fair that he/she ought to have to give back to the community. Fighting the zoning change unless there is some restoration agreement attached does not necessarily hurt the b.p.--the building owner just has to agree to preserve the facade. And given how long the building has set unused, I think they'd be loathe to lose the tenant they finally found.

  • While we wait for everyblock to re-post those photos, I have two of them online here:

    Amy, regarding their zoning change, I'm not sure exactly what was required, but I believe they already have their changes and their permits to re-build.

  • Amy Resident

    Thanks for the update, Andrew. Do public hearings have to be held for zoning changes? And is there a central place to look for info about them? I would assume it would be on the city clerk's website, but I've tried to find information on there before, and it's impossible...

    If it's a done deal, at least we can look forward to a new place to eat in the neighborhood.

  • Agreed and thanks for the update Andrew - it's never too late with these old buildings until it's over. Everyone should call the alderman's office - we need to think about this building and the next one.


    Voice your opinion - is it possible that someone could be found that works with these old buildings that could match the price to repair/restore the deco stone? Or is it possible to put as much as possible back up? The Spaulding side has been in good shape - still standing anyway, for decades!

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    Andrew, from what I was able to gather from the sign posted on the building, it looks like a new zoning change is currently in process, this one to allow for a brew-pub, rather than the plain vanilla retail and parking rezoning applied for with the zoning change from March.

  • I really don't understand why this can't be salvaged? They could shore up the existing facade and add back the missing elemets at a later date. I find it disingenuous to say "oops, ran out of time". If the BP wants it, the owners want it and the neighborhood wants it what am I missing?

    I gotta say a brewpub in that building would be fantastic.

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    What would have been even more awesome was having a brew-pub in the old Brewery on Elston that unfortunately was torn down, probably to make room for another strip mall. That place would have been a natural for a brew-pub (remember the original Goose Island brew pub in a similar industrial building on Clybourn?) While that was a loss that we can't reverse, fortunately this is not at that point yet.

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    I love how everybody seems to "know" Whats going on. The "BrewPub" has nothing to do with the construction, even if they decides they no longer wants to be a tenant the construction will go on without them, The construction needs to be done because the building is old & needs repairs.

    "What seems fishy/lazy/irresponsible on the owner's part is that the structure has sat unrestored so long"

    AMY I don't know about you, but not every body has a million dollars in there pocket, if you do please let the owners know cause that way they could do the resto! The construction has been on hold for about a year because the owners were trying to get help ($$) to restore the facade to original! Unfortunately there is $0.00 in TIFF to help with the restoration & all the G.C.'s that came to "offer help" came back with even bigger estimates ($$$) Everyone here on EB like to point fingers , but I don't see anyone offering solutions. Don't you think the owners would like to see it restored to its original form and have a kick ass building in the to be proud of?

  • Chris - I believe the issue is cost, which I understand is substantial.

    That being said, I believe there are still alternatives to explore - such as restoring as much of the building as possible, leaving the Spaulding facade in place, etc. I certainly hope that the folks who make decisions are truly considering all the alternatives until the very last moment.

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    I agree with Victor, we don't know enough about what's going on. And we are getting what little information we have, at the last minute.

  • Amy Resident

    Victor Paul: I don't think any of us are pretending to know what is going on; we're just going on our best understanding of the situation. You clearly know more than most of us, so thank you for sharing the details you're aware of.

    Based on my experience as a lifelong renter, I never assume a property owner cares about anything but the bottom line, but I do hope that's not the case here. This space hosted the Mopery for a while, so there is evidence that the owner has a broader view than that.

    Yosef Asseo hits the nail on the head: the problem is we're finding out what little we do know so late, when it seems there's hardly any time for citizens (like those on this forum) and preservation groups to assist--for example, by lobbying our alderman to find funding.

  • Victor, Have the Owners reached out to the neighborhood or tried to set up donations to help off set the costs? Has anybody contacted Preservation Chicago or Landmarks Illinois for help? What's the Alderman's take (no pun intended). The Cities got plenty of TIF money when some corporation wants a new bathroom. And didn't the Logan just complete their rehab with TIF cash? This would make as much sense as any for a TIF grant. Where there's a will there's always a way. I don't buy it.

    Andrew, ok I get the money side but is the facade solid? If it's not an issue with it falling off then a plan could be put in place to do it over time. There's no reason to rush and ruin something been here for 80+ years and that's an asset to the city and the neighborhood.

  • rms

    Victor, you are right, I don't know what is going on. I was responding to the set of facts set forth in the original post. I didn't voice my opinion on ownership one way or another. I was simply responding to Amy's original post about the brew pub, which she has since clarified. However, I do think the brew pub may have something to with construction. If there is a lease promising that a percentage of the building will be completed by a certain date, ownership has to deliver or be in danger of a breach of contract or loss of revenue. There may not be such a clause in the lease, but there may be. I can see lots of scenarios where a well intentioned owner tried to do the right thing and didn't have the funds to do it. It is pretty hard to get quick cooperation from the City of Chicago. I can also see scenarios where the owner is driven only by the bottom line. I have no idea what is going on with ownership, as you pointed out. But I think you are wrong to say the brewpub has nothing to do with it.

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    The owners spoke with several people from the neighborhood. Without mentioning any names, an architect from a preservation group came to "help" last year when it was put on hold ,with Grand Ideas of what should be done & how it should be done & couldn't bear to see this lost, but I don't remember him offering a discount on his architectural services & went MIA until a few days ago. Another brought a master mason who help rebuilt the "great pyramids of giza " owners told him the construction would be put off but they needed estimates asap. When called to set up a date for his expertise estimate they were told they had to wait 2 months just to come and give an estimate. The owners called the TIFF and were told that there were NO FUNDS left. The facade isn't solid according to all of the masons that came, all the stones have to be completely removed & re-pinned with stainless steel pins. A few other masons that came out said it could be patched but without re-pinning it was like a bandage it wouldn't last.

    I'm sorry if I sound like a d*%k , but I get upset when people make it sound as if the owners don't care or don't want to restore it to original. The owners emigrated to the U.S. Logan Square for 45yrs ago with nothing . They purchased the property 30yrs when nobody wanted to be here, when the apartments & storefronts were crap, & pushers and bangers. They felt a sense of pride with the improvements made to the building and changes in tenants & to be called lazy or apathetic is a bit hurtful.

  • Victor,

    I know people get a little emotional here, but you should look up at the original post. The owners are described as well-intentioned and that they worked with LSP until the very last minute.

    I think you should take the comments here in the spirit to which they are intended, we all feel a sense of pride in the neighborhood and want to do everything we can to preserve a place we love. I think that most of what was said in this thread was constructive and passionate.

  • Amy Resident

    I just saw Andrew's post, so apologies for any redundancies.

    VictorPaul, thanks for sharing your inside scoop. All of us are only speaking based on what we know at the time we comment. You seem to be privy to details most of us don't have. It might be helpful if next time you share all the information you're at liberty to disclose early in the discussion and at once, so everyone can be on the same page.

    I think there are some points most of us would agree on:
    a.) we wish the facade could stay,
    b.) we would have liked more time to see how we could _help_ (I repeat, _help_) the owners make the restoration happen
    c.) we want to help them make it happen, if there's still something we can do, and
    c.) we want to know how we can be aware of endangered historical structures/facades earlier, so in the future we can help create a different outcome.

    I still believe (perhaps naively) that when groups of people come together and apply pressure, we can get government to do things it won't for a single person or business owner, including "magically" finding funds for preservation.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    All EXCELLENT points, Amy!

  • Susan S. resident

    So inundate alderman's office with calls and visits. "No" to zoning change, and where is the TIF money going to if not to help in just this kind of situation? Stop squandering tax dollars!

  • Susan S. resident

    As someone posted above, this zoning change request is in addition to previous zoning change.

  • KJB Resident

    Still curious to know a little more about the brewpub owners? Are they local to Chicago? A well known brewery? Three Floyd's?

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    Victor, as I know nothing about the owner, I am just going by what you tell us, and it looks like the owner cares enough to ask for help, tiff money, pro-bono work, discounts from architects, free estimates - and finally gave up. But has he considered to pay for it himself? He owns what is a valuable piece of real estate today, and probably even more so in a few years. And we know it could not have cost much when he bought it. So there is a lot of profit to be made. The poor immigrant story does not fly too well here, many of us came to this neighborhood decades ago as immigrants with nothing. We made the neighborhood, and the neighborhood made us. But respecting its history and architecture is what really made it what it is today. Many owners who cared enough paid for their preservation efforts themselves, before or despite tiff money.

    The fact is that a lot of money will be spent on the renovation of this building, if it is to become a brew-pub. A lot of money will be spent on the brick replacement of the facade itself, and there is obviously an architect already involved in this process. Doing it right may cost the owner a bit more, but preservation has been part of the cost of doing business in Logan Square for many years, and hopefully he will realize that and decide to actually pay for it himself.

    Could you give us an idea on what kind of money difference we are talking about? Restoring the facade vs rebuilding it with the yellow brick? And what is the estimated cost of the whole project? Exterior, interior, brew-pub, offices above, rezoning, lawyers' & architects' fees, brokers' commissions? If you add it all up, the difference between restoring the facade and spoiling it will not look like so much in comparison to the total cost of the project. But it will convey respect for the neighborhood and its values. And the neighborhood in turn will support the owner, the brew pub and the rezoning required.

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    @rms: I doubt there would be a set delivery date at this point without the rezoning needed to make the brew-pub possible. There are just too many contingencies and uncertainties.

  • rms

    Yosef, without having actual knowledge of the particular lease, we do not know how it is drafted. However, I negotiate and draft commercial leases for a living and there are several ways that leases in the Chicago area area are customarily drafted to protect the tenant from a timing perspective even if there are contingencies which have yet to be met at the time the lease is signed. One such way is to say that the space will be delivered within X number of days after any zoning requirements are met, but if such requirements are not met by a certain date the tenant has the right to walk from the deal. Also tenants usually do not pay rent until a certain period of time has passed since the space is delivered. Therefore, even if there is no set delivery date in the contract, both landlord and tenant are naturally and understandly incentivized to have the space delivered as soon as possible in order to start making money. So, I think realistically the deal the owner has struck ith it's tenants does affect the construction schedule.

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    Yosef, Thats exactly what I'm saying(NO MONEY) & what the owners have been telling The guys from preservation when they came last year. Every one comes over to help by saying " ask for a tiff" , "get a sbif" , or send contractors to give estimates. But still the estimates are high and no monies in tiffs & now after all this time preservation wondering why? The only guy that really cared was Adam (THANK YOU) he took the time with the owners and helped out. Unfortunately no funds.

    Yosef didn't cost much? I guess that depends what you consider alot.. Also when you own a property in Chicago, or anywhere else you have to pay taxes, repairs , water, insurance, electricity, gas, even when its not fully rented or empty. Please don't think the owner is laughing all the way to the bank. Its hard to cover costs when breaking even.

  • Thank you for your posts, Victor. It sounds like the owner took preservation into account but at the end of the day, nobody is lining up to offer realistic solutions for preserving the facade.

    It's easy to complain about something when it's not costing you any money.

  • With all due respect, the preservation organization only learned that the plan was to tear off the facade in March, after a meeting about a zoning variance for the rear parking lot. It came up by chance.

    Despite that, several of our members, including Adam that Victor mentions, were working to provide alternatives. Working together, I might mention, Victor. We just felt it was best to let one person be the point person on it instead of hearing from 15 different people from our organization.

    And last week, in fact, one of our members had found a mason to substantially match the cost of replacing the facade replacement but we were rebuffed. I'm not clear why the owners weren't interested at that time.

  • Andrew, why be vague about what you know? Why did the owner rebuff the attempt to "substantially match the cost"? What does "substantially match" mean in dollars? Where do you propose the owner get the funds to pay for whatever isn't "substantially matched"?

  • Matthew, I'm not trying to be coy. We had a Logan Square Preservation meeting last week - at that meeting one our members who is a point person on it reported that he had presented an offer from a first-class mason who was willing to match the cost of the brick facade (I say substantially because we don't know exactly what that would cost, we've only heard general numbers) and was willing to finish it within the required time frame. Our member, who is also in construction was willing to volunteer as the general contractor for the project because he loves the building and cares about the neighborhood.

    They turned us down without giving a specific reason.

    I made sure to say in my post on this topic that the owners were well-intentioned and worked with us - they were and they did. The time frame here, three months from when we first learned of the plan until it needs to be completed (I'm not sure that exact date) was so tight it was extremely difficult to muster resources.

    Here's when we first learned of the plan:

    The mason was also willing to put together all the necessary paperwork for the restored building to be added to the landmark district. That would have made money available through state and federal programs that rebate taxes and could end up making the restoration, in the end, more cost-effective than just replacing the facade.

    The problem with all of these options we pursued was that they take time. The city's various programs, TIF, SPIF, etc. all have a variety of paperwork and are slow-moving. Besides, money from the TIF, as Victor notes, has been committed to many projects and MAY be exhausted, though the records with TIFs are certainly not what I would consider transparent, making it difficult to determine their status.

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    Your Right , Preservation came in March. Still preservation was made ware of timeline. But in 6 months the owners still havent been able to get funds or a reasonable price.(not Preservations fault)
    And Yes Finally at the last minute The member told the owners he found a mason who could match the price, but where was the mason & what was his price? he never brought the mason or an estimate you have an estimate (but dont bring it) knowing thier in a crunch. Rebuffed ? owners STILL havent recieved the price matched estimate you said you had, your rebuffing yourself with knowing there are timelines. Youve known the situation since march.

  • Victor - the mason did in fact meet with them.

    But that is he said/she said. The reason we had this conversation was to see if the community in general thinks there is or should be solutions or other options with this building in its interest and the interest of putting preservation of our unique assets in this community at the front of future discussions too.

    I still wish/feel that the facade of this building could be preserved some how. If the facade restoration matched the cost of the tear-off reconstruction, could you support it?

  • Andrew, was the mason's work contingent on petitioning for landmark status? You can't blame an owner for not wanting to get involved with that.

  • No - landmark status would have been a carrot. If the building was accepted the owner could use the cost of renovation toward a program that freezes property taxes for about eight years after the work is completed.

  • How could the mason commit to doing the work without know what it would cost?

  • The mason came out, inspected the building, then told us and the owners he'd match the cost on the brick and generate the official paperwork if they were interested.

    As to the cost, we've been told a variety of different figures for both proposals - I haven't posted them because I don't know for certain and I don't want to put out information that's false.

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    Andrew the Mason did not come last week! The one that came was back in march. he was told there was a timeline, and said he could come back in 2 months. As for being turned down, would you sign a contract without a proposal? or an estimate or a portfolio of previos jobs at the last minute?

    "The mason was also willing to put together all the necessary paperwork for the restored building to be added to the landmark district"

    Key word RESTORED. So in order to receive funding the building has to be restored before seeing funds. I don't have to much of a school eduacation but from what I understand Masons or G.C.s don't take IOU's

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    The proposal from the guys you first sent (the guys that did hairpin) was around $900,000.00 just for facade work The other guy you sent said he could come back in 2 months, I don't know how you got any estimates besides the hairpin guys cause they were the only ones who came inside or got on the roof and checked the MO's

  • Victor - first, I'm not the organization's point person on this - I can only repeat what I've been told. That was that the new mason met with the owners a week ago Friday.

    Re: the cash in the future - it's not a pipe dream, it's a federal program. It isn't a check, it's basically a property tax rebate, money the owners wouldn't have to pay. Numerous buildings in the neighborhood, including Hairpin, have taken advantage of the program - but it's eligible to restored landmarks only.

    Re: the $900K number, we thought that was too high by more than half, that's why we contacted this second mason - he's the one who said he'd match the price, not because it's not expensive work, but because he noted that the building was a unique piece of architecture that should be saved if possible.

    As to why he didn't give them any paperwork, would you generate paperwork if you were told an owner wasn't interested?

    But, as I'd noted before, the information on this that I'm conveying is second-hand. I'm simply trying to advocate for a better solution for this building and the others moving forward.

    On the Milwaukee/Spaulding building, for example, if there are problems with the limestone and much of it, say 50 percent, has to be replaced, would neighbors rather see the 50 percent that is OK re-installed, say on the Milwaukee Ave. facade? Or left in place on the Spaulding elevation where it's been for years? That's an approach I'd favor of its wholesale replacement.

    Could you support any of these solutions?

  • Pushing landmark status onto the owner of the property is not an acceptable solution imo

  • Matthew,

    We weren't proposing forcing landmark designation on the building or its owner, it was just an example of programs available for building owners that want to restore.

  • It seems like another way of saying that you have no idea how to finance a restoration without asking the owner to cede complete control of his property....just like telling him to use a mason he didn't choose or a contractor that he didn't pick.

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    Whoever told you a new mason met with the owners on friday is Full of it! the last person that came was The guys who did hairpin and that was march / april I believe. No one was said they weren't interested, they said they coulnd sign a contract without an estimate or a proposal with the scope of work to be accomplished .

    The owners have been trying to get loans and pricing for over a year .They were able to get some loans unfortunately the banks aren't giving them out that easily or as much as one would like. How much have you come up with ? Tax breaks in the future. Go to the cook county assessors and check how much the taxes on that property are then tell me if you think that the tax breaks will ease the amount needed for the facade,

    Do I agree with the solutions? YES!!! I want to see the building 100% original Why don't you understand that? But MONEY, MONEY, the Owners cant get more loans they have them coming out thier ears!!!!

    You sound like the spoild kid who got a Prius for his 16th Birthday and cried cause he wanted daddy to buy him the new vette.

  • Matthew: historic tax credits are the carrot of restoration. Any preservation organization goes after those kinds of finances in concert with whatever public money is available for restoration.

    Victor, wow. As I've said multiple times in this thread, I'm just passing along information that I've been given. I've refrained from making any statements about your personal character and I'd ask that we stick to the conversation about the building, and leave personal attacks out of it.

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    I will leave them out but like you said people get a little emotional here

  • Susan S. resident

    Victor and all, certainly the owners are free to do what they want with the building within what the law allows, but they're now asking to change the zoning (law) to do what they want. Here's where the community and Andrew's conversation comes into play. Why shouldn't the community get something if the owners are to get something from the city?

  • Andrew - those landmark tax credits also bring severe restrictions on what an owner can do with his property

  • Everyone - a quick update.

    I met briefly with the owners today and I do want to make it clear as I stated originally in this post that they were very well-intentioned and worked hard to try and save the facade.

    The primary culprit in this situation was just the extremely contracted time frame to find funding.

    If you're in the neighborhood, swing by and check it out before it's gone.

  • I'm really saddened by this. I love that building. Had really hoped they would get to restore it. Do we know what brewpub is going in there?

  • DAMN what a shame that the owners of the building in Logan Square are actually getting away with destroying a beautiful Art Deco building.

    While they smile and nod and pretend to be sad they simultaneously are desecrating a BEAUTIFUL limestone building. Repairing holes in the limestone (left from its previous metal facade) is MORE expensive then cladding the ENTIRE building with horrific and generic red brick?

    I scream bullsh#t. Oppose their zoning variance! Dont take their word for it- make them reveal their bids and/or get new ones. Chicago is full of qualified masonry contractors that could repair that limestone in a fraction of the time it will take to skin the entire building with brick. This is SO wrong!!

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    This shows that just the carrot is not sufficient for preservation. It is inefficient, too much paperwork, not enough money or help, etc. So grants and funds are no more than a further enticement for an owner who is already committed to preserve the architecture of his building. They are not sufficient to convince an owner who sees development only in dollar figures, to preserve his building. Unless it makes sense in his business plan. To me having a facade like this one is such a bonus that an owner would indeed be very foolish, business-wise, to destroy it. Can we put a dollar value on this? As an owner who has reaped the benefits of preservation, I can definitely see the value in better rent and higher occupancy, higher caliber of tenants, as well as higher sales for the tenants, solely because the building would be so much more attractive and stand out as a landmark. Now it will stand out as "the building that foolish owner destroyed". I think he is making a very big mistake Victor, there is definitely an added business advantage to preserving the facade, as compared to irretrievably ruining it. The difference in cost is small in the whole scheme of a development project, and it pays back exponentially, and also makes the building much more desirable if he sells.

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    @ Starchy , muah ha ha

    PS keep up the good painwork!

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    @Yosef, I agree there is an added business advantage . Even tho the difference is "small" the owners still don't have it, and no one else has stepped up to the plate.

  • Kickstarter to save the building? Outside funding? Mark Fishman owns and just put a ton into the Logan Theatre. Could he not help arrange financing with some of his friends in real estate or finance or do you think this is a conflict of interest for him?

  • I've been away for a few days so I'm a bit behind.

    Andrew I breezed thru the comments but still haven't read anything about what the Alderman thinks, were any other preservation groups contacted, who indicated the TIF funds are depleted, has there been any discussion of a fundraiser to cover the difference (kickstarter was mentioned above) and is the original facade a safety risk or just in need of repairs. To me that's the key. If the facade is not at risk of falling off then repairs could be completed in stages. As I mentioned before if there's a will there's a way.

    I believe it was victor who mentioned the current owners have owned the building for 30 years. It sounds ridiculous to me that after all that time now there's a crunch to get it done. What happens if the BP goes belly up in 6 months? We'll have lost an historic building unnecessarily. BTW I've seen the mockups of the new facade at and I'm not impressed.

  • I should add the building does not show up on the CHRS, which really is a shame. If the building was Orange rated for example we might not be having this discussion. In the bigger picture the City needs a better preservation process for our historic buildings. Day after day we lose more and more, sometimes without a whimper.

  • Chris,

    Regarding some of your comments:
    -When the CHRS was conducted, the building was sheathed in sheet metal. It wouldn't have registered because there was no way to tell what was under it - all they would have seen was a building of no historic significance. For that same reason it was difficult to approach the city's landmark commission about it. It was just too heavily impacted.
    -The time crunch only exists because leases were signed for two spaces in the building. The owners believed they'd exhausted all help when we first reached out to them in March and they worked with us in a last-ditch effort to save it.
    -Unfortunately, the problem with this building is that the entire facade would have to be taken down and reinstalled with metal pins. There have been a couple of instances of masonry falling to the sidewalk below.

    I desperately hope that even at the last minute some portion of the facade can be saved. The Spaulding Ave. portion is really beautiful by itself and would provide a template if left in place to restore the entire building if that some day becomes feasible.

  • Ryan Living all over Chicago

    I know I have read here multiple times that it is too late ect.... but wanted to throw an idea out there.... Would it help at all if someone started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to pay for the restoration?

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    I am hopeful that when all the external resources are exhausted, the owner will see the light and preserve his building with his own funds. Victor says he understands the value and I am assuming that someone who owns so much real estate lacks neither the vision nor the resources.

  • Thanks Ryan - I said the same thing but no one responded. Seriously. I'll donate right now if someone would start one.

  • I've reached out to the owners RE: a kickstarter campaign to see if that would make a difference. Stay tuned.

  • Ryan Living all over Chicago

    Oh yea sorry Turon, I had forgotten about that post up there

  • How much money would we need to raise to get it started? Like if there were stages of restoration?

  • Couldnt we work with the owner and the Brew Pub (if this is Three Floyds I can't imagine they would have a problem finding help to fund the restoration).

  • VictorPaul Logan Square Resident

    Now its a little to late I don't think its we are going to come up with $900000.00 in 3 days

  • No one is saying $900,000 - perhaps $100000 would get things started -

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    Firstly, I am fairly confident that the preservation work can be done for less than 900,000 if properly bid with competitive proposals. But you won't get those bids unless the owner commits to doing it, because the masonry contractors will feel like they are wasting their time otherwise and won't bid competitively. Secondly, the cost of the new brick facade will have to include the removal of the stones with a crane, which is almost half of the work. And then the rebuilding in brick will have its own cost, which is not disclosed. So the amount that the owner claims to be short is the difference. How much is that? When everything is figured out, it may be very small indeed. Or is the owner holding the facade for hostage for ransom?

  • Victor, It's the difference between the cost of tearing it off and putting brick up and repairing the original facade. You're suggesting that the COST is $900K and that's from the one mason who did Hairpin and that no one else has submitted an estimate. What's the approximate estimate to rebrick the building? Is it half, a third, a tenth etc.

    Andrew, after rereading these posts you mentioned a mason had offered to match the price of the brick work for the facade restoration? Is this correct? I know this is a difficult forum to talk specifics but I'm reading a lot of different stories of what's going on.

    Also if the facade is going to be removed what's going to happen to it? I'm suspicious I'm going to see it listed at one of the salvage shops for sale. I'm also curious how was the limestone originally attached. Were pins used at that time? Victor mentioned in a previous post it could be temporarily patched. Why can't this be done while money is raised for a permanent solution?

  • who is the owner of the building?

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    Victor can correct this if wrong, but I understand it's the Diaz family, they own the whole block plus more in the area.

  • I did not get to drive by yesterday. The day before all the scaffolding was set up. Have they started taking the facade down?

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    For those who were wandering who the brew-pub was, I got the scoop that it is a new tavern started by the owners of Cafe con Leche.I am sure that this is not news to some of the primary posters here, so I don't understand why we are not getting the whole story and have to piece it together.

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    The other night my wife and I were walking past Cafe con Leche and thought it looked beautiful, with a guitar player and a colorful menu, and decided we should try it on our next "date-night". Now I am confused, can't understand how a restaurateur who can put that together won't see the value of the facade and insist that it be preserve?. Can anyone verify if this true? Victor?

  • Cafe Con Leche is very nice and delicious. I did not know who the brewpub was, but that's pretty exciting. Thanks for the info. Now let's get this thing saved! People, start calling Cafe Con Leche and let them know you want to figure out a way to preserve the building. It's vital to our neighborhoods.

  • Yosef A Logan Square neighbor since 1990

    Looking at the facade a bit closer, I think the stones can be secured without having to take them off. except for the two that cracked all the stones appear in good shape, and the spandrels and pilasters are all monolithic so that there is just one large stone to secure between two windows, and one each above and below the window. Setting up steel channels anchored to floor and ceiling on the interior sides of each window and welding clip angles embedded into short slots made into the edge of each stone will hold the main stones on the pilaster and the spandrels in place. Smaller stones in between will be wedged between the main stones. Pock marks from the anchors of the old siding can be patched in place. This should cost even less than the brick facade. In fact it might even cost less than taking the stones down safely. Victor, you can call me at 773 704 4495, and we can meet over there and I can explain this to you. I think preserving that facade will actually make your whole block worth more, just as the preservation of the Logan Theater added to the value of that block, this will then extend the preserved blocks up to the hairpin building.

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