Despite the best efforts of
preservationists, significant buildings still are destroyed!
The images below track some of the
recent losses-showing the building before, during demolition, and the
current use of the site. In many cases, unfortunately, all that remains is
a vacant lot. To witness this transformation, simply click on an image and
you will see a three-part "slide show:" going, going, gone .
Bache Memorial Chapel
Baum and Temple Buildings
In April, 2005 the Bache Memorial Chapel in Cartwright
Cemetery in rural Tuscola was demolished. The reinforced concrete chapel was a
rare and significant example of Brutalism-style architecture in rural Illinois.
Demolished by the City of Danville in 2001, just
months after having been named to LPCI’s Ten Most Endangered list. At the
time of demolition, each building had been vacant and neglected for at
least half a decade.
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago
and St. Louis Railroad Station
May 2002, this Elmhurst house, was demolished after a
developer purchased the lot it sat on for $460,000. The
residence, built in 1910 for an officer with a patent medicine company,
was designed by architect Walter B. Griffin.
The National Register listed Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis
Railroad Station (the “Big Four”) in Mattoon was demolished in April of 2004 by its
owners. The Beaux-Arts style structure served as a railroad depot.
This long-vacant structure, whose four-story bell tower has been a
Pittsfield downtown landmark for 112 years, was ordered torn down in Sept.
2003 by the City Council due to safety concerns. Numerous attempts to
stabilize the 1881 building failed. FULL STORY
After a decade of community protests, alternative
plans, and a lawsuit, the village board voted in March 2007 to
completely demolish this 1928 structure — despite what advocates had
perceived to be a final compromise for its redevelopment. FULL STORY
On August 3, 2007, the Emmanuel
Presbyterian Church, was demolished by its owner, the Heneghan Wrecking Co. The
brick church had been designed by Edward Dart, an award-winning architect best
known for St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois.
With the demolition of the red brick
Queen Anne-style Fischer-Crane
mansion in February 2003, Elmhurst has
lost another historic building. The
impressive and still structurally sound
building was torn down —
The Chicago Transit Authority
demolished this Collegiate Gothic-style building in December 2005. The
structure, which had been built in 1929 as a gym for the McCormick Theological
Seminary, is owned by DePaul University …
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted in November 2004 not to recommend
landmark designation of this 87-year-old parking garage, which was one of the
oldest buildings of its kind in the U.S. The city’s planning department had
opposed the designation …
pre-dated both the Civil War and the Fire
of 1871—was torn down on September 30, 2002. This 1859 two-story
demolished in order to
construct a condominium
Hinsdale has lost 25% of its housing stock to the
teardown phenomenon in the past ten years. This Queen Anne-style building
was torn down in late summer 2002 by its new owner, for a new super-sized
residence on the prominent corner site.
This Prairie Style residence design by Walter Burley Griffin and built for
securities broker James S. Marsh, sat on a wooded lot opposite
Winnetka’sNew Trier High School. The new owner-developer demolished
this historic building.
Teardowns continue to plague this North Side
neighborhood, as one of its oldest structures, the 120-year-old North
Shore Spanish Baptist Church, at Montrose and Hermitage, was demolished in
late November 2004.
This three-story former schoolhouse, set upon a bluff
overlooking the Mississippi River, was located on a large corner lot
across from the Quincy Civic Center. The building was originally
constructed in 1898 with a 1914 addition totaling 24,000 sq. ft. Several
The Rainbo Gardens Building
Host to a variety of amusements and early twentieth century's
celebrities, Rainbo Gardens has long been one of Chicago's
premier recreation and entertainment venues. As early as 1894, the site
was occupied by a small roadside restaurant.
In August, 2009, this iconic regional shopping center
at the intersection of Rand and Elmhurst roads was demolished to make
way for a new mixed-use “lifestyle center.” Designed by Victor Gruen,
the father of the American shopping mall, it was the first enclosed …
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
St. Leo Catholic
Archdiocese of Chicago began demolition of this 94-year-old structure in
March 2006, amid protests from the Chicago Heights Historic Preservation
Advisory Committee. A city demolition permit had been issued without
committee review …
This 1905 Romanesque Revival church features a
majestic bell tower and other Prairie Style-influenced details. Its
architect was William J. Brinkman, whose church designs include St.
Michael’s in the Chicago Old Town Triangle District.
Lorado Taft’s Midway Studios Addition
The fight to save this 19th c Greek Revival structure in
Downtown Waukegan has been lost. In March 2005, the Waukegan Historic
Preservation Commission asked the County for an additional six months to
relocate the building.
In early November 2009, the Edward Dart-designed
addition to Lorado Taft’s Midway Studio at the University of Chicago (U
of C) was demolished to make way for a courtyard for the university’s
proposed Reva and David Logan Center.
This 1911 Neo Classical-style church was sold in 2004
by the congregation to a local medical center. The congregation relocated
to a new facility. The Joliet church was not protected as a local landmark, and
the new owner planned to demolish the structure.
A 2004 local school bond referendum included $8.2
million to replace historic Walker School. Local preservationists had
campaigned to remodel the school rather than demolish it for a new
"Going" Illustration by John Michael Downs
53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604