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Preservation News

Going, Going, Gone


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

Built 1972



Baum and Temple Buildings

Built 1908







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.   FULL STORY



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.   FULL STORY






Stephen J.
Beggs House

Built 1910



Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad Station

Built 1916






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.  FULL STORY



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.  FULL STORY







Built 1892



DuPage Theatre

Built 1928







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.






Presbyterian Church

Built 1965



Fischer-Crane Mansion

Built 1892







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.   FULL STORY



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 — despite preservation efforts.  FULL STORY


Hayes-Healy Gymnasium

Built 1929



Hotel LaSalle Garage

Built 1918







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 … FULL STORY



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 … FULL STORY




Built 1854



Nathan W. Huntley House

Built 1859








In February 2001, this Winnetka house

was torn down. Built in 1854, the

Italianate-style residence was the home

of early settler Gilbert Hubbard  and

remodeled in 1924 for Edwin Brach, a

partner in the famed Chicago candy

company.  FULL STORY



One of Chicago’s oldest buildings—which

pre-dated both the Civil War and the Fire of 1871—was torn down on September 30, 2002. This 1859 two-story Italianate was  demolished in order to construct a condominium building.  FULL STORY


W. H. Knight

Built 1894


Marsh House

Built 1910





  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.  FULL STORY   This Prairie Style residence design by Walter Burley Griffin and built for securities broker James S. Marsh, sat on a wooded lot opposite Winnetka’s New Trier High School. The new owner-developer demolished this historic building.  FULL STORY



Middaugh Mansion

Built 1892



North Shore Spanish Baptist Church

Built 1884






The only Clarendon Hills building  listed

on the National Register of Historic

Places was demolished June 2002 after

village officials refused to assist in the

building's relocation. The mansion was

built by Henry C. Middaugh.  FULL STORY 



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.  FULL STORY






Plymouth Hotel

Built 1912



Quincy Schoolhouse

Built 1898; 1914 addition






One of the oldest buildings in Chicago's

Uptown Square National Register

District was demolished March 2003 as

part of a development project. Built in

1912, it became the choice lodging for

silent film stars at nearby Essanay

Studios.  FULL STORY



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 interior.   FULL STORY






The Rainbo Gardens Building

Built 1928


Randhurst Mall

Built 1962







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.   FULL STORY


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  …  FULL STORY







St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

Built 1912



St. Leo Catholic

Built 1905







The 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 …  FULL STORY


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.  






Simmons-Cooke House

Built 1854


Lorado Taft’s Midway Studios Addition
Built 1972






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.   FULL STORY



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.   FULL STORY 

Unitarian Church

Built 1911


Walker School

Built 1925





  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.   FULL STORY    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 two-story structure.   FULL STORY 





  "Going" Illustration by John Michael Downs




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fax 312-922-8112



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