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Michigan Avenue Streetwall
Michigan Avenue, from Randolph St. to 11th St., Chicago (Cook County)




This 12-block stretch of historic buildings is one of the most outstanding streetscapes in the world. Designed over the course of 50 years by prominent architects, these buildings reflect an array of styles and building technologies dating from 1880 to 1930. After 25 years of discussion with the city, local landmark designation was finally approved by City Council in 2002. Two current proposals, however, threaten the district’s character.


The former Chicago Athletic Association and YWCA buildings have been slated for rooftop additions, despite the limitations of height and scale enforced in landmark districts. The towers are designed to be set back from the historic façades, but call for considerable demolition of the existing buildings. Their height and mass would greatly disrupt the historic skyline as viewed from Grant Park and the lakefront. Should these projects gain approval from the city, they would set a precedent for high-rise additions in landmark districts and weaken the local landmark ordinance.


Photo 1: Robert Thall




Please take a moment to personalize the attached letters and mail them to the Mayor of Chicago and the Chairman of the Landmarks Permit Review Committee:


Michigan Avenue Action Letter








Landmarks Illinois
Suite 1315
53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604 
tel. 312-922-1742 
fax 312-922-8112



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tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1971 and is the state's leading voice for historic preservation.