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Statewide Endangered

2011 Ten Most Endangered Historic Places 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update

 

December 2012: Community fundraising efforts to save artist Alfonso Iannelli’s home and studio from demolition have earned the city of Park Ridge a 2012 Governor’s Hometown Award. Read more.

 

December, 2011: Landmarks Illinois was able to provide a follow-up technical assistance report for this site with a grant from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Click here for report.

 

July, 2011: The Kalo Foundation has signed an agreement to purchase the former Iannelli Home and Studio. Read the Press Release.

 

Iannelli Home and Studio

225 N. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge
(Cook County)

 

This pair of late-19th and early-20th century buildings were the home and studio of famed sculptor Alfonso Iannelli (1888-1965) for more than 40 years.  They are now for sale and vulnerable to demolition if purchased by an unsympathetic buyer.   At this location, Iannelli produced innovative sculptures in collaboration with such architects as Barry Byrne, Purcell & Elmslie, and Frank Lloyd Wright.  The locally based Kalo Foundation has taken on an advocacy and fundraising campaign to save the property for what it hopes could be an Iannelli Studio Heritage Center.
 
Iannelli and his artist wife Margaret bought the home and former blacksmith shop in 1919, establishing one of the region’s most famous—and successful—commercial art firms. The studio was “the place where Chicago’s creative architecture found its art,” according to historian Tim Samuelson, who says the site is integral to the design roots of American Modernism.  In addition to his work as a sculptor of ornament for many Prairie School-designed buildings, Iannelli and his studio assistants, which included Ruth Blackwell, Bruce Goff, and Edgar Miller, produced a wide range of other designs, including advertising, architectural interiors, and industrial products.
 
In February 2010, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission denied a developer’s petition for a zoning change to build four townhouses on the site.  However, other potential buyers remain interested in clearing the site for new development.  Also in February, the Park Ridge Historic Preservation Commission voted to recommend local landmark designation of the property, but the City Council can not act on that recommendation without the owner’s consent.
 
The Kalo Foundation has been offered a challenge grant to help purchase the pair of threatened buildings. The anonymous donor has proposed donating up to $200,000—at a rate of $1 for every $2 that the nonprofit Kalo Foundation raises. Meanwhile, the Kalo Foundation risks the inability of raising the funds needed before another buyer purchases the property.
 

Additional Links

 

prairiemod.com

steinerag.com

 

Press Links

 

Chicago Tonight, May 24, 2011

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

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.