Local contractor Giuseppe Zappani recognized the Arcade Building’s potential and purchased it in 2010. Zappani set to work right away and took advantage of the Cook County Class L property tax incentive program to restore the Arcade’s historic integrity. A 1970s cement parge coat was removed to reveal the original Cream City brick underneath, and Zappani used historic bricks to infill damaged areas.
Perhaps the most significant restoration efforts took place at the roof level, where asphalt shingles were replaced with slate, chimneys were rebuilt and an ornamental cupola was completely refabricated in copper based on historic photographs. Zappani, who planned and undertook most of the restoration himself, reinstated the Arcade as a commercial destination and renewed interest in preservation in Riverside. Zappani received a Landmarks Illinois 2014 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award in for his restoration efforts. He also received awards from the Chicago Association of Realtors and Riverside’s Frederick Law Olmsted Society in recognition of his impressive work. In 2016, the Arcade Building was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places, becoming the third individually listed structure in Riverside to make it on the list. “It means a lot,” said Zappani of this recognition.
(Photo credit: Liz Chilsen)