Old Town Mid-Century Home Faces Demolition Threat

(Photo credit: Google)


On Dec. 1, 2016, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted to deny the demolition of a mid-century modern home in the historic Old Town Triangle District, located at 1638 North Sedgwick St.

The owners of the home, built in 1966 and designed by architect Edward Marks, have applied with the city for a permit to demolish the house. City staff recommended the Commission on Chicago Landmarks approve the demolition request. However, the commission voted 4-3 in opposition to the city’s staff recommendation.

The historic Old Town Triangle District was designated in 1977. Yet the mid-century home at 1638 North Sedgwick St. was only 11 years old at the time and not considered “contributing” to the late-nineteenth century character of the district. However, now, at 50 years old, Landmarks Illinois, Preservation Chicago, Old Town Triangle Association and numerous residents argued the home should be reevaluated on its own design merits.

Lisa DiChiera, Director of Advocacy at Landmarks Illinois, spoke at the Dec. 1 Commission meeting. She said mid-century-era buildings constructed in Old Town and Mid-North historic districts – many of which were designed by well-known architects – need to be surveyed and evaluated by city staff on a deeper level.

“Many of these buildings are now part of Chicago’s important design legacy,” DiChiera said.

Landmarks Illinois offered to assist the city with such an effort.

Commissioner Gabriel Ignacio Dziekiewicz also said he believed there was a need to reconsider these buildings currently categorized as “non-contributing” to the Old Town historic district, but built prior to the district’s designation.

A hearing on the demolition application permit for the home will be scheduled in the near future.


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