Posts tagged with "National Register of Historic Places":

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National Register of Historic Places listed Pennsylvania church gutted by fire

Last night, the 124-year-old Third Presbyterian Church in Chester, Pennsylvania, was decimated by a five-alarm fire that reportedly kept raging into this morning. The National Register of Historic Places-listed church, designed by Philadelphia’s Isaac Pursell, lost its interiors and windows and suffered a roof collapse, leaving only the ashlar masonry walls still standing. According to the nonprofit Chester Historical Preservation Committee (CHPC), the church was undergoing renovations and was set to become the new home for CHPC as well as a performing arts venues. Prior to the CHPC purchasing the building, the church had sat empty for three years. Pursell, according to the CHPC, broke with tradition at the time and modeled the church more on Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence than the Pantheon in Rome. Instead of using self-supporting red brick for the roof, however, Pursell chose to frame the building with timber and clad the roof in terra-cotta shingles from Alfred, New York, that was paired with comparatively lower-slung stone walls. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019. At the time of writing, no cause for the fire has yet been determined.
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Demolition work begins on NRHP-listed modernist building in Kansas City

Interior demolition work is underway at a Mies van der Rohe–inspired building in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The modernist mid-rise structure, formerly home to the city’s Board of Education and central library, will be fully razed in the coming weeks although the fate of the building’s colorful, beloved mosaic murals by prominent local artist, the late Arthur Kraft, remains murky. Completed in 1960 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017, the building was designed by Edward W. Tanner, an architect who left an indelible mark on Kansas City throughout the 20th century. Although another architect devised the site master plan, Tanner was intimately involved with the design of Country Club Plaza, a sprawling, water feature-studded shopping center—the first in the world to accommodate car-commandeering shoppers—opened by developer J.C. Nichols in 1923. An architectural fantasia leaning heavily on Moorish-inspired design, Country Club Plaza and its collection of Seville, Spain-inspired buildings is one of Kansas City’s most significant (and decidedly peculiar) architectural offerings. Tanner, who eventually established his own firm, also designed thousands of private homes in a variety of styles and numerous landmark buildings around town, most of them, unlike his work at Country Club Plaza, markedly modernist. The old Board of Education building, per a statement released by Historic Kansas City and shared by local NBC affiliate KSHB, is “an outstanding example of the Modern Movement: International Style—specifically the influence of Miesian design.” In 2019, the same year that the building was acquired by local developer Copaken Brooks after a controversial plan to redevelop the site as a hotel property was ultimately yanked by Drury Hotels due to squabbles over the incentive plan offered by the city, Historic KC placed the building on its annual Most Endangered List. As Historic KC noted: “Good public policy should not incentivize the demolition of historic buildings. Another low dollar hotel will add to the already saturated hotel market; threatening existing healthy historic and approved yet/unbuilt new hotels. Further, even if you don’t have affection for the modern architecture of the KC Board of ED Building, Drury’s proposal was an affront to the monumental civic mall plan across the street, that includes the three iconic art deco designed buildings: City Hall, Municipal Court and County Courthouse.” The building also landed placed on the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation’s 2018 Places in Peril list. As reported by Kevin Collison for the Flatland blog, the building has been vacant for four years and has become a “magnet for vagrants and vandalism” according to Jon Copaken. In addition to serving as headquarters to the Kansas City School District for decades, the building was also the longtime home to Kansas City’s downtown public library branch before it moved into a new, highly Instagrammable location at the old First National Bank building in 2004. As for the circus-themed glass tile mosaic mural by Kraft, a renowned muralist as well as sculptor and expressionist painter, Copaken has pledged that it won’t be reduced to rubble although nothing, at this point, is definite. “I have spent more time on the murals than the demolition itself,” he explained to Flatland. “We want to preserve them and have them open for public view.” He added, however: “The mosaics are affixed to a concrete wall. Cutting that out, removing it and preserving it in one piece is really expensive. We continue to work with groups, but we don’t have anything worked out with someone who can pay to get it down.” Concludes the statement from Historic KC, penned by its executive director, Lisa Briscoe:
Recent changes to the federal and Missouri historic tax credit programs contributed to thwart several renovation proposals. The historic structure would be demolished in connection with a proposal at 13th and Grand, which thus far remains a proposal. Historic Kansas City recognizes the need for Downtown to evolve and adapt to a changing set of office, retail, and economic circumstances. Circumstances may be changing dramatically even at the present moment. We are not adverse to development but want it to proceed in a manner that reflects the historic and scenic nature of the Civic Mall plan, that includes the three iconic art deco designed buildings, City Hall, Municipal Court and County Courthouse. One of Downtown’s strongest cultural attributes. Whatever the future holds for this site, any infill development proposal must be compatible with the Civic Mall plan. Further the colorful historic glass mosaic tile murals should be preserved in consultation with the Kansas City Municipal Art Commission.
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Clippers’ owners purchase The Forum to end legal back and forth

The Forum, an iconic entertainment venue in the Los Angeles County city of Inglewood designed in 1967 by architects Charles Luckman & Associates, was recently purchased for $400 million by CAPPS LLC from the New York-based Madison Square Garden Company (MSG). The LLC was formed by Steve Ballmer and Dennis Fong, respectively the chairman and vice-chairman of the Los Angeles-based Clippers basketball team, with plans to maintain the 11,000-seat building as an entertainment venue while making their dream of a nearby NBA arena one step closer to reality. The recent deal reflects the potential end of a feud between Ballmer and MSG that has been going on for years. When Balmer proposed the construction of a $1 billion NBA arena designed by architecture and engineering firm AECOM in Inglewood, less than two miles away from Forum, MSG responded with a series of lawsuits, the first of which claimed that the proposed site was originally slated to be a 'technology park’ that would have improved Inglewood’s economy. According to the LA Times, Ballmer had eventually grown tired of the mountain litigation, and formed CAPPS LLC to purchase the one asset MSG had that kept them invested in the city of Inglewood. “I’m not sure they understand what they’ve gotten themselves into, from my perspective,” he said last October. The new stadium, currently scheduled to be completed in 2024, will become the center of the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Complex that will include a practice facility, public outdoor spaces, and team offices. Meanwhile, CAPPS LLC has expressed that they do not wish to tear down the Forum, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said in a statement. “We are committed to our investment in the city of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, the Clippers, and our fans.”
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Midcentury modern Wave House painstakingly restored by Stayner Architects

Amid the constellation of golf courses, country clubs, and shopping centers of Palm Desert, California, is a modestly sized home with a less-than-modest street presence. The Wave House, a 900-square-foot home originally built by architect Walter S. White in 1954 for artist Miles C. Bates, is one of the rare midcentury modern homes that effectively captures the era’s penchant for surfing culture with a semi-open floor plan beneath a single, uninterrupted wave-like roof. After trading hands several times following Bates’ sale of the home in 1962, the Wave House was eventually purchased by the City of Palm Desert’s Redevelopment Agency in 2008 and was auctioned off ten years later during Modernism Week, an advocacy and educational festival based in Palm Springs. Members of Los Angeles-based firm Stayner Architects won the auction with a top bid of $360,000 with plans of a thorough restoration of the home. Two years later, the home made its debut during Modernism Week 2020 following its recent approval to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. “We are so pleased to give the Wave House back to the public,” Stayner Architects founder Christian Stayner said in a press statement. “For us, historic preservation is not about ‘turning back the clock.’ Preservation is a way to honor the original design as well as the life the house has seen throughout its 64 years. It’s about allowing the house to exist across multiple time periods rather than making it an archive of the past. The Wave House is not so much a time capsule as it is a timeless space.” Read the full project profile on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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Pelli Clarke Pelli’s massive South Station tower will finally begin construction

After more than a decade, developers of a 2.75-million-square-foot air rights complex are aiming to begin construction this month atop Boston’s historic South Station. Headlined by a 51-story Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed tower, the Hines-led project was first approved by the City of Boston in 2006 and given a redesign in 2016. Investor reshufflings and related negotiations for the air rights deal, which closed in late December per the Boston Business Journal, have held up the massive project and turned it into “one of the biggest what-ifs in Boston-area real estate.” Now, the start of construction seems imminent for the South Station tower, which will emerge from the ninth floor of the transit hub and rise to a height of 678 feet—a notable elevation given that the city’s tallest building hits its peak at 790 feet. Current plans call for 641,000 square feet of office space, 166 condominium units, 6,000 square feet of retail, and parking for nearly 900 cars across the glassy, stepped tower. The project also includes a 106,000-square-foot expansion of South Station’s bus terminal. Developer Hines has noted its intent to preserve the Classical Revival train station while allowing for its future expansion. The National Register of Historic Places-listed structure was designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge (now Shepley Bulfinch) and originally opened in 1899. Additional buildings are planned for the phased air rights project, too, including a 349-foot-tall hotel, and a 279-foot-tall office building, both of which will be constructed atop South Station and join Pelli Clarke Pelli's mixed-use tower. It is, however, unclear when these components will begin construction. The kickoff at South Station follows on other major air rights and transit center expansion projects in Boston, including a 1.26 million-square-foot air rights development planned for Back Bay Station, a 1.3 million-square-foot air rights complex designed by The Architectural Team (TAT) now underway at Fenway Center, and late December’s topping out of a major office tower at the Gensler-designed The Hub on Causeway above Boston’s North Station.
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Marcel Breuer's iconic Atlanta Central Library denied historic designation

Any hope left to landmark the Marcel Breuer-designed Atlanta Central Library may have been diminished this fall when the National Parks Service declared the Brutalist building ineligible thanks to the ongoing $50 million renovation.  The library has been a source of strain in the preservation world for years. At one point in 2016, its future hung in the balance as the city of Atlanta sought to potentially demolish the building. Since then, advocates have tried, and failed, to get the city to pass legislation that would save the building’s iconic exterior. Instead, construction crews began drilling into the concrete facade this summer, creating holes for what would be a set of windows across the minimal facade. Atlanta-based design firm Cooper Carry is leading the revamp. Below, the yellow construction paper is where the new window glass will be:  The renovations were mandated by Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, which has been sprinting to update its structures and build new libraries throughout the city. For too long, the Central Library itself hasn’t been full of activity; the building isn't considered user-friendly largely because its interior lacks enough access to natural light. The library was opened in 1980 at the height of Brutalism's popularity, which has sharply fallen in recent years as more and more such structures across the U.S. face similar tough fates Curbed Atlanta reported that an attempt by Docomomo Georgia to designate the library on the National Register of Historic Places was declined this fall “since the property is currently undergoing rehabilitation and alterations.” As Curbed noted, Docomomo can resubmit the bid once the project is complete, but even if it had secured a historic designation prior to the window work, it’s likely the changes would have still been made due to public demand. 
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Seattle’s Brutalist Freeway Park is reviewed for National Register and approved for renovation

The gorgeously staggered concrete elements of Jim Ellis Freeway Park, one of the most significant architectural spaces in Seattle, are scattered across a thickly forested hill atop an intersection of Interstate 5 between the neighborhoods of Downtown Seattle and First Hill. Completed in 1976 by American landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and Bulgarian architect Angela Danadjieva, the 5.2-acre Freeway Park is one of only a small handful of Brutalist-designed parks in the world and is a commendable example of how parkland can be used to bridge communities that were previously divided by highway infrastructure.

Given its significance to the field of landscape architecture and the urban history of Seattle, Freeway Park was recently nominated for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The nomination was submitted shortly after a $10 million capital improvement project was announced to restore Freeway Park as part of an agreement made with the expansion of the nearby Convention Center. A total of $9,250,000 of the funds will be used for much-needed repairs and restoration, while the remaining $750,000 will go towards the further activation of the park as part of its management by the Freeway Park Association, a non-profit organization founded in 1993 to advocate and host events in the park.

A portion of the funds may go towards reintroducing the water feature to the park, which was discontinued in 1992 following an issue with water loss that was present since its construction. The renovation process is expected to begin next summer and be completed by December 2021.

The nomination was reviewed on October 25 by the Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and it was subsequently placed on the Washington Heritage Register in a unanimous vote. Its placement on the NRHP is still yet to be announced.

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Insurance giant State Farm to demolish its art deco headquarters in Illinois

Insurance company State Farm has revealed plans to demolish its 13-story art deco headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois, a city about an hour northeast of Springfield, the state capital. The decision to knock down the local landmark came after a prospective buyer backed out of a sale earlier this year. The 200,000-square-foot structure was designed by local architects Archie Schaeffer and Phillip Hooton and completed in 1929. It was the company's main building until 1974 and has sat vacant since 2018. "Despite the best efforts of all parties, the purchase and sale agreement, which was announced in March, did not materialize," State Farm said in a statement. "We gave much thought and consideration to next steps. With a sale not materializing, the continued costs of maintaining a building of that size and the impacts on downtown with it remaining vacant without interest, we are moving forward with plans to demolish the building." The building's masonry was originally ornamented with flourishes like custom-designed corn maidens, four pale yellow terra-cotta finials on the building's facade. They were removed for safety reasons, but now live in the company archives (and in a conference room). The bright red sign on the tower, pictured above, is another distinguishing feature. Demolition is expected to begin this fall, but the building will not go down with a bang: the company is taking a year to carefully break down the structure. "It's unfortunate that did not work," Mayor Tari Renner told the Pantagraph. "It's very sad. It's a great old historic building. To the extent we have a skyline, it's always been the skyline in our city." The building contributes to the character of Bloomington's central business district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city said it won't pay for the expensive demolition process, but it is considering offering incentives to a developer who could take on a revamp. It is also weighing the idea of buying the land that the building sits on so it can have a stronger say over what gets built there. As of last week, however, a group of stakeholders is in talks with State Farm to explore alternatives to demolition.
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DLR Group’s Portland Building renovation will kill its historic status

An audit by the City of Portland, Oregon, has found that the DLR Group’s renovation of the Michael Graves–designed Portland Building is over budget and, once complete, will cause the building to lose its historic landmark status. The renovation began last year as an alternative to scrapping the postmodern Portland tower, which desperately needed waterproofing, seismic, and efficiency upgrades. The plan to overhaul the 360,000-square-foot building eventually ballooned to $195 million as DLR Group opted to reskin the tower with a unitized aluminum rainscreen designed to imitate the original facade. Because of budget constraints when the building was originally constructed in 1982, Michael Graves opted to support the building using a cheaper exterior concrete wall, but poor workmanship led to water infiltration issues. DLR Group will also replace the dark windows, value engineered in for insulation, with lighter insulated glass. However, according to the City of Portland’s audit of the renovation, a follow-up to an initial risk analysis report, the budget has increased to $214 million. It was also revealed that once the project is complete, the building will be removed from the National Register of Historic Places. According to the audit, “As a part of the local Historic Landmarks Commission reviews in June 2017, the National Parks Service and the State Historic Preservation Office alerted the City that it would remove the Portland Building from the register if the City pursued the proposed exterior design to address water leaks.” The city will have to enter into a “mitigation agreement” with the State Historic Preservation Office as well to offset the delisting, although what that entails is uncertain at this point. If the Portland Building is removed from the register as expected, the city will have the option of designating it a local landmark instead. The report notes that as the budget grew, the project team decided to scale back the renovation’s scope. While DLR Group is on track to meet the minimum waterproofing and seismic requirements, and to replace most of the building’s heating and cooling systems, several elements were eliminated from the original $195 million budget. The audit cites “furnishings, technology equipment, as well as tenant improvements for parts of the building that would otherwise be left unfinished—two and a half floors of offices, and the childcare center on the first floor” as having been “spun off” into separate projects, which accounts for the 10 percent cost increase over what was originally proposed. However, despite the fervor, Michael Graves Architecture is in favor of the changes. In a letter from 2017, the studio stood behind DLR Group's reskinning, nothing that several of their changes, including the decision to change the glass from black to clear, were part of the original design but were cut due to budgetary constraints. Work on the retrofit is currently ongoing and is expected to be completed sometime in 2019, six months ahead of schedule.
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Chicago needs a new architectural survey to protect its vernacular and postmodern heritage

  The aging Chicago Historic Resources Survey, or CHRS, is Chicago’s benchmark document for determining what the city considers historic. However, without contemporary updates, it fails to protect modern (and postmodern) architectural heritage and leaves vernacular structures regularly at risk for demolition. Chicago embarked on its very first survey of historic buildings in 1983 with the objective to identify new landmarks. The CHRS was a complex undertaking, combining research in archives and libraries with detailed field assessments and photography. A half-million properties were surveyed, with the work completed in 1994. Dividing up the city into Chicago’s system of 77 community areas and 50 wards, the survey work began with teams driving through each ward and color coding each property according to three criteria adopted by the CHRS: age, degree of physical integrity, and level of possible significance. Buildings given a red rating were determined to be significant on a national scale, the “best of the best” of historic resources. Orange properties possessed similar features but were significant locally. Yellow properties were identified as relatively significant and within a greater concentration of similar buildings. Yellow-green buildings were identified as being within a concentration of significant buildings but reflected alterations. Green buildings were identified in previous state surveys, and purple buildings reflected significant alterations. Lastly, the survey team included a category for buildings constructed after 1940 that were considered too new to be properly evaluated, blue, except in cases where significance was already established. Data forms and photographs were produced for each property in the second phase of fieldwork, as well as follow-up research including zoning and building permits. In total, 22 people worked on the CHRS over the course of the 13-year, $1.2 million-dollar project. A summary of the survey was published in 1996 and widely distributed at Chicago public libraries, but it only represented a selection of significant buildings. After the orange-rated 1927 Chicago Mercantile Exchange Building was demolished without oversight, the City Council approved a proposal sponsored by Mayor Richard M. Daley that would grant a measure of protection to significant buildings. Adopted in 2003, the Demolition Delay Ordinance requires a 90-day hold on the issuance of a demolition permit for a building rated red or orange in the CHRS. The CHRS online database is widely used to determine if a building is an “eligible” historic resource. Unfortunately, neither the online database nor the published summary fully represents the estimated 500,000 buildings that were included in the field assessment. Each only includes a selection of buildings that fell under subjective eligibility criteria, with the city GIS website only representing data on red- and orange-rated buildings. Demolition delay has become the most significant function of the CHRS, yet it was never the intention of the survey to have the data determine whether a building is demolished without a review of significance. The survey organizers felt strongly that the survey would have to be periodically updated to ensure accuracy. The “modern” cutoff date of 1940 was selected to provide a 50-year waiting period for eligible buildings based on the anticipated 1990 completion of the fieldwork. This determination mirrored the National Register of Historic Places requirement for a building to be at least 50 years old before its eligibility may be determined. It was felt that this choice would allow surveyors to be more objective, but there has been no public attempt to survey or evaluate midcentury modern resources. As only red- and orange-rated resources are subject to the Demolition Delay ordinance, most modern and postmodern buildings could be at risk. Buildings that were new at the time of the survey are rapidly aging to eligibility and could be threatened with demolition without a municipal matrix to protect them. Postmodern architecture is only represented in the CHRS if it is included but not contributing to a local landmark district. This leaves most of Chicago's postmodern architectural heritage absent, including all of the work of Stanley Tigerman and Harry Weese, as well as the James R. Thompson Center. In the survey, there are inconsistencies across neighborhoods and styles of architecture as well as works by individual architects. For example, a similar grouping of structures may be identified with a “warm” color rating in one neighborhood and have no information and no color rating in another. Vernacular buildings—the structures that make up Chicago’s neighborhoods—are disproportionately represented throughout the survey. Choices that include what modern buildings to include and how surveyors color rated them lack a degree of impartiality, as not enough time had passed between their construction and evaluation to make a fair, non-aesthetic judgment. Furthermore, while the original survey team included historic resources that are individually listed on the National Register, are National Historic Landmarks, and contribute to historic districts, the surveyors did not evaluate buildings that were already designated as City of Chicago Landmarks. While Chicago Landmarks are well known, the omission of established landmarks within the CHRS data makes the overall results less comprehensive. This also renders it difficult for researchers to review Chicago Landmark and CHRS data concurrently. While work has been done to informally update the data of the CHRS, no update or reinterpretation of the CHRS data or attempt to resurvey the portions of Chicago that are missing from the data would have the same effect as a comprehensive effort by a city-managed municipal survey. The Chicago Landmarks Ordinance states that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks must “encourage the continuation of surveys and studies of Chicago’s historical and architectural resources and the maintenance and updating of a register of areas, districts, places, buildings, structures, works of art, and other objects which may be worthy of landmark designations.” History is not static, and old buildings are continually taking on the mantle of significance, some by aging into it, some due to changing mindsets, and others by losing enough of their stylistic comrades to become rare when once they were common. The data that we rely on to determine what buildings are saved and what buildings are demolished in Chicago is at best 24 years old, and at worst 35. An updated CHRS, one that evaluates modern and postmodern architectural heritage and takes a fresh look at vernacular architecture, is the only way that Chicago can continue to protect its architectural heritage. Many thanks to Susannah Ribstein, Tim Whittman, and Charlie Pipal for assisting with this article.
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Rarely-seen Frank Lloyd Wright home opens for annual tours

Getting inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s only design in South Carolina’s Lowcountry is not an easy feat. The legendary architect’s C. Leigh Stevens House on Auldbrass Plantation in Yemassee was previously only open for public tours every two years, but that’s changing. The Beaufort County Open Land Trust, which manages the site, announced this week that tours of the house will be given now on an annual basis, with the first round of tours scheduled for November 10-11. Tickets go on sale August 9 for $175 each. Built in 1939 for Michigan industrialist C. Leigh Stevens, Wright famously designed the residential structure without any right angles. He was supposedly inspired by the lean of the live oak trees found throughout the local region. Hexagonal shapes and inward-sloping walls define the main features of the house and the surrounding slender, one-story structures, including the caretaker’s residence, barn stables, kennels, and cabins—all linked by esplanades and largely clad in brick and local cypress. An elongated swimming pool and bathhouse were also constructed for the complex. The 4,000-acre plantation sits on the Combahee River in Yemassee, about an hour west of Edisto Island and 1.5 hours south of Charleston. The plantation fell into disrepair in the 1960s after Stevens passed away and was purchased by Hollywood producer Joel Silver in 1987. Over the last three decades, Silver has worked with the architect’s grandson, Eric Lloyd Wright, to restore the site to its original elegance and complete Wright’s vision for several other never-realized buildings planned for the complex. Before buying Auldbrass, Silver restored Storer House, one of Wright’s Mayan Revival style textile-block houses in Los Angeles. Auldbrass Plantation was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and is one of only two buildings Wright designed in South Carolina. The other is an additional residential project called Broad Margin upstate in Greenville.
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Historic Cook County Hospital restoration and redevelopment breaks ground in Chicago

Chicago’s beleaguered Cook County Hospital is slated for redevelopment after sitting idle for 16 years. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill will transform the Chicago landmark into a dual-branded Hyatt House/Hyatt Place hotel, accompanied by medical office space and retail. Leading the project is the Civic Health Development Group (CHDG) along with Chicago-based developer John T. Murphy. Walsh Construction is the general contractor with Koo Architecture as the interior designers. According to Cook County, the development plan is valued at over $1 billion dollars. Cook County Board President Tony Preckwinkle participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking on June 12, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and several Chicago alderman and Cook County commissioners, as well as Landmarks Illinois president and CEO Bonnie McDonald. “This beautiful historic building has sat empty and unused for far too long.” Preckwinkle said during the event. “This project creates historic and lasting urban transformation in the heart of our County.” With construction commencing immediately on the National Register of Historic Places-listed building, the project is expected to receive approximately $24 million in federal historic tax credits. Designed by Cook County architect Paul Gerhardt, the 1916 Beaux Arts hospital was constructed to provide medical care to Chicago’s exploding population of Eastern European immigrants. It was also a renowned teaching hospital, with doctors pioneering the practices of blood banking, sickle cell anemia care, and modern laboratory work. Later rear additions to the two-block-long brick and terracotta structure grew the Near West Side hospital to over 3,000 beds. With the building proposed for demolition a year before its closure, Landmarks Illinois added Cook County Hospital to its annual list of threatened buildings in 2001, then again in 2002, 2003, and 2005. A reuse study published by Landmarks Illinois in 2003 noted that Cook County had earmarked between $20 and $30 million for asbestos remediation alone prior to the proposed demolition. That same study also noted that in 1999, Cook County felt non-medical use of the hospital wouldn’t fit the character of the neighborhood. The new development is slated to open as soon as late 2019.