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Edgewater Building Makes 2018 List Of Chicago’s Top 7 Endangered Sites

Protecting our city’s history has been a passion for many in the Edgewater and Andersonville neighborhoods. As we see many of our historic buildings, parks and public works running the risk of being destroyed, for the first time an Edgewater property has made an important list highlighting Chicago’s seven most endangered sites.

The list put out by Preservation Chicago; a group that protects and revitalizes Chicago’s irreplaceable architecture, neighborhoods and urban spaces, hopes to protect these historic sites.  Edgewater’s Woodruff Arcade building made the list this year after gaining much attention in 2017 with a passionate plea from the Edgewater Historical Society and an industrious online petition to save it from the wrecking ball.

However, first time may not be the charm for this Edgewater building. The developers are poised to demolish the Woodruff Arcade and replace it with a bland seven story apartment building that the neighborhood has been passionately against.

Built in 1923 by architect Herbert H. Green, the Woodruff Arcade is one of the last of its kind in the nation. Its interior space has a two-story courtyard with a grand glass skylight that runs the length of the structure and a walkway on the second floor with a walkable balcony that gives views to the floor below. The design is considered the predecessor to the modern mall.

In a December 2018 EVB story the Alderman said the possibility of landmarking the Woodruff Arcade is highly unlikely.

“Because the property is currently in the process of being developed, I do not think that going through landmarking would be successful,” said Alderman Osterman. “So I will not initiate landmarking of the building. But we have been in talks with the developer about trying to maintain the historic nature of the Woodruff building with a new design that will blend in with the community.”

At the moment there has been no signs that the developer is working to preserve the historic nature of the Woodruff Arcade. Sadly, the building is probably the most endangered site on the list.

Other endangered sites on the list include Jackson Park, James R. Thompson Center, William Rainey Harper School, Washington Park Substation, Hotel Guyon and Union Station.


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