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Iconic 5757 Ridge Building Up For Auction

Commuters and local residents pass by this unique building everyday at 5757 North Ridge and ask themselves what is happening with that 5757ridgeunusual building? The building has a lot of history but the original purpose was that of a silent movie theatre for Charlie Chaplin.  Built in 1918, the space functioned as a movie goer’s paradise until the mid-1930s. Since then it has been used for multiple purposes that were very unkind to its structure.

In 2007, local artist Rosario Rosi bought the building with hopes of it to become an anchor to a new art community. He had great hopes for the building and is rumored to have poured 2.2 million into the property. The banks were happy to lend him the cash needed to renovate the space as he added great structural compliments to the building including a gorgeous second story arched loft that is an artist’s dream gallery.  His work also helped reinforce the outside facade, upgrade the heating, rehab the failing large elevator and added a stunning new roof with multiple skylights.

Unfortunately, the 2008 real estate crash dried up the money and Rosi’s dream art space came to an end. The building was up for sale, but is now going to a live action on May 28th by Hilco Real Estate Auctions. The auction company sees the building’s future potential, “It is Located minutes from downtown Chicago and mere blocks from Lake Michigan, the property is ideally located along Ridge Avenue, a major area thoroughfare.  In addition, the property sits at the border of the trendy Andersonville and tree-lined Edgewater Glen neighborhoods.”

The building grandly sits on 5886 square feet of high traffic Ridge Avenue with premiere visibility. The building itself is composed of 12,000 sqaure feet spread across to large open floor plans. According to the Hilco auction page, the highlights include a grand, two-story atrium entrance, expansive gallery with arched, truss roof and over 40 central skylights, custom-designed, open steel stairway, large freight elevator with 6,000 lb capacity, extensive radiant heating system, and versatile 12′ rear drive-in door.

The building could still be utilized within Mr. Rosi’s vision. With the sale of the old firehouse to the Chicago Filmamkers which is located right down the street, the space would make an exceptional artist’s haven. Hilco states, “This offering represents a rare opportunity for buyers to acquire this historically significant building well below replacement costs, complete the finishing touches, and establish a place that captures the essence of both the community and the City at large.”


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