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Saving Trumbull. CPS Advisory Committee Recommends Landmarking

trumbullLast week EVB brought to light the story of the old Trumbull school and its possible future demise. The now-shuttered building is sadly vacant for the first time in 100 years. The school, which has stood grandly at the corner of Foster and Ashland has been around longer than almost all of us and the architectural merit of this Prairie design structure has major historical merit.

Since its closing, the question of repurposing it has been in the hands of a Chicago Public Schools committee (The Advisory Committee for School Repurposing and Community Development). Within the last couple weeks the school has hit the auction block. Several undisclosed entities have submitted bids but none has been accepted as of yet.

Since the story broke, Edgewater residents have been very vocal via social media on the issue, mostly in favor of preserving the structure. Now it comes to EVB’s attention that the advisory committee has released (what reads like) their general support of landmarking the building. On the  Chicago Public Schools website, which includes pdfs for the repurposing of each of the schools, Trumbull is considered:

“Clearly meets Chicago Landmark criteria and should  be designated. Listed on the National Register. Good candidate for reuse given location and possible density. Regarded as a significant work in the Prairie School idiom. Andersonville Commercial Historic District”

The school also has a classic-style auditorium and three Progressive Era murals — oil on canvas adhered to walls, not restored, one covered. The school itself is 92,400 square feet of space and is surrounded by a significant tract of land. The annual operating cost for theschool was $312,700. As a vacant building it is $84,617.

Alderman O’Connor has made clear that Chicago Public Schools promises to keep the community up-to-date on  the decision process. It is unclear if this will mean future meetings in which the public can voice their opinions on the matter. Since the last story EVB did on Trumbull, it has become apparently clear that most people favor repurposing the building in a way that the architectural facade is not compromised.


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