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Trumbull Development Zoning Change Passes, Landmark Status Proving More Difficult

trumbull2It’s hard to believe that it has been a little over three years since Trumbull School shuttered its doors to students. With the fate of the building unclear, CPS put the historic building on the auction block.

After several proposals from interested buyers, the Chicago Board of Education officially approved the sale of the former Trumbull Elementary School to Svigos Asset Management for $5.25 million. The sale exceeded the appraised value of $4.1 million to $4.7 million and was the highest amount to be paid for any shuttered CPS school.

Svigos’ proposal to repurpose the school met the “community’s usage preference” of a maximum of 49 residential units and Timeline Theatre to occupy Trumbull’s auditorium space. Also a part of the terms of sale is that the purchaser must seek landmark designation for the building from the City’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks.

According to Alderman O’Connor’s office, the development jumped a significant hurdle on June 20, 2016. The Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards officially passed a needed zoning amendment necessary for the project to move forward.

However, the developer still needs to get landmark status for the building, a process that is proving to be challenging. In a statement from Ald. O’Connor’s office, they explained that Timeline Theatre’s plans for the first floor auditorium’s conversion is causing delay.

“Over the past several months,  Alderman O’Connor, Timeline Theatre representatives and the condo developer, Svigos Asset Management Inc., have met with city landmark specialists preparing to present the project to the State of Illinois and ultimately, the National Park Service Landmark people to determine the project’s viability and its eligibility for Landmark Tax Credits,” said the Alderman’s office. “Given the desire to provide a state of the art theater experience and preserve the auditorium under the landmarking requirements, there is an inherent conflict, but it is a conflict all of the parties are dedicated to get through.”

Trumbull school was constructed in 1908, and opened in 1909 as a direct result for the need of public educational building during a period of rapid population growth. In keeping with the theme of an era of progress, the Chicago Board of Education enlisted one of Chicago’s most respected visionary architects, Dwight H. Perkins. He was an icon of the Prairie School who was also the architect of Lane Technical College Prep High School, and Lincoln Park’s famous Lion House and Cafe Brauer.

 


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