Page N1.2 . 08 November 2006                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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Chicago Landmark Awards


Lori T. Healey, commissioner of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development, explains that restoring these structures is important because it makes it possible "for future generations to appreciate them as much as we do today."

Many of the award recipients are residential projects. "What's especially rewarding," Healey continues, "is the exceptional level of public participation in preservation efforts. These homeowners feel a responsibility to their neighborhoods, and to the neighborhoods' heritage, as well."

Landmark Houses

One such homeowner is Anita Orlikoff, whose house is in the historic Kenwood District. She recalls: "We started the [restoration] project not knowing what to expect. But with the help of the Department of Planning and Development's Landmark Division, and a contractor who specializes in preservation, we were able to educate ourselves and to turn an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan."

Kenwood originally developed as a fashionable residential Chicago suburb. It was known for its large 19th-century houses on spacious lots, many designed by prominent architects. Even after annexation to Chicago in 1889, the neighborhood retained its suburban character with its large collection of elaborate Queen Anne, colonial revival, and shingle-style wood-frame houses.

Some of the buildings had been altered over time, obscuring historic trim work, clapboards, and distinctive shingle patterns. The Orlikoffs executed an exterior rehabilitation of their Victorian-era house by removing the asphalt siding and restoring the historic appearance with new wood siding, wood shingles, decorative trim work, and new roof shingles.

Another exterior rehabilitation in the same neighborhood won recognition for owners Daniel and Stephanie Aucunas. Their house, built in the 1890s in the Queen Anne shingle style, was in considerable disrepair after many years of neglect. They restored the leaded glass windows, replaced the slate roofing, and painted the wood siding.

Consortian Development, received recognition for its rehabilitation of a house in Chicago's historic Ukrainian Village, home to waves of European immigrants that settled in the area around the turn of the last century. Large corner apartment buildings were typically designed with more detail that the smaller houses located mid-block. Much of the building's fine ornament had been stripped or covered with synthetic material. The owners chose to reclad the turret and replace several windows and the missing cornice.

A fourth residence to receive a preservation award is a row house in the Calumet-Giles-Prairie District. This district escaped the ravages of 1960s "urban renewal." The homeowner, Timothy R. Rinkoski, returned this graystone, with handsome Romanesque and Queen Anne influences, to its original luster by installing new exterior doors, repairing the front porch, replacing the window sashes, and repairing the decorative cornice and bay window details.

Restoring Civic Life

One of the nonresidential award recipients in the Chicago Landmark program is the LaSalle Bank Theatre, in the Majestic Building, designed in 1906 by architect Edmund R. Krause. It is one of the oldest standing theaters in Chicago, but had suffered from indignities of dropped ceilings in the lobby, covered-over mosaic flooring, and inauthentic paint choices in the auditorium. The Nederlander Group restored the historic theater to reflect its celebrated past.

The 35 East Wacker Building, on Chicago's history-laden Wacker Drive, was rehabilitated inside and out by DUS Management, Inc. At the time of its completion in 1927, the building was considered the "tallest building west of New York City."

The ornate beaux arts skyscraper was designed by Joachim Giaver and Frederick Dinkelberg. The current building owner restored the first-floor lobby ceiling, added new storefronts, upgraded interior common areas and building systems, and extensively repaired and restored the cream terra-cotta exterior cladding.

The Marquette Building received an exterior restoration and cornice reconstruction. Designed in 1894 by the firm of Holabird & Roche, it is an outstanding example of a "Chicago School" office building. The large windows and broad bays express the then-new use of steel-frame construction.   >>>

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A landmark house in Chicago was suffering from neglect before owners Daniel and Stephanie Aucunas restored it, earning them an award for preservation excellence.
Photo: Daniel Aucunas

ArchWeek Image

The Aucunas House, after restoration.
Photo: Commission on Chicago Landmarks

ArchWeek Image

A corner house in Chicago's historic Ukrainian Village, before restoration.
Photo: Consortian Development, LLC

ArchWeek Image

House in Chicago's Ukrainian Village, after restoration.
Photo: Commission on Chicago Landmarks

ArchWeek Image

A row house in the Calumet-Giles-Prairie District, before restoration.
Photo: Commission on Chicago Landmarks

ArchWeek Image

Calumet-Giles-Prairie District row house after restoration by owner Timothy R. Rinkoski.
Photo: Commission on Chicago Landmarks

ArchWeek Image

The Majestic Theatre before restoration.
Photo: Broadway in Chicago

ArchWeek Image

The Majestic Theatre after restoration.
Photo: Broadway in Chicago


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