Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More on the Old YMCA Building that Might be Demolished

Last week we had a post about the possible demolition of the old YMCA building (830 S. Michigan) and today the Chicago Tribune has a nice article providing more detail about the buildings history and the current mess the building is in:
Instead of having the look of a typical charitable organization, the YWCA building was lavishly ornamented with brick and terra cotta and used to house working women newly arriving in the city, said Jim Peters, president of the nonprofit advocacy group Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, which placed the structure on its endangered landmarks list last year.

Now, the building is dilapidated, abandoned for at least 20 years after having been a hotel since 1929, Peters said. Although saving the integrity of the entire building seems too costly at this point, Peters and others would like to save the facade, now hidden by scaffolding, to keep with many of the surrounding historic buildings. The strip of buildings is known to some as South Michigan's "Streetwall" and encompasses buildings on Michigan between 11th Street and Randolph Street.


Unknown said...

How does the city let a building is such a high profile area degrade to a condition where tearing it down is pretty much all that can be done?

Anonymous said...

Because if the city spent more time/money on this building as opposed to pouring millions into failed welfare programs such as public housing and floundering schools people like Jesse Jackson would go ape.

Carl said...

I don't see what social welfare programs and having an axe to grind with Jesse Jackson has ANYTHING to do with this subject.

This building has apparently been sitting empty for 20 years. How does the city (with it's building inspectors, fire codes, property taxes, etc.) not move in and exercise "imminent domain" or something? Someone owns the property, how does valuable underdeveloped land not change hands and get repurposed over the last 2 decades?

FGFM said...

Well, the Uptown Theatre has been vacant over 25 years, go figure. The racist anon would probably try to link that to Section 8 housing.

Carl said...

Man, don't get me started on the Uptown Theater!

Chicago was the silent film capitol of the world before the studios moved to the west coast . . . the original Wizard of Oz was shot here!

I wish this city would embrace the arts more.