Preservation Chicago Names 7 Historic Buildings in Danger of Demolition

A Chicago architecture organization named seven historic buildings in the city that it believes are in danger of being demolished this year.

Preservation Chicago publishes an annual list of the seven most threatened buildings in the hopes of preserving them and highlighting their importance in their respective neighborhoods.

This year's list includes buildings all over Chicago:

-- Agudas Achim North Shore Synagogue: This Uptown structure was built in 1922 and has been described as "the last grand Chicago synagogue," according to Preservation Chicago. The building is now up for sale, and Preservation Chicago says a new developer may choose to demolish the historic building. Levi Lefkowitz, the son of the synagogue's rabbi and an agent for the building, said the developers fully intend to preserve the facade of the building, however.

-- Clarendon Park Community Center and Field House: This building in Uptown was originally built in 1916 as a modern facility for a popular lakefront beach. Preservation Chicago says the building has been changed "inappropriately" many times over the years and wants to see a renovation and restoration of the original historic structure.

-- A. Finkl and Sons Steel Plant: This West Lincoln Park series of structures was built in the early 20th century and is a symbol of Chicago's industrial past. Preservation Chicago says the site is now vacant and demolition permits have been issued for some of the structures as a result.

-- Illinois Institute of Technology Main Building: Construction of this Bronzeville building was completed in 1893 and was the first building on the IIT campus. It is also a designated Chicago landmark. Preservation Chicago says the building is in need of significant funds to repair and restore it.

-- Neon Signs: Preservation Chicago also named the historic neon signs throughout the city, saying they are "a prominent part of Chicago's landscape and cityscape." The organization listed them as threatened because of the high cost to maintain them.

-- Pioneer Arcade and New Apollo Theater: Preservation Chicago described Pioneer Arcade in West Humboldt Park as "Chicago's largest surviving 1920s-era commercial recreation center." It is located in the business and entertainment district at North Avenue and Pulaski Road and faces the New Apollo Theater. The organization says these structures are currently vacant and have suffered from a notable lack of maintenance over the years.

-- South Side Masonic Temple: This Englewood structure was built in 1921 when the retail and entertainment district at 63rd Street and Halsted was booming. Preservation Chicago says the building is a landmark in the neighborhood, but it has sat vacant and deteriorated significantly over the years.

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