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For $1,345,000, You Can Buy a Glencoe Landmark

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jun 17, 2004 5:33PM

Glencoe House: Photo--The TribuneA house in Glencoe has been designated a village landmark without the homeowner’s consent. Adel Tarakdjian bought the two-story house for $945,000 in November and planned to demolish it to build a “multimillion-dollar home.”

Since 1989, 404 homes have been razed in Glencoe, including dozens considered to be historically significant. A 150-year-old Dundee Road home--the village's oldest--was leveled two years ago.

Started in 1990 to promote historic and architectural preservation, the commission has bestowed landmark status on 75 buildings, including several Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Along with added protection from demolition, selected homes are eligible for tax benefits and a commemorative plaque on the lawn.

While mandating landmark status for a home is "unusual in the suburban arena," several North Shore communities have preservation ordinances allowing it, said Lisa DiChiera, director of advocacy for the non-profit Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois.

The designation as a village landmark prolongs the waiting period for tearing down a house from 60 days to 180. The house in question was built in 1888 and has seriously deteriorated in the last few decades. Tarakdjian says that the house is "'beyond repair,'" and the landscaping is so overgrown that the Trib described the backyard as having “reverted to native prairie.” It would cost $400,000 to restore the house, so if there are any takers, we hear that $945,000 properties and $400,000 repairs buy a nice effing plaque.

2004.06.17.scrooge.jpgChicagoist can admit that this is kind of a pickle. Yes, historic architecture should be preserved, but just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s historic. We’d be pretty pissed if, after shelling out a million bucks, we couldn’t build what we wanted to build, especially if we wanted to build a $2.6 million home. To console ourselves, we’d go swimming in our pool of gold coins a la Scrooge McDuck because nothing makes us feel better than the cool, delicious caress of a few million dollars.