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New Endangered Landmarks List Goes to 11

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Apr 2, 2008 5:11PM

2008_04_endangered.jpgLandmarks Illinois, "the state’s leading voice for historic preservation," released the 2008 edition of their Endangered Landmarks list today and, keeping with the same counting rules as the Big 10, the Top 10 list actually features 11 buildings. The last-second, list-expanding addition? Wrigley Field. The addition was made in response to the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority's interest in purchasing, and subsequently renovating, the stadium. In total, the city of Chicago has four buildings on the list: the Chicago Daily News Building (400-442 W. Madison St.), the Germania Club & Village Theatre (1536-1550 N. Clark St.), the Michigan Avenue Streetwall (Michigan Avenue, from Randolph St. to 11th St.), and the aforementioned Home of the Cubs (1060 W. Addison St.). In case you're counting, that's two buildings on the list owned by the omnipresent Sam Zell: the Chicago Daily News Building and Wrigley.

Most of the media fuss, not surprisingly, focuses on Wrigley Field.

From the AP report:

"The Cubs have not exactly been a winning team over the last 100 years, but that ball park has a following and cachet that I attribute to the actual place," [Landmarks Illinois president David] Bahlman said. "Once you have state-of-the-art sky boxes, you are going to severely change the character and the constituency of the ball park."

From the Tribune:
"If it becomes an urban country club like Soldier Field with $300,000 skyboxes, it's not going to have the same character," Bahlman said.

We tend to agree with that assessment, though if ticket prices continue their current trend, we won't be able to attend games and complain about the renovations anyway.

Since 1995, when Landmarks Illinois began putting out their annual list, only 38 of the 143 buildings listed (27%) have been "saved", a rate only slightly worse than the Cubs bullpen (ZING!). Over half of the buildings (77) remain "threatened" while 28 (20%) have been demolished. The organization keeps a list of updates here. [AP, Tribune]

Image "kwb" courtesy of Doug Metzel