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Landmarks Commission Grants Portage Theater Landmark Status

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 8, 2013 2:35PM

Photo credit: Anonymous Profile...

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted Thursday to grant final landmark status to the Portage Theater, a move that brings the Northwest side movie house a step closer to becoming protected, especially from anything owner Erineo “Eddie” Carranza has in store for it.

The Landmarks Commission began the process of granting the status to the Portage over a year ago, when it appeared that Chicago Tabernacle would be buying the 93-year-old building in order to transform it into a house of worship. Chicago Tabernacle found another space but the Portage was later sold to Carranza in September 2012 and almost immediately served current Portage management with a five-day eviction notice for back rent owed.

Since Carranza’s troubles as owner of the Congress Theater are no secret, Portage management has had the support of the community and Ald. John Arena (45th). Carranza and his team proposed a renovation project similar to the one currently being conducted at the Congress, including a market and brewpub.

The Landmarks Commission’s recommendation now goes before the Zoning and Landmarks Commission. If they approve the ruling, the recommendation will go before the full City Council for a vote. If they approve it, the recommendation becomes law