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West Side's Historic La Lucé Building Is Being Demolished, & You Can Buy A Piece Of History

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Mar 30, 2017 7:13PM

The Near West Side's (or West Loop, depending on how far west you extend the boundary) famed, aging building that once housed La Lucé Italian Restaurant is slated for demolition. But first, an auction is being held next weekend to give local history buffs a chance to own some of the property's fixtures, including historic gothic-style lamps and old toys.

The brick building with cooper accents and a recognizable weathervane on its roof, located by the CTA Green Line tracks at the intersections of Lake Street, Ogden Avenue and Loomis Street, was slated for demolition last summer but first faced a 90-day demolition hold, according to Curbed. The "pre-demolition" auction, as it has been dubbed, includes a neon sign, a "here's Chicago" metal sign, and other interesting artifacts.

La Lucé owner Michael Moretti told Eater last year that his family has been priced out of the West Loop. "We were property rich and restaurant poor," he said. "We couldn't sell enough product to justify what we had to offer."

Many fans of the city's 19th century architecture are not pleased about the possibility of demolition, though the ultimate fate of the property is still unclear. As West Loop history buff Moshe Tamssot wrote on Facebook of the demolition: Most people "have no idea that this was a neighborhood of mansions, community centers, churches, and more L stops than we can ever hope to rebuild. All abandoned, let go, and lost. So that we can repeat their mistakes, again."

The auction is being held Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9. You can check out some of the items, above.