Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Massive fire claims Adler & Sullivan's Wirt Dexter Building

A five-alarm fire Tuesday claimed the landmark Wirt Dexter building in Chicago's south Loop, one of the few surviving structures from the partnership of Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, Coupled with the loss of the firm's K.A.M. Pilgrim Baptist Church, also to fire, early this past year, it raises questions about the city's commitment to protecting its architectural legacy. Read the full story and see all the pictures here.


The Metro Sapien said...

The Sun Times is reporting that the cause of the fire was the use of acetylene-oxygen cutting torches in the basement of the building. The city should fully prosecute the owner of the structure for allowing salvage crews to callously start this fire. Thankfully no life was lost but that's little comfort to anyone that appreciates historic acrhitecture. How sad...what a loss.

Lil'G said...

Truly a horrible loss...but what to do? It's so easy to blame the city and Landmarks for this. But the reality ,as in this case, is when you have sleezbag irresponsible owners who don't play by the rules then bad things happen. This work was done without permit, secretly. How does the city/landmarks control this?

Lynn Becker said...

Here's a question: whether it should be the case or not, do you really need a city permit to dismantle a boiler?

mendel said...

I agree with lil'g. It is a horrible loss, but how could the City enforce stricter rules for fire protection, unless a city inspector was present 24 hours at the site making sure everything was being done correctly.

Whether or not a permit is needed to dismantle a boiler is irrelevant. Maybe the city or state or somebody should have taken the property from the negligent property before this could have happened.

It's not a matter of having regualtions on the books, but rather a matter of having responsible property owner/management.