Monday, June 23, 2008

Preservation Chicago Protests 22nd Place Demolition

Last Thursday, June 19th, Preservation Chicago Vice President Michael Moran has sent a letter to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks asking for a denial of the permit the Chicago Archdiocese has filed to demolish the former St. Paul's Church Social Hall at 2131 W. 22nd Place, just down the street from the Henry J. Schlack's designed church of the same name. The application is on an automatic 90 day hold by virtue of the building being rated "orange" on the Commission's historic Resources Survey for possessing "potentially significant architectural or historical features."

Moran describes the building as "one of the largest and most attractive" in the neighborhood. "Please note that this ornamental cornice is completely intact and runs along three facades . . . The buildings exterior is certainly in good shape." Moran recommends allowing demolition of a single story structure at the back of the lot of allow redevelopment while "saving the three-story building that you see pictured."


Anonymous said...

I dont care if a person is a modernist, minimalist, postmodernist or whatever - buildings like that just cant be replaced. its era of craftsmanship, detail and creativity that is essentially the real "fabric" of the city. Notice how as less and less of these types of buildings exist, those areas with concentrations become more and more vavlueable.

Anonymous said...

Preservation Chicago is a tax exempt 501(c)3 corporation. It is illegal for them to attempt to influence legislation. Here they are encouraging the Landmarks Commission to recomend passage of an ordinance making the building a landmark. Before Mr. Moran protests the behavior of others, he should get his own act in order.

Lynn Becker said...

Well, that's one of the more perverse interpretations of the law I've ever heard.

It's implication, of course, is that Preservation Illinois, Preservation Chicago, and every other preservation organization that exists operates illegally because they're trying to preserve landmarks, which is done through ordinances. By this interpretation, any organizations that operate as 501(c)3 and has architectural preservation as its mission is silenced because such advocacy is illegal.

Brilliant! You're not Jack Guthman, are you?

Anonymous said...

Perverse interpretation? Look it up. It couldn't be more simple. 501(c)3's are not allowed to attempt to influence legislation. 501(c)3's tax returns are available for viewing on the internet. On the tax form, they are asked if they engaged in such activity. The liars always answer no.
It's illegal tax evasion. If you want to be an activist and solicit donations, obey the law, and PAY YOUR TAXES.
And yes, Landmarks Illinois is also a tax cheat, as are many neighborhood associations.

Lynn Becker said...

Fortunately, the law isn't what you say it is, but what the courts say it is, and I've yet to see a court ruling following your interpretation.

Anonymous said...

Educate me. What court ruling negates my comment?

Lynn Becker said...

Please educate me: what court ruling affirms your viewpoint? What court has ruled that Preservation Chicago and Landmarks Illinois' engages in illegal behaviour?

Anonymous said...

The Children's Museum's illegal activities should be enough to have it's 501 3c status revoked.
They hired lobbyists that prowled City Hall everyday for months among other questionable activities.

Anonymous said...

anonymous is wrong about Preservation Chicago, but he/she feels he's really correct, he can call the IRS TE/GE unit at (877) 829-5500.

and after the IRS corrects him/her he can apologize to Preservation Chicago's tax accountants for calling them liars.

Of course, we'll hear no apology from him, just like we won't get one from Smilin' Jack Guthman.

Anonymous said...

Their latest available tax return from 2006 can be viewed at

On Schedule A, Part III, question number 1.), here's the question and the answer...
"During the year, has the organization attempted to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum?

Answer: No"

If it looks and smells like tax fraud, it probably is tax fraud. Of course Landmarks Illinois, being far better funded than Preservation Chicago, is the more egregious offender.

Jake said...

They make no profit, and speak on behalf of all of us who don't want these buildings torn down.

If the tax code makes it illegal for them to do so, then maybe we should fix our tax code.

and then we can get back to the fact that these three facades of intact cornice of such good quality are so rare that we cannot afford to lose this building.

especially because from google earth, it looks like all that would be gained is parking.

Anonymous said...

The legal circuit-breaker is that these groups are not seeking to influence legislation. They are offering invited testimony in hearings regarding an administrative decision.

As to the merits, the building is threatened because the city has found structural problems and the parish does not have the money to fix them. Or so we were told on a May tour of St Paul's.

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt that that there are interior structural problems to the extent that demolition is required.

However, even if there is some interior problem, you still don't need to tear down the whole facade.

The building has an exterior that is completely intact. No diagonal cracks on the exterior walls. No uneven settling. No visible loose bricks.

What they told you on the tour was not accurate.

Building Demolition said...

The legal circuit-breaker is that these groups are not seeking to influence legislation. They are offering invited testimony in hearings regarding an administrative decision.
Building Demolition