The Weekly is STREAMING now. Join us at HorizonTV

Chicago's 7 most endangered properties

Preservation Chicago released its annual list of historic buildings that are at risk of being demolished or falling into decay.

March 05, 2015 |
Chicago's 7 most endangered properties

The Illinois Institute of Technology's Main Building is among the city buildings at the highest risk of being lost to demolition or decay, according to the group Preservation Chicago. All photos provided by Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago

Each year, Preservation Chicago publishes a list of the city buildings that are at the highest risk of being lost to demolition or decay. According to DNA Info, the organization unveiled its list on the 178th anniversary of Chicago's incorporation as a city. 

"These are irreplaceable buildings that define our neighborhoods," said Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation Chicago.

The buildings named on the list are:

  • The South Side Masonic Temple: Located at 6400 S. Green Street, the Masonic temple was built in 1921. Throughout its years, it served as a popular destination for fraternal meetings and community events in Englewood. The building features Egyptian, Moorish, and Art Deco influences.
  • The Agudas Achim North Shore Synagogue: "The last great Chicago synagogue" is located at 5029 N. Kenmore Avenue and was built in 1922. It boasts Romanesque Revival, Art Deco, and Spanish influences. It's currently listed for sale and has worried Preservation Chicago that it may be demolished by developers.
  • Clarendon Park Community Center: Uptown's local community center was built in 1916 for beachgoers. It sits at 4501 N. Clarendon Street and has fallen victim to water filtration and other building code issues.
  • A. Finkl & Sons: The Lincoln Park steel plant is up for a major redevelopment, although Preservation Chicago is concerned the renovations may not include the historic buildings that are already standing on the riverfront.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology: The Main Building at 3300 S. Federal Street was built in 1893 with funds from Chicago meatpacking baron Philip Armour. While the higher education institution has restored many other buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, this one has not and is being offered to developers.
  • Pioneer Arcade: Once a 1920s bowling and billiards venue, the arcade at 1535 N. Pulaski Road has been empty since the mid-2000s. The building's facade is known as one of the city's best examples of 1920s Spanish colonial revival style and was designed by Jens Jensen. It's neighbor, the New Apollo Theater, also made Preservation Chicago's list. 
  • Neon signs: Located throughout the city, there are many old-school neon signs that bring back memories of how businesses approached advertising from the 1930s to the 1960s. 


Englewood's South Side Masonic Temple


The Agudas Achim North Shore Synagogue on Kenmore Avenue


Clarendon Park Community Center in Uptown


Illinois Institute of Technology


Pioneer Arcade at 1535 N. Pulaski Road


Some of Chicago's neon signs


Overlay Init

Your card will be charged: 0