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Landmark Status Proposed for Victorian Gold Coast House

By Lizzie Schiffman Tufano | November 18, 2013 6:37am | Updated on November 18, 2013 11:15am
 A three-story Victorian house in the Gold Coast was nominated for landmark status this week.
Gold Coast Hallberg House
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GOLD COAST — A red-brick Victorian home at 1337 N. Dearborn St. is being considered for landmark status via a proposal introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the City Council last week.

Currently fenced off and sporting a few broken windows, the three-story house was built in 1884 for publisher and merchant Augustus Warner by Swedish-born architect Lawrence Gustav Hallberg Sr., according to the mayor's office and the city's Department of Housing and Economic Development.

The 4,200-square-foot property has an estimated 2013 market value of $1.32 million, according to the Cook County assessor's website.

If approved by the Council, the landmark designation would require that any alterations to the building's exterior be approved by the Landmarks Commission. The structure would be protected from demolition indefinitely.

City officials began lobbying for the landmark designation last June, when the building's owner applied for a permit to raze it for a new development, WBEZ's Lee Bey first reported.

Owner Bart Przyjemski's Noah Properties is has been rapidly developing high-end condos and luxury single-family homes on the West Side. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment about his plans for the Gold Coast house.

There are more than 20 Hallberg-designed buildings on the city's Historic Resources Survey.

The city's Sept. 5 Landmark Designation Report praises the Augustus Warner House as "excellent and unusual ... in its overall design and detailing."

"In the context of Chicago residential architecture, it is unusual in its combination of elements of the English Queen Anne and Victorian Gothic architectural styles," the report reads, adding, "The Warner House exemplifies the eclectic taste of Victorian-era Chicagoans."

The proposal was assigned to the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards at Wednesday's City Council meeting, where it awaits further action.