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Capone's Old Hangout, Frank Lloyd Wright Home Snag Preservation Honor

By Sam Cholke | May 15, 2014 7:42am
 Thirteen preservation projects are being honored by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks for work on architecturally significant buildings across the city.
Preservation Excellence Awards
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HYDE PARK — The former haunt of gangster Al Capone and the studio of sculptor Lorado Taft were among the recipients of a Preservation Excellence Award from the city’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks on Thursday.

The Shoreland Apartments, 5454 South Shore Drive, once a favorite of pilot Amelia Earhart and Capone, received the award for the meticulous preservation of the terra cotta facade.

“It is significant for the high quality of its overall design, its impressive entry and elaborately detailed Baroque-style terra cotta,” the commission said in an announcement of the winners.

The award recognizes extraordinary improvements to Chicago landmark buildings and other historically significant works of architecture. The awards were presented at a 10 a.m. ceremony Thursday at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.

 Col. Jennifer Pritzker completed a complete restoriation of Frank Lloyd Wright's Emil Bach House on Sheridan Road in Rogers Park. The project earned a Preservation Excellence Award from the city on Thursday.
Col. Jennifer Pritzker completed a complete restoriation of Frank Lloyd Wright's Emil Bach House on Sheridan Road in Rogers Park. The project earned a Preservation Excellence Award from the city on Thursday.
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Built originally as a hotel, the Shoreland served as dorms for the University of Chicago until it was bought by MAC Properties, which pushed to get the building landmarked and restored much of the facade and interior during the conversion to apartments.

“We were thrilled when the city called us to say they were giving the Shoreland this award,” said Peter Cassel, director of community development for MAC Properties.

He said restoring the building made sense from an economic and preservation perspective.

“This is a good instance where the historic preservation makes the outcome of 330 apartments possible,” Cassel said. “By landmarking the building, we were able to bring our zoning parking requirements down to zero.”

The developers were able to maintain the classic look of the building and move all parking into an underground garage excavated beneath the former hotel.

Also honored was the complex of buildings that once served as the studio for Lorado Taft, best known in Hyde Park for his “Fountain of Time” sculpture on the Midway Plaisance.

As part of the construction of the Logan Center for the Arts, the University of Chicago restored much of the complex, repairing skylights in the sculptor’s former studio and building a historically accurate reproduction of the porch that belted the front of the three-story mansion at the center of the complex at 6016 S. Ingleside Ave.

Eleven other projects across the city also got a nod for preserving Chicago’s architectural landscape.

Pacific Chicago was honored for its work on Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s last project in Chicago, the IBM building at 330 N. Wabash Ave.

Zeller Realty Group got an award for restoring the terra cotta facade of the Wrigley Building, 400 N. Michigan Ave., and its role in getting the building landmarked.

Tiwani Enterprises’ work restoring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Emil Bach House, 7415 N. Sheridan Road, was also honored. The Landmark Commission praised the meticulous reconstruction of the exterior balconies and interior woodwork and art-glass windows. 

Other recipients include the Indian Boundary Field House, 2500 W. Lunt Ave.; a second-empire-style home at 1407 N. Hoyne Ave.; the Schoenhofen Administration Building, 530 W. 18th St.; a former Goldblatt’s department store at 2778 N. Milwaukee Ave.; the Union Park Hotel, 1519 W. Warren Blvd.; the Vassar Swiss Underwear Co. building, 2545 W. Diversey Parkway; and a single-family home at 319 W. Concord Place in the Old Town Triangle District.

The Beman Committee of the Pullman Civic Organization also will be honored for its creation of a reference guide to all the historic facade styles in the Pullman neighborhood.

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