Well, it is spring and as usual that means there is a lot happening in preservation. I have some long wordy blogs in the works analyzing heritage and so forth, but for now we need a quick update. First, our class has been surveying River Forest to offer suggestions for updating their survey and we have already found what looks like a significant teardown about to happen, this lovely Prairie School gem on Park Avenue by Tallmadge & Watson. Yes, the same Tallmadge who coined the term “Prairie School” and started preservation in Chicago. This is considered a minor Prairie School house in Jeannette Field’s Architecture of River Forest book, but it is still a perfectly good building wrapped in fencing and porta-potties awaiting the Scraper for some new Lollapalazzo.
The Spindle in Berwyn is up on eBay, at $50K with no bids.
This Thursday I am doing the Snapshots Lecture at the Chicago Cultural Center at lunchtime with the provocative title “A City Cannot Be a Work of Art” which is a quote from the late great Jane Jacobs. It is a history of historic preservation looking only at historic districts. That evening I am moderating a panel at Chicago Architecture Foundation with representatives from various Chicago historic districts to hear about how they created their districts, their hopes, fears, failures and successes.
Then Saturday CAF is offering a series of sessions on Teardowns, including the always provocative Bob Bruegmann on the history of teardowns. I’ll be there!