Holden Block, Schlitz Tied House, Spiegel Warehouse Are Chicago's Newest Landmarks

May 4, 2011

Molly Sullivan    312.744.2967

Schlitz Brewery-Tied House
City Council approved an ordinance today that designates the former Schlitz Brewery tied house at 1801 W. Division St. as a Chicago Landmark.

The West Town building, an excellent example of the German Renaissance Revival style, was commissioned in 1900 by Edward Uihlein of the Milwaukee-based brewery as a tied house for the exclusive sale of its products.  

The Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. was the most prolific builder of tied houses in Chicago, constructing at least 57 such taverns from the 1890s to the early 1900s.  Its logo featuring a distinctive relief of the belted Schlitz beer globe insignia is still visible on the building’s façade in the 1st Ward.

Like other brewery tied houses, Schlitz tied houses were essentially taverns that sold only the brand of beer to which they were “tied” to ensure exclusive placement of their products.

This is the second of a group of nine Schlitz tied houses that are being considered for landmark status.

Spiegel Administration Building
City Council also approved an ordinance that designates the  at 1038 W. 35th St. a Chicago Landmark.  

The building, built in two stages between 1936 and 1942, housed the mail order operations for Spiegel, Inc., one of the world’s largest catalog retailers, best known for its namesake Spiegel catalog.  Spiegel, Inc. was one of the leaders of the early mail order industry in Chicago.

Built in the Art Moderne style, the six-story industrial office building has sleek lines and vertical ribbons of glass block.  It’s located in the Central Manufacturing District, one of the first planned industrial districts in the country in the 11th Ward.
The building’s initial two stories were designed by the engineering firm Battey & Kipp.  Its four-story addition was designed by noted engineer and architect Abraham Epstein. The loft-style structure provided an abundance of light, fresh air and flexible work spaces compared with older, more traditional industrial buildings within the district,
After the Spiegel family sold the company to a financial firm in 1965, the building was used for merchandise distribution. In 1993, all company operations were moved out of state.

Holden Block Landmark and Class L Designation
Approved also were two ordinances that designate the Holden Block on the City’s Near West Side an official landmark and authorize a Class L property tax incentive for the rehabilitation of the vacant building at 1027 W. Madison St. into a vibrant commercial property.

The four-story structure, built in 1872, is a high style Italianate commercial loft building with a Buena Vista sandstone façade and is finely detailed with a variety of carved and incised window ornaments.  Built in the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the property represents a standard building style where commercial blocks were popular features of many main street business districts.  

A $5.4 million investment by the building’s owners, 1027 Madison Partners LLC, includes extensive interior and exterior renovation.  The proposed exterior scope of work includes restoration of the façade, the addition of historically-inspired windows and the reconstruction of the missing cornice.  Interior work consists of the addition of new exit stairs, a new elevator, bathrooms and new electrical, mechanical, plumbing and fire protection systems.  

The Class L incentive is a special property tax assessment classification to encourage the preservation and rehabilitation of designated landmark buildings.  Property owners can have their taxes reduced for a 12 year period, provided they invest half of the value of the building in an approved rehabilitation project.

Total tax incentives would be nearly $1.4 million over the 12-year period and lead to the repositioning of the historic building into a mix-use retail and office complex for an advertising agency that employs 65 people.

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