November 7, 2019

Four Neighborhood Landmarks Awarded Preliminary Grants from Citywide Adopt-a-Landmark Fund

A Chinatown community center and three historic neighborhood churches will be awarded grants from the Citywide Adopt-a-Landmark Fund, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) announced today.

“Each of these buildings have played a historic role in the development of their respective neighborhoods, and their thoughtful rehabilitation will ensure they remain community anchors for future generations,” said DPD Commissioner Maurice L. Cox, a member of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.

DPD, which provides staff support to the Landmarks Commission, presented an overview of each project today at the commission’s November meeting. The preliminary grants were awarded to the following projects:

  • On Leong Merchants Association, 2212 S. Wentworth Ave.: A $250,000 grant would support the restoration of the cast iron storefronts, window replacements, and plaster repair, among other work. The building, designed in the Oriental style and completed in 1927, was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1993.

  • Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral and Rectory, 1121 S. Leavitt St.: A $250,000 grant would support the replacement of the front porch, exterior metal work and stucco repair. Designed to resemble Russian provincial churches, the building is one of only two churches from master architect Louis Sullivan, and its construction was partially paid for by Czar Nicholas II. It was completed in 1903 and designated a Chicago Landmark in 1979.

  • Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, 2610 N. Kedzie Ave.: A $250,000 grant would support the restoration of the main façade facing Kedzie and the masonry above the roofline. Designed in the Gothic Revival style and completed in 1912, it is one of only two churches in America that uses Norwegian as a primary language. Also known by its Norwegian name Minnekirken, the church is a contributing building to the Logan Square Boulevards District, designated a Chicago Landmark in 2005.

  • Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S. Longwood Drive: A $240,000 grant would support the rebuilding of its turrets and associated roof and masonry work. The castle-like structure was built with Joliet limestone in 1886 by real estate dealer Robert C. Givins and modeled after a home he saw on the River Dee in eastern Ireland. The building, which has operated as a church since the early 1940s, is a contributing structure to the Longwood Drive District, designated a Chicago Landmark in 1981.

The four projects were selected from a pool of applicants that requested grants this summer. Among other considerations, staff prioritized projects that are shovel ready, projects that leverage additional investments, and projects that will have a positive, catalytic impact on their community.

The awards announced today are conditional on City approval of the project’s final scope, budget and financing arrangement. DPD expects to seek authority from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to execute an Adopt-a-Landmark agreement with each applicant some time next year.

The Adopt-a-Landmark Fund receives 10 percent of the money paid by downtown developers through the Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus system. Previous projects approved for Adopt-a-Landmark grants include the Uptown Theatre, the First Church of Deliverance in Grand Boulevard, and an artist loft development in Pullman.

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