A permit is putting up a final fight for the preservation of the famous La Lucé corner.
One of the surviving examples of Queen Anne Victorian architecture could be torn down after a fresh demolition permit was prematurely granted on November 30, 2020. The iconic limestone and brick structure has stood at 1393-1399 West Lake Street for nearly 130 years. It dates back to 1891 when it was built by Edward J. Uihlein as a Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company branded saloon and Tied-House.
The copper-clad three-story turret on the corner of Lake Street and Ogden Avenue was recently home to the old-school Italian restaurant and neighborhood favorite La Lucé. After demolition seemed almost certain, Preservation Chicago last night announced that their battle clings on by a thread after a clerical error resulted in the demolition permit being released prematurely. They are now calling upon Chicagoans to sign a permit and halt the demolition of the much-loved landmark.
"Chicago, the city of architecture." Hahaha bulldozer go brrrrrrrrrrr! pic.twitter.com/dKWNeCA3kC
— Eric Allix Rogers (@EricAllixRogers) December 1, 2020
Concerns have been building for some years now when back in the summer of 2016 the beloved La Lucé restaurant closed after 27 years of business on the west Fulton Market site. The La Lucé neon sign, historic fixtures, and many other artifacts and antiques were then sold at an auction hinting at the impending destruction of the unique building.
Preservation advocates hindered the demolition for some time hoping to entice potential preservation-orientated buyers but despite some initial interest no offers were made and the building, unfortunately, was headed for the wrecking ball.
Update: the demolition permit has been withdrawn by the Department of Buildings commissioner until the 90-day demolition delay period ends https://t.co/rtx0Fei4sO
— gabriel x. michael (@_GXM) December 3, 2020
Preservation Chicago’s Twitter last night revealed that emergency measures had been taken to halt the demolition and called on Chicagoans to help preserve the building by signing a petition. They thanked the City of Chicago for taking the emergency steps and urged all to make the building a landmark immediately.
City of Chicago,
Thank you for taking emergency steps to halt the demolition of the La Luce / Lake Street Schlitz Tied House.
Let's Landmark it NOW before the 90-day demo delay run out!
— Preservation Chicago: Love Your City Fiercely! (@Pres_Chicago) December 3, 2020
This building is orange-rated by the Chicago Historic Resources Survey which indicates a high degree of significance and historical value. It was going to be included as part of the Schlitz Tied-House Chicago Landmark District designated back in 2011 but the former owners objected. The petition is the last measure that could keep this standout structure in existence.
[Featured Image from Twitter / @ErikAllixRogers]