Of course, it did once. Buffalo has a history of tearing down great buildings, but that was then, right? The thought that Chicago would allow the demolition of a YWCA building from 1895 (top image), in a landmark district, makes one wonder.
This building and those nearby remind us of the Webb Building, the Guaranty, the Genesee Gateway, White’s Livery, the LCo Building, and more. It’s unconscionable that in a city with Chicago’s wealth, a judge would order a building torn down at the expense of the integrity of those around it.
With a winter upon us, we always have fears about those “fringe” buildings – those on the way to being fixed that might not make it through one more season of ice and heavy snow. Luckily, this year, two important buildings – Curtiss and the Greystone - will get a reprieve.
One hopes that Chicago has a Rocco Termini, a Sam Savarino, a Hodgeson Russ Law Firm, a Howard Zemsky, who will step forward and say, “I can do this. I’ll make it work.”
Buffalo learned its lesson the hard way, and our preservationists and developers fight to save now, rather than dismantle. It shouldn’t take the loss of a building like this YWCA, in the setting it enjoys, to wake up a populace. That which is gone, we’ve learned too well, can never be replaced.
Image: Landmarks Illinois.