Chicago

Alderman wants to demolish Pilsen landmark district proposal

Byron Sigcho-Lopez says the effort to landmark hundreds of homes would allow for pricier residential construction and squeeze lower-income renters and homeowners

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez wants to create a “demolition-free” district in Pilsen to limit development. (Credit: Getty,  Andrew Jameson via Wikipedia)

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez wants to create a “demolition-free” district in Pilsen to limit development. (Credit: Getty,  Andrew Jameson via Wikipedia)

Historic landmark districts are usually created to preserve existing buildings and limit development.

Not so in Pilsen, says Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th Ward), who is opposing a proposed historic district designation, arguing that it would allow for high-end residential development and squeeze lower-income renters and homeowners.

The first-term alderman this week introduced an ordinance for a “demolition-free district,” which would prevent developers from obtaining demolition permits or approvals for major projects and deconversions until Sigcho-Lopez could hold a public meeting about each request, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Pilsen historic district has been a controversial issue — one involving cries of gentrification — but last year it garnered the support of the Landmarks Commission, for an area that would cover 850 buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The alderman’s “demolition-free district” would include that area, along with the historic St. Adalbert Church property at 1650 West 17th Street, where Sigcho-Lopez last year fought to prevent the Archdiocese from handing over the former church to a developer. That effort was successful, though developer City Pads intends to build co-living apartments in a building on the 2-acre site, and will transform other buildings on the property, Block Club reported last fall.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sigcho-Lopez said “it became clear that landmark designations do not preserve people and communities, they merely protect buildings, often at the expense of longtime, working-class residents.” [Sun-Times] — Alexi Friedman 

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Chicago

Alderman wants to demolish Pilsen landmark district proposal

Byron Sigcho-Lopez says the effort to landmark hundreds of homes would allow for pricier residential construction and squeeze lower-income renters and homeowners

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez wants to create a “demolition-free” district in Pilsen to limit development. (Credit: Getty,  Andrew Jameson via Wikipedia)

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez wants to create a “demolition-free” district in Pilsen to limit development. (Credit: Getty,  Andrew Jameson via Wikipedia)

Historic landmark districts are usually created to preserve existing buildings and limit development.

Not so in Pilsen, says Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th Ward), who is opposing a proposed historic district designation, arguing that it would allow for high-end residential development and squeeze lower-income renters and homeowners.

The first-term alderman this week introduced an ordinance for a “demolition-free district,” which would prevent developers from obtaining demolition permits or approvals for major projects and deconversions until Sigcho-Lopez could hold a public meeting about each request, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Pilsen historic district has been a controversial issue — one involving cries of gentrification — but last year it garnered the support of the Landmarks Commission, for an area that would cover 850 buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The alderman’s “demolition-free district” would include that area, along with the historic St. Adalbert Church property at 1650 West 17th Street, where Sigcho-Lopez last year fought to prevent the Archdiocese from handing over the former church to a developer. That effort was successful, though developer City Pads intends to build co-living apartments in a building on the 2-acre site, and will transform other buildings on the property, Block Club reported last fall.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sigcho-Lopez said “it became clear that landmark designations do not preserve people and communities, they merely protect buildings, often at the expense of longtime, working-class residents.” [Sun-Times] — Alexi Friedman 

COMPANIES AND PEOPLE

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