PILSEN — What does it mean for residents if Pilsen becomes a historic landmark?
The Department of Planning and Development is set to hold a public meeting on the proposed landmark designation at the Rudy Lozano Public Library, 1805 S. Loomis St. from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The meeting will detail how the designation would impact the “building permitting process for properties within the district,” according to the city.
If approved by City Council, the historic district designation would help “preserve the multi-cultural, physical fabric of the Pilsen neighborhood” by requiring a building permit to be “reviewed by Landmarks Commission staff to ensure the project doesn’t diminish or destroy the historical or architectural integrity of a building’s exterior that’s visible from the street,” said Peter Strazzabosco, a spokesman for the Department of Planning and Development.
The owners of properties within the historic district would also be eligible for financial incentives that could include permit fee waivers for basic improvements to property tax reductions and tax credits for more substantial projects, Strazzabosco added.
Last fall, city officials unveiled the Pilsen Landmark proposal — one component of a five-part strategy aimed at preserving the Mexican and Mexican American communities in Pilsen and Little Village. Pilsen, a historic port of entry for immigrants, has seen an exodus of Latino families in recent years.
In December, the city’s Landmarks Commission approved a preliminary landmark recommendation that covers portions of 18th Street, Blue Island Avenue as well as residential blocks bound by 18 Street, Ashland Avenue, 21st Street and Racine Avenue in Pilsen.
The designation looks to preserve approximately 850 Baroque-inspired buildings built between 1875 and 1910 along with murals painted in 1978 and onward within the district in the neighborhood.
A public hearing, where the commission will accept public comment, is also scheduled for 9:30 a.m. April 24 at City Hall in Room 201-A, 121 N. LaSalle St.
Read the report on the Preliminary Designation here.
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