UPTOWN — A nearly 100-year-old condo building in Uptown has won a city grant to return it to its Jazz Era glory.
The Gunnison Street Lofts building, 1215 W. Gunnison St., is getting $250,000 from the city to help finance a $2 million overhaul of its terra cotta facade, city officials announced in late November.
The building at the corner of Broadway and Gunnison Street is one of 12 projects to receive more than $4 million in city Adopt-A-Landmark funds. The funding helps preserve historical buildings “that help define who we are as a city,” Maurice Cox, Department of Planning and Development commissioner, said in a statement.
“Whether it’s for a house of worship, a corner commercial building or a neighborhood tavern, the grants will help preserve these structures for generations of neighborhood residents to come,” Cox said.
The Gunnison Street Lofts building was built in 1926 as the home of the Spiegel Furniture Company. It was later converted into a condo building with 22 units plus ground-floor commercial space that houses Fat Cat and Lao Sze Chuan.
The building is included in the Uptown Square District, the landmark district founded in 2016 that includes three dozen buildings along the Broadway and Lawrence commercial corridors.
Its age has shown in recent years, as some of the building’s Broadway-facing facade is covered in construction wrap.
The restoration will remove and replace foundational building parts, install terra cotta façade pieces and rebuild parapet walls, according to a city presentation. The building is controlled by its condo association.
The project will cost just more than $2 million, according to the city. The remaining funds needed will come from a special assessment of condo owners plus private financing.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks must approve the plans, and any grant above $250,000 must also be approved by the City Council. An agreement with the city requires the project to be built within two years.
The condo board could not be reached for comment.
Other buildings to receive Adopt-A-Landmark funding this round: the Muddy Waters home in Kenwood, the Emmett Till home in Woodlawn that’s being converted to a museum, Bronzeville’s Ebenezer Baptist Missionary Church and the Schlitz Brewery Tied House in East Side. For more on the landmark grant recipients, click here.
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