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Preservation Chicago Hopes To Save Facade On Old Near West Side Building

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A local preservation group said it has found two people who are seriously considering rescuing the facade of a nearly 100-year-old building on the Near West Side.

Ward Miller, executive director of the group Preservation Chicago, said the city has given the owner of the Daniel Burnham-designed building at 1217 W. Washington permission to demolish it. The building was constructed in 1910.

It is not a city landmark. The building was given an "orange" designation, Miller said, or "potentially significant," the next level down from the "red" designation which is for buildings that are historically or architecturally significant.

Miller said the owner of the building has been flexible with Preservation Chicago in giving the group a brief amount of time to try to find someone willing to have the painstaking work done to take down the facade.

A facade, Miller said, is worth saving. He said it's one of the buildings in this city that "are treasures and once they're gone, they're gone forever."

He describes the building as white-glazed brick with iron, terra cotta and metal.

He said there are two people who are seriously interested, including someone from Detroit, in having the facade taken down and saved.

"Both were aware that the expense it could run to, perhaps, a half million dollars at the end of the day," Miller said.

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