About Advertise Archive Contact Search Subscribe
Serving the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago
Facebook X Vimeo RSS

Photo by Steven Dahlman Preliminary landmark recommendation approved for Marina City

9-Jul-15 – Marina City will, once again, go through the process of being considered an official City of Chicago landmark.

After praising Marina City for about 23 minutes, the seven-member Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted unanimously in favor of the recommendation, which starts a process that could take several months, with public comment not happening until early next year.

The recommendation was requested and is supported by 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, according to the president of Landmarks Illinois.

Of about 12 members of the public who attended the short meeting at City Hall early Thursday afternoon, two were residents of Marina City, Iker Gil, an architect, and Brett Young, who is on the condo board at Marina City. Both expressed cautious optimism, but Marina City residents have been through this before with a failed landmarking attempt in 2008.

Also attending the meeting was Chicago architect Geoffrey Goldberg, whose father, Bertrand, designed Marina City. Geoffrey thanked the commission after the vote, the first item on its agenda, but did not testify.

Bonnie McDonald Bonnie McDonald, president of Landmarks Illinois, says her organization has supported landmarking of Marina City since 1990.

“Upon learning that this beloved landmark is not officially protected,” McDonald (left) told the commission, “Chicagoans and visitors are shocked.”

She says Marina City was “intended to lure people back to the downtown to live and clearly it’s been successful.” She also says it started an era of development along the Chicago River.

Marina City, says McDonald, “is a critical part of the city’s mid-century architectural heritage and is considered one of the city’s most photographed buildings.”

The next step is for the city’s Department of Planning and Development to study the commission’s report on Marina City.

Eleanor Gorski, Director of Historic Preservation, says they are not expecting unanimous consent to landmarking by every property owner at Marina City, so there will be a public hearing, at which owners and members of the public may comment. A transcript of the hearing would be given to the commission for a final recommendation and if Marina City makes it that far, the proposal would be voted on by the city council.

An overview of the process was sent on July 1 to the condominium association at Marina City from the Historic Preservation Division. The overview discussed “benefits and responsibilities” for condo unit owners in a building designated a City of Chicago landmark.