Marina City was praised by the president of Landmarks Illinois and adored by the executive director of Preservation Chicago.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks wanted to hear from the public before deciding if they will recommend landmarking Marina City to the city council. About 20 members of the public attended the hearing on the 11th floor of City Hall to hear the case in favor of landmarking. They included Ryan Shea, Vice President of Operations at Marina City’s House of Blues, and Richard Hogan, who has lived at Marina City since 1978.
They were told Marina City meets five of the seven criteria for landmarking
It also meets the “integrity criterion,” they were told, that requires the landmark to be well-preserved.
Many were curious about what the owner of Marina City’s commercial property thinks about official landmark status, as it could potentially slow significant changes to the building’s exterior. Representing LaSalle Hotel Properties, Mariah Digrino of DLA Piper told the hearing the owner of Hotel Chicago and adjacent commercial property is officially “neutral.”
“At this time, ownership is not prepared to consent or object but continues to evaluate the effect of the designation on its hotel and commercial operation,” said Digrino (below).
Bonnie McDonald, president of Landmarks Illinois, repeated her organization’s support of landmarking, saying that based on a survey in 2008, most residents of Marina City are in favor of landmark designation, which she says will provide residents with financial incentives.
Arguably the most glowing recommendation was from Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, who said Marina City was “the spark” that began an “imaginative transformation.”
Consideration of Marina City as an official landmark was requested by 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly and signed off by the city’s Department of Planning and Development. The seven-member Landmarks Commission will meet in Council Chambers at City Hall on November 5 at 12:45 p.m. to decide whether to recommend landmarking to the Chicago City Council.
Listen to the hearing
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