Power Stations, Polish Church, West Side SRO Make Preservation Chicago’s “Most Threatened” Buildings List

Midwest, Preservation
Friday, March 7, 2014
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the 1903 turbine hall at fisk (courtesy skyscraper page)

the 1903 turbine hall at fisk (courtesy skyscraper page)

Preservation Chicago released its annual “Most Threatened” historic buildings list, which includes two early 20th-century power stations that were part of the city’s now-defunct coal plant corridor on the southwest side.

st adalbert curch in pilsen ("Ann Fisher" yooperann / Fickr)

St. Adalbert Church in Pilsen. (“Ann Fisher” yooperann / Flickr)

The Fisk and Crawford power stations date from 1903 and 1926, when steam engine turbines as large as the ones in use in Chicago were a rare feat of engineering. The Madison/Wabash “El” stop, a lumbering box of metal housing a busy downtown transit stop, could indeed use some attention. Nearby Loop gems like the Carson Pirie Scott building down the street have received as much.

Here’s the full list, also available on the preservation group’s website:

  1. St. Adalbert Catholic Church
  2. Crawford, Fisk Power Houses
  3. Guyon Hotel
  4. Francis Scott Key Public School
  5. Madison/Wabash Station House

St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church, a renaissance revival house of worship in Pilsen, also made the list. The 185-foot twin towers of St. Adalbert are the highest structures in Pilsen. Now predominantly Latino, the neighborhood was settled by immigrants from Eastern Europe—mass at St. Adalbert is offered in English, Spanish, and Polish.

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