Preservationists seek landmark designation for Lincoln Park neighborhood after historic home's demolition

Preservationists have lost their battle to save a 150-year-old home in Lincoln Park, but it's not stopping them from doubling down on efforts to protect other historic homes in the neighborhood.

During their signature campaign to save 2240 North Burling last year, preservationists called it a stunning example of post-Great Chicago Fire residential architecture.

But where it once stood is now a dirt lot.

"We lost a really incredible structure here that was really special," said Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago. "I'm afraid that we'll lose more of these down the block over time."

In order to get landmark designation, historic homes have to meet two out of seven criteria, including exemplary architecture, an example of city heritage, or having a historically significant occupant or architect.


The 2240 North Burling home met one criterium, but fell just short of a second.

"We couldn't document an architect, and if we had that component, perhaps we could've had this landmarked," said Miller.

He said the loss is part of a larger trend, estimating 20 percent of the neighborhood's historic homes have been lost over time to new construction.

"Some of them are almost cookie-cutter designs and this is really a first class neighborhood that deserves the recognition of a landmark district," said Miller.

The Landmark District designation would have the teeth to protect similar homes from the wrecking ball, preserving the neighborhood's vintage character.

The District that Miller proposes would encompass the neighborhood south of Fullerton, between Lincoln and Halsted.

The first step toward winning the designation is gaining the support of current residents, and the ward's new alderman.