Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Breaking: Doomed Chicago Ronald Reagan apartment gets reprieve

The Reagan apartment
There is good news tonight in regards to the only Chicago home of Ronald Reagan. "Dutch" was the first president to live in Chicago and is the only president who was born in Illinois.

A permit to demolish a boyhood home of President Ronald Reagan has been placed on hold as city officials decide whether the vacant Hyde Park six-flat is worthy of preservation, WBEZ has learned.

Heneghan Wrecking and Excavating Co., on behalf the University of Chicago, last Thursday applied for a permit to raze the three-story brick building, 832-834 E. 57th St. The move triggered an automatic maximum 90-day review by landmark officials because the structure is among a class of buildings with "potentially significant architectural or historical features," as listed in the city's Historic Resources Survey.
Reagan, a former California governor who served in the White House from 1981 to 1989, lived in the Hyde Park building with his family for about 10 months when he was four years old. It is one of several Illinois places Reagan lived as a youth. The best-known is the Dixon, IL home where Reagan moved when he was nine years old that has been restored and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located on the northeastern edge of the expanding University of Chicago Medical Center, the building has been eyed for demolition since the university purchased it in 2004, angering some preservationists and Reaganphiles.
Henry, Illinois
WBEZ says that the Reagan apartment is one of three building that are under review by municipal officials.

The University of Chicago wants to tear down every structure it owns on Maryland Street north of 57th Street up to 56th Street and replace them with a parking lot and green space. The Reagan building can easily remain in place--it will just mean a slightly smaller parking lot. As for that green space, Maryland Street is just one block away from sprawling Washington Park.

The alderman for the ward where the apartment building sits is Leslie Hairston. Her email is The email address for the Commission on Chicago Landmarks is Please be courteous.

While the University of Chicago is gunning for the teardown of Reagan apartment, it is lobbying to be the site of the Obama presidential library.

Back to the Gipper:  He closely followed the economic philosophies of Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, a University of Chicago professor.

I've set up a couple of petitions in regards to saving the Reagan apartment.

Mary Claire Kendall visited the Reagan apartment last week--there was a wrecking ball right next to the building.

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