Jump to content

Oak Park Illinois - Former Packard Dealership OK'd for Demolition


Recommended Posts

The former Hill Motor Sales building in Oak Park, IL was ok'd for demolition yesterday, to be replaced with a grocery store.  The store chain originally intended to reuse or incorporate the facade of the older building in its new construction but apparently that's off the table now.  No idea when the building will actually come under the wrecking ball, though.

 

Enl-5H7W4AEw4-3.jpg

Enl-98mXUAAvDeW.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

They should at least save the sculptures in the Facade.

 

Here in Toronto they would make them save the front wall of the building.

 

There is an old GE Plant from the 1950's that the front of the buildings is all that is basically left.

 

There is also a two storey brick building which is the old Reo Plant in Toronto they saved which I cannot post the picture. 

 

The Toronto Preservation Board wants the city to designate the two-storey Reo Durant structure under the Ontario Heritage Act. But a proposal for a retirement residence featuring two buildings of seven and eight storeys and 284 units, has also been floated for the site and adjacent property at 146 Laird. If permitted, the buildings would mark the first large-scale residential development on the commercial-retail strip. A pre-hearing was scheduled last month at the OMB.

 

General Electric Building Modern Deco Oakville Ontario

 

 

Edited by Mark Gregory (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love old buildings almost as much as old cars and it's really a shame to see this kind of thing just erased. Sure, a car dealership isn't anything special and the world won't mourn the passing of a relatively anonymous building, but things like that will never be built again. Nobody can afford to build beautiful for the sake of beautiful anymore and the craftsmanship to build such things doesn't exist any longer anyway. They didn't need to add those gargoyles or extra stonework to make that dealership functional, but someone spent a lot of extra money simply to make it beautiful. Can you imagine the howls of outrage from shareholders if someone decided to do that today?

 

I live in Cleveland, which is a very old city (relatively speaking, of course). It's full of beautiful art-deco office buildings with wonderful stonework and intricate carvings, ornate windows, and all kinds of details that just won't ever be part of architecture again. When someone built a building 100 years ago, they wanted it to look like something special, for it to be beautiful, for it to be remarkable, for it to tell a permanent story. Today it's just about who can make the tallest one out of glass and steel. Sure, there are the truly bizarre modern buildings that are more art installations than actual functional buildings--built just to show off the architect's skills and the budget of the builders. But everything else is just what I call "fartchitecture." Just shiny steel, concrete, and plastic rectangles that act as rulers for the builder's johnson. Even the houses they build in engineered communities are identical simple boxes, perfectly straight lines of little beige plastic dormitories crammed together just tight enough so that light can get between them.

 

Beauty for beauty's sake is worthwhile. We've lost touch with that because of the almighty dollar. Greed and consumerism will be the end of our society.

 

And we'll deserve it.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
  • Like 11
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have visited London England many times although not recently. The preservation movement there succeeded in saving the facade of many older structures so that a "modern" interior arrangements ( number of floors/levels , a/c, wiring for computers etc. ) could be accommodated. This was done decades ago . All well done, the facade landscape of decades past was saved yet modern needs were also satisfied. If it can be done there with three times plus the age of the structure and be successful then why isn't the effort made here in the USA?  It all comes down to $, what is a quick solution and severe lack of respect for history and heritage.  A very sad state of affairs and one that will continue.

The new catch  phrase is " xxx lives matter "  well 'Old buildings matter' and 'Old cars matter ' too..........................

Edited by Walt G (see edit history)
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

 

Beauty for beauty's sake is worthwhile. We've lost touch with that because of the almighty dollar. Greed and consumerism will be the end of our society.

 

And we'll deserve it.

 

 

 

Or not:

 

https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2020/11/ford-using-new-technology-to-help-restoration-of-old-train-station/

 

https://leftlanenews.com/2017/05/02/gm-restores-its-birthplace-factory-95803/

 

https://chainstoreage.com/news/restoration-hardware-restore-historic-building-san-francisco

 

https://www.jpmorgan.com/commercial-banking/insights/historic-buildings-made-new-low-cost-capital

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MikeC5 said:

Those gargoyles are great.

 

No..."car"goyles. 😉

 

Not being able to re-purpose that great old building a isn't very believable premise, especially when a grocery store is going in at the same location. My guess is that the construction industry (which I admittedly have empathy for) is using undue influence to build an entirely new structure.

 

Doesn't Oak Park care what becomes of its community in 100 years? There's a reason that Montreal is (correctly) considered the most beautiful city in North America: It's in large part the great old buildings and churches, folks.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 46 woodie said:

I agree with Mark and Walt, someone should be allowed to recover those magnificent figures of the workmen. Don't they have some sort of preservation commission in IL?

 

 

I would bet that they are already sold. There is a large market for that stuff and every General Contractor I worked for was in tune to that. I worked for a short time at the Demolition of the old Yankee Stadium and most everything was spoken for, even the bricks, bathroom fixtures, light fixtures were all repurposed. Our bags were checked every day when we exited to assure that we did not take anything. 

My son is working at LaGuardia Airport and told me that the old American Airlines Terminal was demolished a few weeks ago. Original plans were to save the facia but, that building is gone now. 

 

2 hours ago, Walt G said:

 

The new catch  phrase is " xxx lives matter "  well 'Old buildings matter' and 'Old cars matter ' too..........................

 

I am sure it was unintentional, but It's really not fair to compare compare people to inanimate objects

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JamesR said:

My guess is that the construction industry (which I admittedly have empathy for) is using undue influence to build an entirely new structure.

 

Being involved in construction and design, I can

probably express what they're thinking, though I

often disagree with it.

 

Building anew is easier.  It takes more engineering,

more architectural thought, and more money to

maintain an existing facade, support it during construction,

and tie the new structure into it.  To the owners, the

building isn't noteworthy enough to want to save it.

 

However, I agree with others that beauty is needed.

Streetscapes of smaller buildings, well detailed and 

more personal, with beautiful street trees and landscaping,

give a more comfortable feel than cold, stark expanses

of steel and glass.  The current design thought needs

to learn these ideals, and what townspeople relate to.

 

Would you rather walk on this street (below), or the

same one with nothing but plain concrete and glass walls?

Pin on Movies and music

Who will save Breuer's Brutalist Atlanta library?

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Walt G said:

I have visited London England many times although not recently. The preservation movement there succeeded in saving the facade of many older structures so that a "modern" interior arrangements ( number of floors/levels , a/c, wiring for computers etc. ) could be accommodated. This was done decades ago . All well done, the facade landscape of decades past was saved yet modern needs were also satisfied. If it can be done there with three times plus the age of the structure and be successful then why isn't the effort made here in the USA?  It all comes down to $, what is a quick solution and severe lack of respect for history and heritage.  A very sad state of affairs and one that will continue.

The new catch  phrase is " xxx lives matter "  well 'Old buildings matter' and 'Old cars matter ' too..........................

Good non-political analogy Walt.  Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s a bit of a leap to use this as a symbol of the decline of society or mobile phone distraction. I happen to manage some old building, all built more then a century ago. They are surrounded by other buildings of the era and some newer ones that replaced old buildings. Without exception, the buildings that were demoed were in terrible condition. All suffered from owners’ neglect and deferred maintenance to the point they could not be saved. The building in Oak Park has been vacant for 13 years. When that happens, it’s almost always because the building is beyond repair. You all understand how a car can be unsalvageable, right?  Well, if there was a building junk yard, it would probably belong there. Like you guys, I’m sorry to see it go because it’s cool. 

Edited by Car-Nicopia (see edit history)
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

While I tend to pick on generations younger than I, just like most everyone else, I have to admit I'm seeing them being a part of some great restoration/repurposing. One local downtown had been struggling for many decades with some fine old buildings literally collapsing under their own weight. Now it's bustling with artsy-fartsy restaurants & boutiques, making the most of the old architecture. So, there is hope! 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Mark Gregory said:

They should at least save the sculptures in the Facade.

 

Here in Toronto they would make them save the front wall of the building.

 

There is an old GE Plant from the 1950's that the front of the buildings is all that is basically left.

 

There is also a two storey brick building which is the old Reo Plant in Toronto they saved which I cannot post the picture. 

 

The Toronto Preservation Board wants the city to designate the two-storey Reo Durant structure under the Ontario Heritage Act. But a proposal for a retirement residence featuring two buildings of seven and eight storeys and 284 units, has also been floated for the site and adjacent property at 146 Laird. If permitted, the buildings would mark the first large-scale residential development on the commercial-retail strip. A pre-hearing was scheduled last month at the OMB.

 

General Electric Building Modern Deco Oakville Ontario

 

 

 

I agree, we could have saved it for more purposeful reason. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was born at West suburban hospital Oak Park IL. I’m old, falling apart, crumbling and decrepit. Yet they keep operating (20 so far) on me replacing and repairing parts. It’s done nothing for the facade as I’m as ugly as ever, but the structure is still useful I think. If nothing else maybe at least some of the parts are worth saving. I think I’m very similar to this old structure. 
dave s 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

This mid-1960s church was quietly razed this summer.  I notified the local newspaper when a buddy of mine drove by to take pictures and found it was already in the process of being demolished!  Neither of us had known it was sold, much less condemned.  I inspected the cedar timbers where they went into the footings and realized it was all rotted.   The new property owner wanted to build a car wash there, but the city recently rejected his plan for that.  I thought that church would still be there when I died.

Michigan Mid-Century Modern Churches ...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Toronto’s facadism has taken some interesting turns of late. That’s the peculiar practice of preserving the front of an older building and erecting a new one behind it. Many other cities do it, but Toronto’s explosive growth and sometimes-dithering commitment to heritage preservation makes for an abundance of historical curiosities here.

Some facadism just slices off and preserves the first layer of a building, like the 1921 studio that belonged to renowned architect John Lyle that was dismantled and rebuilt as part of the One Bedford condominium on Bloor St. 

Nowadays it provides an elegant front to the Starbucks outlet on the ground floor, but behind the door it’s pure 21st-century coffee chain, with no further traces of what was. On Broadway Ave., the facade of the old North Toronto Collegiate has been incorporated into the new school building, which itself is part of two condo buildings.

 

On the University of Toronto campus a number of the historical mansions on St. George St. were renovated and wholly incorporated as part of new school buildings, a kind of facadism that goes much deeper by preserving the entire building.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"...Pete’s, which has requested millions in financial incentives from the village..."

It may be naive to suggest this, but perhaps the village should take those millions to create its own community-owned grocery store in the historic building.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, 58L-Y8 said:

"...Pete’s, which has requested millions in financial incentives from the village..."

It may be naive to suggest this, but perhaps the village should take those millions to create its own community-owned grocery store in the historic building.

Fair point.

 

The village should not spend a tin dime on anything relating to this project because the are about a dozen grocery stores (including Jewel, Trader Joes, Target, Whole Foods and a co-op) that already exist within a 10 minute drive of this location. In fact there are grocery stores 1/4 mile from the location, on the same street, in either direction. What community good is there to adding another, at great expense?

Edited by Car-Nicopia (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Car-Nicopia said:

Fair point.

 

The village should not spend a tin dime on anything relating to this project because the are about a dozen grocery stores (including Jewel, Trader Joes, Target, Whole Foods and a co-op) that already exist within a 10 minute drive of this location. In fact there are grocery stores 1/4 mile from the location, on the same street, in either direction. What community good is there to adding another, at great expense?

 

"Hi, I'm from the government and here to help you.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Car-Nicopia said:

Fair point.

 

The village should not spend a tin dime on anything relating to this project because the are about a dozen grocery stores (including Jewel, Trader Joes, Target, Whole Foods and a co-op) that already exist within a 10 minute drive of this location. In fact there are grocery stores 1/4 mile from the location, on the same street, in either direction. What community good is there to adding another, at great expense?

Thanks for the context surrounding this situation.  Sounds as if another grocery store is the last thing the village needs.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, plymouthcranbrook said:

I would suspect that the tax rate for a new building and business will be more than a rehabbed older one.  Just my openion but we all know about some government’s feelings about taxes

 

Actually the taxes might be significantly lower on a new structure, The new building has to be ADA compliant as well as energy star compliant which will offer the owner tax incentives. The bottom line is just that the bottom line, developers are in it to make money, don't think for one minute and they are going to demo a building and build a new one if they are going to loose money doing so. Nothing might go in it's place but the property taxes and liability insurance will be far less on an empty lot then with a structure on the property 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, John348 said:

 

Actually the taxes might be significantly lower on a new structure, The new building has to be ADA compliant as well as energy star compliant which will offer the owner tax incentives. The bottom line is just that the bottom line, developers are in it to make money, don't think for one minute and they are going to demo a building and build a new one if they are going to loose money doing so. Nothing might go in it's place but the property taxes and liability insurance will be far less on an empty lot then with a structure on the property 

 

A new building would most certainly have a higher tax bill then the old one. It’s based on the value of the property in C(r)ook County, which is higher on new construction. ADA compliance is the law, there’s no tax break. Same goes for energy friendly aspects, unless they negotiate something specific.

 

The increased tax bill is what developers use to get tax breaks.  There is a thing called a TIF district (Tax Increment Financing) that is used for this very purpose and this property is in one. It’s a topic I know far more about then I should.🤓

Edited by Car-Nicopia (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Car-Nicopia said:

 

A new building would most certainly have a higher tax bill then the old one. It’s based on the value of the property in C(r)ook County, which is higher on new construction. ADA compliance is the law, there’s no tax break. Same goes for energy friendly aspects, unless they negotiate something specific.

 

The increased tax bill is what developers use to get tax breaks.  There is a thing called a TIF district (Tax Increment Financing) that is used for this very purpose and this property is in one. It’s a topic I know far more about then I should.🤓

 

Very interesting, and thank-you for clarifying things. I was under the assumption that the Energy Starr Program was a Federal Plan, (and it might be over now) and there were pretty big tax incentives for commercial buildings to reduce their energy consumption. Some building were just too old and would be too costly to make efficient.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Reread my comments about how the preservation and reuse of buildings are done in London from 11/24, it can be done, but often is easier to not think about and just get a demolition order and start from scratch in the name of progress. Just do not reread my comment about how older buildings matter and comparing to non topic subjects , that seems to have upset someone . My further comments and contributions here will be much less in all regards about anything , threads etc as I don't want to have anyone take offense with anything I have to say or share , be it with current topics or period topics , images etc. I want to be fair and thought I was but apparently not.

WG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Walt G. I think your comments hit the mail on the head. You have always been fair and more than reasonable, intelligent, insightful and interesting. But then again some may say I’m just an idiot. So at least you will know you are not alone. 
Have fun, keep responding the way you always have. Some of us enjoy the honesty. 
dave s 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the very best architectural tours I took was in London on one of my first trips there (some decades ago now...), and it was one that showed the worst and most wretchedly designed buildings in the city; the “brutalist” school of architecture. Some of the things are so ugly, so utilitarian in the bleakest way, that they almost become attractive in their own right. 
 

Of course, the great thing about London and other ancient cities is that they have plenty of truly beautiful structures to more than balance out the ugly stuff. 
 

My city has a difficult time seemingly preserving or maintaining heritage buildings, and really isn’t very good at it. 
 

A tour guide in my city: “...and this building looks exactly the way it did when it was built in 1977.”

 

Astonished visitor: ”Impossible! NOTHING is that old!”

 

I heard that overseas, someone has actually built a house using 3-D printing; soon we should be able to have anything we like at a push of a button. Progress, eh? 🤪

Link to post
Share on other sites

In 1995 I worked for a car dealer and they purchased the Volvo and Mercedes dealership that was in that building, they purchased it from the son, who lived in Indiana and was retiring, his 2 daughters did not want anything to do with the dealership, his father was the original owner. We were able to take a tour of the inside of the dealership, was really cool, there were some glass panels in the roof in the service department, there looked to be a steering wheel, when turned it would open or close the glass panels, in the loft area of the service department was a NOS Packard neon sign. We were told it was the only Volvo and Mercedes dealer in the United States that would close at 5 P.M. weekdays and closed Saturdays for sales and service. It is a shame to see it demolished.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/28/2020 at 10:16 AM, SC38DLS said:

There is a reason Illinois is so broke. It’s called over crowded prisons. They keep throwing governors in prison and there is no room for the rest of the politicians that should be there too!  

 

1787064062_GovernorsLicensePlate.thumb.jpg.7eba45d31311ab574470cb7b10700bff.jpg

  • Haha 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/25/2020 at 7:10 PM, Jim Skelly said:

This mid-1960s church was quietly razed this summer.  I notified the local newspaper when a buddy of mine drove by to take pictures and found it was already in the process of being demolished!  Neither of us had known it was sold, much less condemned.  I inspected the cedar timbers where they went into the footings and realized it was all rotted.   The new property owner wanted to build a car wash there, but the city recently rejected his plan for that.  I thought that church would still be there when I died.

Michigan Mid-Century Modern Churches ...

Your Church would have fit this neighborhood.

This house below was a Lloyd Wright house. For over 50 years it was a landmark for those to see. My Dad and I and later just myself used to park in front of it to go surfing. The house was located in Palos Verdes Estates on the P.V. peninsula L.A. county. The Los Angeles Conservancy tried to save the house but the new homeowner wanted a Mediterranean villa instead.

MooreHouse_SRusso.JPG?itok=7fl8BhkZ50+ Eric Lloyd Wright ideas | lloyd wright, lloyd, wright

Historic Moore House at risk of demolition | City News | pvnews.com

image.jpeg.f15bbfd8b1839a0c38fdf355a67f803e.jpegMoore House | Los Angeles Conservancy

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/1/2020 at 4:58 PM, Pfeil said:

 

This house below was a Lloyd Wright house. For over 50 years it was a landmark for those to see. My Dad and I and later just myself used to park in front of it to go surfing. The house was located in Palos Verdes Estates on the P.V. peninsula L.A. county. The Los Angeles Conservancy tried to save the house but the new homeowner wanted a Mediterranean villa instead.

MooreHouse_SRusso.JPG?itok=7fl8BhkZ

 


California saves NOTHING. 

This Lloyd Wright house was magnificent!  Tearing it down  was reprehensible.  Not unlike the talent-less Pia Zadora and her middle eastern husband tearing down Pickfair.

I don't mean to sound isolationist but a very high percent of the Beverly Hills population is now Iranian and our history is not their history so many of these landmark properties and famous mansions of Hollywood's Golden Era are falling under the wrecking ball to make way for a neighborhood of new Persian palaces as they are called locally.  Or in the case of Palos Verdes,  Mediterranean villas.

A real shame.

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I live a couple of miles from Ford World Headquarters and the same thing is happening here.  A lot of custom-built ranch homes from the 1950s are being torn down or "modernized".  Some of the new houses look like mini palaces.  It's good for the tax base, but terrible for the neighborhood aesthetics.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...