Orange-rated Structures

In the 1980s, the City of Chicago began a comprehensive survey of all structures in the city to assess their significance for landmark designation. It was a 10 year process. Teams of surveyors rode in cars down every street and rated every structure. Each was given a color code. Red was reserved for structures having city-wide significance. Orange signified that the structure had architectural or historical features that it could potentially be given landmark status.

The survey started in the 50th ward and worked in reverse order, so Edgewater being comprised then of the 50th, 49th, 48th and 40th wards was surveyed rather early in the process and did not benefit from the learning gained by the surveyors.

There was no community review process and no option to suggest that additional structures be rated as “orange.” Once the survey was completed and a report issue, the survey was closed. Currently, there are no plans to add to the number of orange-rated structures. The survey is known as the Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS).

In Edgewater, 107 out of some 6,000 structures are rated orange. Only one has been torn down. It was the business block on the southwest corner of Broadway and Devon. There are no red-rated structures in Edgewater.

You can view the list on the Landmark Commission’s website. There are a number of ways to search the Landmark Commission’s database – by architect, original owner and by community. Under “community” scroll down and select Edgewater. A few things to remember:

  1. The orange-rated structures are sorted first by number then street rather than the reverse, e.g. ‘5500 Broadway" vs. "Broadway, 5500".
  2. The data is incomplete for many structures, and
  3. There are a few errors.

The Edgewater Historical Society is researching these structures and when it has completed its research it will furnish it to the Commission so that it can update its website for Edgewater.

Click here for the Landmark Commission’s website.