Chicago Landmark Designation Process

Chicago Landmark Designation Process*

Commission on Chicago Landmarks

  1. Preliminary Summary of Information Report by Commission Staff
    Commission staff researches the historic and architectural significance of the building or the district and submit a report to the Commission.
  2. Preliminary Recommendation
    The Commission votes whether to initiate the consideration process for a proposed designation. A positive vote puts in place the Commission’s authority to review building permits during the consideration process.
  3. Report from Department of Planning and Development
    Statement of how the proposed landmark designation affects neighborhood plans and policies.
  4. Commission Requests Owner Consent
    The Commission contacts each owner and requests consent. Owner consent is advisory – not required – for designation (except for houses of worship). When an owner does not consent, a public hearing is held.
  5. Public Hearing
    A public hearing is held to gather relevant facts and information to assist the Commission in its consideration of the proposed landmark designation.
  6. Final Commission Recommendation
    After a review of the entire record, the Commission votes whether to recommend the proposed landmark designation to the City Council.
  7. Hearing by City Council’s Landmarks Committee
    The Commission’s recommendation is referred to the Committee on Historical Landmarks Preservation, which votes on whether to recommend the designation to City Council.
  8. Vote on Designation by City Council
    Designation of a Chicago Landmark is a legislative act of the Chicago City Council.

*This overview is offered as context for the landmark designation process as set forth in sections 2-120-630 through 2-120-730 of the Municipal Code and does not supplant the provisions of the Code. Interested persons are therefore urged to consult the Code.