A Piece Of History On City’s North Side Gets New Life

CHICAGO (CBS) — A piece of history on Chicago’s North side is getting a new life.

It’s the decorative façade from a building on the 2400 block of North Lincoln, across from the Biograph Theater, from the era of the gangster John Dillinger, who met his end on the block some years later.

Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, says the special thing about the 1917 building is the ornamental terra cotta façade, designed in the style of the architect Louis Sullivan.

“They created these patterns that were in the spirit of Louie Sullivan’s designs. You know, really a remarkable building of sort of a creamy color terra cotta,” Miller said.

Preservation Chicago initially sought to save the building, or to incorporate the façade into a new apartment building that’s going up at the location.

In the end, Miller says, the material was donated to his organization and is going to be re-purposed into the façade of a new visitor’s center at the Illinois Railway Museum in the McHenry county town of Union.

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