The iconic clock tower and monolithic buildings of the Central Manufacturing district march east and west from where South Damen Avenue ends at West Pershing Road.

Central Manufacturing District Highlighted As Top Endangered Chicago Site

Published February 27, 2020

Preservation Chicago has listed the Central Manufacturing District as one of Chicago's seven most-endangered sites in 2020, said Ward Miller, the group's executive director, in a presentation at the Chicago Architecture Foundation on Wednesday, February 26. Along with six other Chicago sites, Miller highlighted the historic manufacturing area bordering the McKinley Park neighborhood as a site at risk of destruction through demolition.

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"These are really remarkable, landmark-worthy buildings," Miller said. "We'd really like to see these buildings saved and restored."

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Miller noted the groundbreaking nature of the Central Manufacturing District, a "city within a city" that for the first time provided services and support to all businesses sited there. The buildings of the Central Manufacturing District, many of which are now City of Chicago-owned and falling into disrepair, were built starting around 1917, with construction finishing around 1952, Miller said.

Other sites on the 2020 endangered list include the area comprising Jackson Park, the South Shore Cultural Center and the Midway Plaisance; the Chicago Union Station Power House; Chicago Town & Tennis Club (aka Unity Church); Washington Park National Bank; and the Roseland Michigan Avenue Commercial District.

"We find these to be seven really important buildings, districts and sites," Miller said. "Hopefully ... all of these places and ideas will be somehow preserved and recognized."

As depicted in this video posted to Facebook, Ward Miller presents Chicago's seven most endangered sites for 2020 in his speech on Wednesday, February 26, at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

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