NORTH CENTER — In a unanimous decision, Chicago’s commission staff has voted to nominate the longstanding construction on North Lincoln Ave for landmark status.
If the status is attained, the construction, a well-known staple on the north side of the city, would be preserved for future generations of Chicagoans to enjoy. “We take a few things into consideration during the nomination process,” said preservation expert Don Lamp, 79, in a press statement. “Can we turn this into a condo? No? Are you sure? And did John Dillinger get shot in the spine here? Maybe? It’s a tender process.”
Lamp went on to note that the uncertain progress and lack of set end date to the construction made the decision-making process all the simpler. “It was going to be in our lives for what felt like forever, right? We’re just putting a stamp on that feeling and making it permanent. You’re welcome, Chicago!”
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Perhaps the group most likely to be intimately familiar with the construction are those who live in the area, biking, driving, or walking past the dug-up streets every day. “Some days there’s a big hole in the ground, and you’re like whoa! Something’s definitely going into that hole or being taken out of that hole,” noted Lakeview resident Becca Mantis, 24. “And then some days you walk by and no one’s there, but dirt is thrown around in these big piles and you know something kind of wacky went down the day before. It’s like the whole universe, you know? Rocks getting thrown around. Metal.”
Keeping neighborhood staples around in highly-changing neighborhoods has always been a struggle in the city, where 50% of restaurants close in the first year. “The nature of cities is that they change, right?” noted Lamp. “They go through puberty and grow a lot of Starbucks pimples and smell like gasoline. But there are the constants that keep the essence of the city alive. Skyscrapers. Parks. Construction. That’s what we’re fighting to preserve, in the end.”
The construction is to be celebrated with brass traffic cones and volunteer-led tours detailing the make and model of the gravel strewn about the area. While the road to an official landmark status is a long one, the commission staff is confident that the maintenance involved to keep the site dug-up and dusty will be well worth the end result.