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May 15, 2009

Chicago’s Inland Steel Building, Spiegel Office Building, and Independence Park listed in National Register of Historic Places

CHICAGO – The Inland Steel Building, Spiegel Office Building and Independence Park in Chicago were listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 18, 2009 by the National Park Service.

“Skyscrapers, successful businesses and parks, three of the things that identify Chicago, are well represented in these three historic places,” said Jan Grimes, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which administers the National Register program in Illinois. “We welcome their inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, the nation’s most prestigious listing of properties with historical significance.”

Inland Steel Building, 30 W. Monroe Street. Completed in 1958, the Inland Steel Building was the first modern glass skyscraper in downtown Chicago and brought the International Style of architecture to the city. The building was the first Chicago skyscraper designed by the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, who were to have a profound influence on the city’s skyline in later decades. The building is also significant for its association with Inland Steel Company and the burgeoning 20th-century steel industry.

Spiegel Office Building, 1038 W. 35th Street. The Art Moderne style building is one of only three remaining structures in Bridgeport’s Central Manufacturing District that were commissioned and built by the famous Spiegel, Inc. mail-order business during the early 1900s. The structure features loft construction, which provided universal spaces that could be configured to accommodate a variety of uses. The building was designed by Russian immigrant Abraham Epstein, whose firm, which became A. Epstein & Sons in 1946, is today one of the world’s largest engineering and architectural firms.

Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield Avenue. The park was developed around 1910 when local residents formed the Irving Park District, one of the first independent park commissions on Chicago’s northwest side. The neighborhood had been holding large and festive Independence Day celebrations in an open area near Irving Park Road, and desired to establish a permanent park at that location. They hired architects Hatzfeld and Knox to design a handsome brick field house, and in 1929 the park commissioners enlarged the park through land acquisition. Independence Park became part of the Chicago Park District in 1934.

For more information on the National Register of Historic Places program in Illinois, visit www.Illinois-History.gov/PS/historicplaces.htm.


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