University of Chicago Medicine's new $700 million Center for Care and Discovery is scheduled to open Feb. 23. But for some historical preservationists and conservative activists, the bigger countdown is for an old apartment building across the street.
The clock is ticking for the six-flat, which was given a 90-day stay of demolition on Dec. 27 by the city's preservation staff. While the neighborhood attracts tourists because President Barack Obama's home is nearby, all the fuss is because another U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, lived there briefly as a child. The university's plans call for tearing down the structure to expand the medical campus. Writer Mary Claire Kendall announced this month on her blog, Friends of President Reagan's Chicago Home, that she will be collecting tax-deductible contributions to fight for the building's preservation. “Let's win one more for the Gipper and save the only Chicago home of the only president born and bred in Illinois,” Kendall wrote.
But the city and university offered little hope the building would be preserved.