4 Chicago-area sites added to National Register of Historic Places

The Cook County locations will be recognized alongside 8 other sites in the state.

SHARE 4 Chicago-area sites added to National Register of Historic Places
The Forum on East 43rd Street in Bronzeville.

The Forum on East 43rd Street in Bronzeville has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service.

Max Herman/Sun-Times

Four Chicago-area sites have been to the National Register of Historic Places, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced.

The four were among 12 statewide added in 2019, according to a department news release.

The local sites are:

• The Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium District, a 160-acre site at North Central Park Avenue and West Peterson Avenue. The land, in the North Park community, includes a sanitarium to treat tuberculosis patients. It opened in 1915 and operated into the 1970s. The sanitarium, the agency said in a news release, is “significant for its Prairie School style architecture with Italian Renaissance Revival elements.”

• First Congregational Church, 766 Graceland Ave. in Des Plaines. The church, built in 1929, is noted for its “Arts and Crafts architecture with Art Deco influences,” according to the natural resources department. The interior includes artwork by prominent artist Edgar Miller, added in 1947.

• The Leaning Tower of Niles, 6300 W. Touhy Ave., a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. The Niles tower, completed in 1934, is in a 22-acre park built by Robert Ilg, owner of Chicago’s Ilg Hot Air Electric Ventilating Company. Ilg built the part as a recreation area for his employees. The tower stored water for two swimming pools on the property.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, stored water for outdoor recreational swimming pools in 1934.

Allison Williams/Sun-Times

• The Forum, at 318-324 E. 43rd St. in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side. Built in 1897, it hosted political and social events, and is an “admirable” representation of a 19th century meeting hall, the agency said. Efforts are underway to restore the building.

“Each of these places tells a unique story that is a part of the rich fabric of Illinois history,” IDNR Director Colleen Callahan was quoted as saying in the news release. “We are proud to work with local preservationist to obtain national recognition for these historic buildings and neighborhoods.”

Historic places are added to the National Register by the National Park Service based on state recommendations. Properties must be more than 50 years old.

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