Laura Luisi


Chicago’s culture is, in large part, defined by its courageous, innovative, and rich architectural history. With such a strong cultural identity comes the responsibility to preserve the City’s character for generations to come. Throughout its history, the City of Chicago allowed architectural masterpieces to succumb to economic and political pressures. The recent decision in Hanna v. City of Chicago left Chicago’s Landmarks Ordinance unscathed, but nevertheless, its inadequacies are showcased by the demolition of the Prentice Women’s Hospital. An examination of the landmark ordinances of other large American cities further demonstrates the shortcomings of Chicago’s own ordinance. Chicago’s Landmarks Ordinance, in its current form, plays a strong role in destroying the cultural and architectural character that so deeply defines the City. Absent revisions to the Landmarks Ordinance, Chicago will become increasingly devoid of cultural progression and lost as to its place in the nation.