BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Savoring summer and skyscrapers, the Skyline Council of young and young-minded professionals of Landmarks Illinois celebrated its fourth annual networking mixer atop The Alfred. With a nod to Chicago’s legacy as the birthplace of the skyscraper and Landmarks Illinois’ incredible accomplishments in saving local treasures from the wrecking ball, the Council chooses a unique historic site each year to introduce partnering organizations to preservationists of the future.
This year, the Skyline Council partnered with Arquitectos, International, Concrete Repair Institute, Inc. (ICRI), the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), and the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI) and welcomed 150 guests to The Alfred, Cedar Street Companies’ newest FLATS residential property. Above the historic Miller’s Pub, the 94-year-old former Hartmann Building has been restored and redeveloped into 176 apartments including a rooftop lounge.
Currently, the Skyline Council is raising money to restore the 167-year-old one-room Whitney Schoolhouse in Campton Hills. The Council began working to restore this significant and unique building in 2015.
We asked Skyline Council Chair Allison Toonen-Talamo to tell us more about their work:
What does the Council particularly enjoy about landmarks, and how your group is emerging and growing?
“What I love about the Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois is the involvement and evolvement of the group not only within the organization itself, but the impact this group has with various size communities and the state overall. The amount of passion and drive within the Skyline Council is addictive and makes you want to constantly reach to do better for the future generations.”
Why is landmark preservation a great passion of its members?
“What I love about the Skyline Council and even Landmarks Illinois is everyone comes from different facets of work, but we have one common goal, love, passion and/or drive which is protecting our local gems. Without landmarked properties, we could lose valuable architecture, engineering, and even history that made the community what it is now. We see the value and how precious landmarked properties are like story books which we would not be able to get back once they are destroyed. That is what drives us to serve our communities.”
Do you have a favorite Chicago landmark?
That one is so tough! I would say Louis Sullivan’s Sullivan Center, formerly known as Carson Pirie Scott and Company Building.
Tell us why?
First off, I am huge fan of Louis Sullivan’s work and thought process for architectural design. In my viewpoint, he was a master at what he did and his architectural style was a pivotal point during the modern era. He gave static material that would be seen as hard and cold, a new organic movement that flowed throughout his buildings. Secondly, the building is simply amazing with the amount of detail on the interior and exterior. A pure gem of the city!
Congratulations to Toonen-Talamo not only on an event’s success but also on echoing the founders of Landmark Illinois who came together in response to the tragic loss of Louis Sullivan’s Old Stock Exchange Building in Chicago in 1972.
For more about Landmarks Illinois visit landmarks.org
Photo Credit: Lewis Purdy,