Last week I met with the passionate staff at Landmarks Illinois to talk about Licensed Chicago Contractors. I wanted to understand the legality for historic preservation and determine ways to highlight landmarked structures on the website and track any modifications or demolitions to them.
I incorporated two new geographies over the weekend: Chicago landmark districts, and properties and areas on the National Register of Historic Places (both available on the City of Chicago open data portal).
I used pgShapeLoader to import them to my DigitalOcean-hosted PostgreSQL database and modified some existing code to start looking at these two new datasets. Voila, you can now track what’s going on in the Montgomery Ward Company Complex – currently occupied by “600 W” (at 600 W Chicago Avenue) hosting Groupon among other businesses and restaurants.
Today I was messing around with some queries after I saw that the ward containing this place on the National Register – the 27th – also had a bunch of other listed spots.
I wrote a query to see which wards have the most places on the National Register. The table below lists the top three wards, with links to their page on Licensed Chicago Contractors. You’ll find that many have no building permits associated with them. This is because of two reasons: the listing’s small geography to look within for permits may not include the geography of issued permits (they’re a few feet off); we don’t have a copy of all permits yet.
[table id=15 /]
4 wards don’t have any listings on the National Register of Historic Places and nine wards have one listing.