The Portage Theater: Designated Landmark?

Proof that the pressure from The Portage fans is making a difference (from WBEZ’s Lee Bey):

Staff from the Historic Preservation Division of the city’s Department of Housing and Economic Development will ask the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to confer the designation at the commission’s meeting Thursday, according to an agenda posted online. If the proposed preliminary designation includes the marquee, facade and interiors of the building, approval by the commission could virtually forbid alteration or removal of those elements while a permanent designation is worked out.

If you recall from earlier reports, The Chicago Tabernacle’s original plans for The Portage involved the removal of the marquee and gutting the interior. The designation of landmark status would make it tougher for any potential buyer to use The Portage for anything other than a theater.  One counter proposal being offered actually expands on the use of the Portage building to house not only the theater, but adjoining shops, restaurants and a jazz cabaret located above the theater lobby.

Artist rendering of counter proposal for The Portage Theater emphasizing additional theater funding, restaurants, retail and a cabaret

The momentum is looking good on our side. Keep it up.

Join Save the Portage Theater on Facebook for the latest.

Patronize The Portage Theater and the surrounding businesses in the Six Corners, Portage Park  and Old Irving Park Neighborhoods. Tell those businesses you want to keep The Portage Theater the entertainment center that it is.

Tell others! Schedule yourself to be downtown at the Zoning Board of Appeals (121 N LaSalle) on April 20th to support the Portage. Be prepared to be there all day. In the meantime, write them a letter and call them supporting the Portage. Send a copy of your letter to both addresses located on the home page of The Portage Theater website.


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