The City Council’s Zoning Committee approved landmark status for the former Michigan Avenue headquarters of the Johnson Publishing Company.

The 11-story building located at 820 S. Michigan Ave. was recommended for historical landmark status by the Chicago Landmark’s Commission for the company’s prominence as one of the largest Black-owned businesses in the country. The Commission provided their preliminary approval in October. Landmark designations require secondary approval by the Council’s Zoning Committee, followed by the full City Council.

[Landmarks Commission Staff Report For Johnson Publishing Company Building]

The Johnson Publishing Company Building at 820 S. Michigan Ave., courtesy of the Department of Planning and Development.

Founded in 1942 by the John H. Johnson, the company built a media empire focused on the African-American community through its two main publications: Ebony and Jet. The 110,000-square-foot building was designed by African-American architect John Warren Moutoussamy and completed in 1971.

Bridgeport Rezones (11th Ward)

Meanwhile, Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11) of Bridgeport received approval to rezone a quarter mile along South Halsted Street, from West 35th Street to West 38th. The zoning request came in the form of four separate zoning ordinances, all committee substitutes. Thompson filed the change request to downzone commercial designated parcels to residential, but announced at the Monday meeting he actually wanted a business, or B1-1 designation for all.

Affected Parcels

  • O2017-4100: 3700-28 S. Halsted St.;  810 W. 37th Pl.
  • O2017-4103: 3544-66 S. Halsted St; 3549-59 S. Halsted St; 3601-11 S. Halsted St.
  • O2017-4105: 3538 S. Halsted St.
  • O2017-4107 3511-27 S. Halsted St.

The main difference between commercial designated districts, or C-districts, and business designated districts, or B-districts, concerns allowed uses. C-districts have a wider breadth of businesses that are allowed as of right, while B-districts require special use approval by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

New Gus Giordano’s Jazz Dance Studio For Lincoln Park (43rd Ward)

The Gus Giordano Dance Company, considered the county’s “original” jazz dance company founded in Chicago in 1963, received approval to build a new dance studio at  1754 N. Clark St. in Lincoln Park. The site is currently home to the Henmon Baptist Church. According to the dance company’s zoning attorney, Kate Duncan, said a rezone from residential, RM-5, to neighborhood commercial, B3-5, was needed to allow for the studio. Gus Giordano will continue to hold its main performances at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park, where it has been a resident for 14 years, Duncan said. This facility will allow the dance company to consolidate its administrative operations  which are currently located at scattered sites around the South Loop. The new studio will be approximately 22,200 square feet in size and will hold three studio and rehearsal spaces with ground floor retail.

Amigos Food Warehouse For Gage Park (14th Ward)

Renderings of the Amigos Foods Warehouse,

courtesy the city of Chicago.

Having received preliminary approval from the Plan Commission on thursday, R.F.M. Properties I. L.P., a subsidiary of Amigos Food, received approval to construct a new food processing warehouse facility and office building at 3500 W. 51st St., across from the former Uno Charter High School. The facility will contain two buildings, one that is approximately 87,787-square-feet and another that is 5,280-square-feet.