Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nick's Uptown Fades To Black

A reader took this photo yesterday and says:  "Thorek wasted no time, per usual, bringing further blight to Buena Park by boarding up Nick's with painted black chip board." We realize Thorek is protecting its property, but the idea of looking at this for the next unspecified number of years is pretty depressing. Anyone know what's going on with the landmarking application and know what a possible timeline might be?


  1. That's quite unfortunate. I've always enjoyed looking in and seeing the rainbow spectrum of bottles that were in the back cases. Plus with the palm trees were an interesting feature that helped that building stand out.

  2. Anyone unhappy with the plywood may want to "remind" Thorek that plywood board-ups are only allowed in limited circumstances in Chicago. If Thorek doesn't want to be a good neighbor and follow the law, someone might "remind" the Alderman's office in six months that long-term plywood boarding is not allowed by the Municipal Code. See 13-12-135(d)(5). A building that is vacant for more than 6 months is allowed to have intact and secure windows and doors or "commercial-quality, 14-gauge, rust-proof steel security panel[s]" (which are expensive). If Thorek wants to be a bad neighbor, there are ways to deal with Thorek, such as $1,000 tickets, day after day. Other Aldermen use this provision quite successfully to ensure vacant buildings are reoccupied sooner, or at least are left looking like the former KFC at Buena and Broadway (now 7-11) did for years.

  3. I can't say having 14-guage rust proof security panels would make the property look any more attractive than plywood painted black. Of course if the building was not boarded up and secured you'd be having a fit too.

    As an example just take a gander at the old Pizer Funeral Home at Broadway and Foster. Graffiti artists have repeatedly broken in and have "decorated" the place over and over again. Similar to what happened at the old Ravenswood Hospital.

    Of course if someone broke in and started a fire, or ripped out the plumbing or any other useful piece of structure you'd be outraged over Thorek not securing the building.

    Yes, it is a lovely building. However landmarking does not guarantee preservation. I love the johnny come latelies that want landmarking after the sale has occurred. Where were they before. Its been obvious from the last couple of years that Thorek was buying up buildings in the area for future use. If people really thought this building was worth landmarking, they should have been planning for it years ago.

    Take a look around right NOW. If there are buildings you think are worth the effort of preservation, mark them out and start making the case for preservation.

    And visit the Chicago Landmark Commissions web page. A building must meet at least 2 of the 7 criteria for the Landmark commission to even consider landmark status. Otherwise its just an old building.

    And remember of easiest way to get a demo permit is to let the building start to fall apart and become a nuisance.

    1. Oh come on, Toto. You haven't heard? Thorek company. Thorek bad. Nothing Thorek do good.

    2. Toto: To be fair, how many of us were even aware that Nick's was going out of business let alone being sold to Thorek. Nick's has been doing an exelent job of preserving that building so there was hardly a sense of urgency to get the spot preserved. Now that's changed and you've got to admit Thorek has a pretty crappy track record when it comes to adding to the landscape and appeal of the neighborhood. Sponsoring BPN's "beautification" awards doesn't absolve you of making your own aesthetic contributions to the cityscape. I've worked for other medical centers in the city so I certainly know how it can be done right.

      Look, I'm all for free enterprise and obviously Nick's wouldn't have sold if not for a good offer so in the end, so more power to them. Still I would hate to see more vacant space on that corner. Thorek's parking lot is never at capacity and the LED sign they put across the street constantly advertises a current "wait time" of zero minutes so it's not like they're struggling with space.

      I hope that Thorek proves me wrong but so far I've yet to be convinced.