In 2014, the Rees home and its coach house were relocated one block on Prairie Avenue, once Chicago’s wealthiest neighborhood, to make way for the expansion of the McCormick Place complex and development of its entertainment district. The house stood at 2110 South Prairie Avenue and is now located at 2017 South Prairie Avenue. Team members will discuss the project from their distinct perspectives:
— Dijana Cuvalo, AIA, Historic Preservation Division, Chicago Dept. of Planning and Economic Development
— Mark Igleski, AIA, McGuire Igleski Architects
— Peter Kuhn, Senior Project Manager, Bulley & Andrews LLC
They will tell us the story of moving this 1000-ton masonry structure 600 feet, reorienting it, and setting it on a new foundation without damage to the structure, the contents of the house, or any component of the route along which it was moved. The Rees house relocation is among the heaviest buildings moves in US history.
According to the Historic Preservation Division’s report on the house, 71-year-old window Harriet Rees commissioned Chicago architects Cobb and Frost to design her house in 1888, and she lived there until her death in 1892. The house was then purchased by Edson Keith, Jr. after his marriage. Later it became a rental, then a boarding house, and in 1970, a café.It was designated a Chicago Landmark in 2012. Now it has returned to its origins as a family home.