The Commission on Chicago Landmarks has approved the rehabilitation of the Ludlow Typograph Building at 2032 N Clybourn Avenue in Lincoln Park. Sitting on the corner of N Clybourn Avenue and N Magnolia Avenue, the historical manufacturing building will see new life as a mixed-use development by Annexation LLC with designers GREC Architects. The structure and its two acres of land were recently bought from the previous owners for $15 million and sits adjacent to the Lincoln Yards mega-development.
Built in 1913, the Prairie-style building designed by Alfred Alschuler once belonged to the Ludlow Typograph Company, known for its letterpress printing machines. These machines offered handset mats allowing for font sizes as small as 4 and as large as 96, and figures as large as 240. After opening the Chicago plant, Ludlow was in over 350 printing offices by 1919, managing to operate until the 1980’s due to stamp production.
The 150,000-square-foot building will now be restored into 136 residential units focusing on accessibility with various ground-floor apartments. The new interiors will also bring a foodhall to the building as part of 10,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor along with a residential lobby and interior courtyards. Floors two through four will hold the remaining units of which 14 will be designated as on-site affordable with another 14 funded at a different location to meet the city requirement. Residents will also have access to a co-working space, full gym, and a rooftop space.
The rooftop is part of what was approved by the commission this month, being the only addition to the building’s exterior, it is set back over 37 feet from the front to preserve sight lines and will feature a covered outdoor area. Other restorations will include repairing the existing masonry and limestone tuck-pointing, and replacing non-historic doors added over 30 years later with windows matching the existing to restore the main facade to its original design. The main front door along with its limestone detailing will also be replaced with ones matching the original based on historical drawings found.
Developer Annexation LLC has worked on similar restoration nearby and was applauded for their attention to detail to preserving historical features, and plans to apply for landmark status for this project. While a formal timeline was not revealed, it was previously announced that it would take roughly 18 months for the work to be completed and given the sale of the building was finalized mid-September, we can expect a rapid build-out opening not much earlier than some of the first office spaces at Lincoln Yards.