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Neoliberal Chicago$
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Larry Bennett, Roberta Garner, and Euan Hague

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040597

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040597.001.0001

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Historic Preservation in a Neoliberal Context

Historic Preservation in a Neoliberal Context

From the Medinah Temple to Bloomingdale’s

(p.191) Chapter 8 Historic Preservation in a Neoliberal Context
Neoliberal Chicago

Yue Zhang

, Larry Bennett, Roberta Garner, Euan Hague
University of Illinois Press

This chapter investigates the impact of neoliberalism on historic preservation. Using the stories of the Medinah Temple and Tree Studios in downtown Chicago as an example, the chapter explains how adaptive reuse has become one of the favored strategies for public officials and private developers to capture the profit associated with the built heritage. While renovating and reusing historic buildings is an advance compared to the wholesale demolition, the chapter reveals the danger of the strategy to undermine the architectural integrity of historic structures and compromise their original socially and culturally oriented functions. It highlights the tension between seeing historic preservation as public good and as a tool for economic benefit in the neoliberal era.

Keywords:   neoliberalism, Chicago, historic preservation, adaptive reuse, Medinah Temple, Tree Studios

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