• Religious Rights in the Chicago Landmarking Process
  • September 22, 2012 | Author: Adam T. Rick
  • Law Firm: Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C. - Chicago Office
  • The Chicago Landmarks Ordinance authorizes restrictions on the renovation or alteration of specially designated buildings or other structures. The express purpose of the ordinance is to identify and preserve “landmarks”—i.e., places “having a special historical, community, architectural, or aesthetic interest or value to the City of Chicago and its citizens.” Given their cultural importance and frequent architectural beauty, it should come as no surprise that churches are likely targets for landmarking. Yet the restrictions entailed by designation as a landmark threaten interference with the autonomy of religious congregations. This primer outlines the legal protections afforded to religious organizations that should be considered in the landmarking process.