The Good They Do | Letters | Chicago Reader

The Good They Do 

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I would like to answer last week's article by Ben Joravsky, who asked why the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois would want to be associated with me ["Hey Preservationists: Quit Puckering and Get Pissed!" May 28]. My dedication to historic preservation in Chicago is well-known: I have been a member of LPCI since its first year; I was counsel to the Chicago Landmarks Commission for ten years; and I created and have taught the graduate course in historic preservation law and advocacy in the preservation program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for more than seven years. In the last six months I have donated more than 100 hours of my legal services to the LPCI.

My contribution does not compare to that of LPCI's chairman, Joseph Antunovich. The article criticized Joe because he was hired to design a building that was to replace an undesignated landmark. But if we can save Cook County Hospital, the citizen who deserves the most credit will be Joe. He has donated his services, and that of his architectural firm, in preparing the numerous preservation plans and economic pro forma statements used to try to convince Cook County about the feasibility of saving the hospital building. On top of his contributions to the cause of Cook County Hospital, Joe was the inspiration for saving the Farnsworth House. In addition to his substantial monetary contributions, he and his firm have donated many hundreds of hours in design and supervision services to make the house ready for public tours. There is no greater nor successful preservationist than Joe Antunovich.

It is valid to encourage advocacy in support of historic preservation, but the dedication of LPCI board members and staff cannot be seriously questioned.

Richard F. Friedman

Neal, Murdock & Leroy, LLC

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