CHICAGO-The curtain won’t go down on the Congress Theater’s 1920s-vintage architecture or its use as a 2,904-seat auditorium. The property is likely to be designated a landmark following a favorable recommendation by the city council’s committee on historical landmark preservation over the objections of the current owner.

Although the owner has not consented to landmark designation, talks will continue between him and the city’s department of planning and development, promises John W. Baird, secretary of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. “We expect these conversations to continue and we’ll continue to work with the owners,” Baird told the city council committee Monday.

The property at 2117-39 N. Milwaukee Ave., at the intersection of Rockwell Avenue, is one of the last remaining theaters dating back to “moving picture” pioneers Lubliner & Trinz. In addition to an auditorium that still continues to host concerts, talent shows and movie festivals, the four-story property includes retail space as well as multifamily rental units.

The owner will be forced to preserve the entire building’s façade as well as the auditorium and theater lobby. However, changes can be made to the interiors of the retail space and apartment units.

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