Bill Lavicka, Chicago’s most-endangered preservationist

Bill Lavicka is a Chicago original, one of those outsize characters who create and preserve the built heritage the rest of us then take for granted.

According to the Chicago News Cooperative, Bill has Stage 4 colon cancer and is as endangered as any of the buildings he’s fought to preserve. He’s someone you really should get to know before he goes.

The Reader’s article archives, and YoChicago’s, provide a glimpse at some of Bill’s achievements. Start with The Vanishing City at the Reader.

Four years ago, on his birthday, a tuxedo-clad Bill showed me around his Celestial House in Bronzeville, and showcased some of his original sculpture, in the following video.

You can see the landmark 1500 block of Jackson Blvd, which Bill preserved and where he lives, in this YoChicago slideshow at Flickr:

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