Like ruins left behind by the great Romans or Mayans, America's abandoned skyscrapers hide numerous stories behind their decaying facades. These high-rise gems, many of them Art Deco specimens, were the pride of their community when they were built. A developer's vision, an architect's dream, an engineer's challenge, a workplace, a home, and now crumbling monuments to their enterprising creators. Oftentimes the towers are so beloved that a community can't bare to see them go. And other times they just can't afford to tear them down.
Every year, Preservation Chicago announces its “Chicago’s 7″ list of Most Endangered Buildings. The purpose of the Chicago 7 is to raise public awareness about the threats facing some of Chicago’s most at-risk architectural treasures, whether they are a single building, an entire neighborhood, or a thematic category of buildings, such as Great Chicago Warehouses or Chicago’s Religious Structures.