One of MAPS's many services is landmarks coordination. When renovating or altering a landmarked building or a contributing building in a Chicago landmark district, permit applications must be reviewed and approved by Historic Preservation Division staff in the Department of Planning & Development. For short, I'll call them the Landmarks staff.

The Tribune Tower’s façade is being renovated and restored during its conversion from office to residential. MAPS coordinate the requisite approvals for the development and design team. Photo by George Guarino.

The Tribune Tower’s façade is being renovated and restored during its conversion from office to residential. MAPS coordinate the requisite approvals for the development and design team. Photo by George Guarino.

They're not to be confused with the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, a body of appointed officials that creates new landmark districts and reviews certain permits, or Landmarks Illinois, an advocacy organization.

The Landmarks staff acts like a client who represents the building's interest. The Landmarks staff has instituted specific guidelines to protect building characteristics and ensures proposed designs reflect historical designs.

For example, if a property owner or retail business is replacing the windows of a building that faces Milwaukee Avenue in the Milwaukee Avenue District that cuts through Wicker Park, Landmarks wants the new windows to look historically appropriate of the era 1877-1929.

Prior to submitting a permit application, MAPS will work with its clients to prepare an early submittal package for Landmarks to review. This is pared down from the submittal package that the Department of Buildings plan reviewers will see later on.

A map of the Milwaukee Avenue District. The district extends from about Paulina Street on the southeast end to about Damen Avenue and North Avenue on the northwest end.  View the interactive map .

A map of the Milwaukee Avenue District. The district extends from about Paulina Street on the southeast end to about Damen Avenue and North Avenue on the northwest end. View the interactive map.

MAPS advises the design team on selecting a materials vendor, and advises clients on Landmarks policies and precedents. Additionally, MAPS project managers will schedule and attend meetings with Landmarks staff on the design team's behalf. We coordinated the proposals and plans with Landmarks for the Tribune Tower building’s conversion from office to residential.

This service is especially useful for clients and architects who aren't located in Chicago, and for those who haven't worked on landmarked buildings or in landmarked districts in the past.