The Chicago Landmarks Commission unanimously voted March 7 to confer historic landmark status on the Legacy Walk in Lake View. The commision will vote again on the matter in April.
After the April vote, the recommendation goes to the full City Council and, should it approve, the official declaration would be issued.
"I'm glad this part of it is over, because I wasn't sure what to expect," said Victor Salvo, executive director of the Legacy Project, which oversees the Legacy Walk.
City officials announced they would be pursuing the designation last June, shortly before Gay Pride weekend. On June 22, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement, "The Legacy Walk is not only a historically significant legacy of the LGBT community of Chicago, but a signal that the entire city is a safe and welcoming place for everyone."
Officials added, "Landmark Status will protect the steel pylons and outdoor museum that define the Boystown streetscape. It is being considered for its unique cultural, historical and social heritage, its celebration of individuals who significantly contributed to the development of Chicago, and its distinctive physical presence as a visual feature of the Boystown neighborhood, among other criteria."
The final plaques along the Legacy Walk, dedicated to activist Marsha P. Johnson and composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, were installed at the Halsted Street site in Ocober 2014, completing Salvo and supporters' initial goal of an open-air museum celebrating the LGBT community. The first plaques were unveiled in 2012.