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December 16, 2012

Reagan's HP home to be torn down

A Hyde Park building that once housed former President Ronald Reagan is scheduled to be demolished later this month.

The University bought the now-vacant apartment building on East 57th Street near the University of Chicago Medical Center campus in 2004. The space it currently occupies will be converted into a parking lot for the Center for Care and Discovery, which is scheduled to open in February.

Reagan, who spent most of his childhood in northwest Illinois, lived in one of the building’s first-floor apartments for 10 months between 1914 and 1915, when he was four years old.

Preservationists had hoped to challenge the demolition, arguing that it has architectural and historical value. However, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks rejected an appeal that would grant the building landmark status, citing that it “does not have sufficient architectural significance” and that it “is not associated with Mr. Reagan during his active and productive years”.

According to the Sun-Times, the building’s history was only discovered through police records showing that when Reagan’s father John was arrested for drunkenness in 1915, he reported the building’s address as his home.

Aside from President Barack Obama, Reagan is the only American president to have lived in Chicago.

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