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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced that Johnson Publishing Co.’s former headquarters may be designated as a landmark. Mayor Emanuel says that the building, located in downtown Chicago, has served as “a decades-long epicenter of Black history and culture,” according to a news release issued by the city of Chicago.

From the City of Chicago:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced Chicago’s former Johnson Publishing Co. building on South Michigan Avenue will be considered for landmark status. The move will help protect and celebrate the 11-story building’s iconic, International Style design and its decades-long affiliation with black business and culture.

“As we celebrate Black History Month, it is the perfect time to honor this building that stands tall as a decades-long epicenter of black history and culture,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This designation will cement this building’s status as a landmark that is not just part of the legacy of the city of Chicago, but the history of our nation.”

The landmark designation process started today with a preliminary recommendation at the Feb. 2, 2017, meeting of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.

Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman of Johnson Publishing Company and daughter of the company’s founder John H. Johnson, says she’s honored that the building is being considered for landmark status.

“My father started Johnson Publishing Company to inform, empower and uplift the African American community,” said Rice in the statement released by the city of Chicago.“With my mother Eunice by his side, they built an iconic brand. I am thrilled that the building that housed our company for so many years is being considered for landmark status. It is a true testament to the hard work of my parents and all the people who called Johnson Publishing Company home for decades. I am grateful to Mayor Emanuel and Alderman King for supporting this effort.”

The building, located at 820 S. Michigan Ave., was built in 1971 for $8 million, according to the city. Under the leadership of John H. Johnson, Johnson Publishing Co., which was founded in 1942, evolved into one of the largest African-American-owned businesses in the country.

The building is now owned by Columbia College Chicago.

SOURCE: City of Chicago

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