Where is the the Pioneer building? The Pioneer Building was once the state of the art professional building in the community. It was the building that housed the Chicago office of then U.S. Congressman Harold Washington. . It also housed the southside office of the Chicago Urban League.
The building was built by the Nation of Islam. After the death of leader Elijah Muhammed many of the assets of the Nation were sold or foreclosed on and the Pioneer building was one that transferred ownership.
The change in ownership also started the downward spiral of the building. the Chicago Urban League consolidated their offices and moved and then U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush moved. The building had several small professional services left in the building and a horrific incident involving the then building owner marked the end of the building as the building was involved in a long legal dispute. The remaining tenants moved out and the building layed vacant and started to go ito major disrepair. The building was sold for back taxes but no one ever stepped forward to take it over.
The building became an eyesore as the glass windows were being broken, the fixtures were being taken out the building and it became a hangout spot for public drinking and loitering. The city of Chicago stepped in and declared emminent domain and gained control of the building. The building was put up for sale for $1 but the buyer had to show the resources to rehab the building whereas the cost would be between $500,000 to $1.0 million. Several entities submitted proposals and the process went on for a couple of years http://thesixthward.blogspot.com/2009/08/input-on-proposals-at-7801-s-cottage.html.
Now the process is over A.R Leak and Sons Funeral Home will raze the building and build a new structure and add some desperately needed parking. While some will not like the fact the building will be torn down, no one will miss what the building became.