The former headquarters of Johnson Publishing Co., where founder John H. Johnson produced EBONY, JET and several other publications for decades in downtown Chicago may become a landmark building, according to the city’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The process of designating the building a landmark began Thursday with it going under consideration by the Commision on Chicago Landmarks 11-story structure was completed in 1971 by and cost $8 million to construct. It was the first corporate building built by a Black-owned company in downtown Chicago.
Linda Johnson Rice, Ebony Media Chairman Emeritus said that having a landmark designation would ensure its imprint on history. “What thrills me most is that the building will stand in perpetuity as a testament to the fortitude of John H. Johnson and a testament to the fortitude of African-Americans across the country,” she said.
Emanuel, who made the announcement at the outset of Black History Month, called the building an “epicenter of Black history and culture.”
“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,” Emanuel said in a statement.