Near West preservationist Bill Lavicka dies at 67
Preservation pioneer credited with saving dozens of buildings, laying groundwork for Chicago’s preservation movement
04/18/2012 5:16 PM
Bill Lavicka, the Near West Side preservationist who made it his life’s goal to rehab and preserve dozens of historic homes and buildings around Chicago, has died. He was 67.
Lavicka passed away at his home in the 1500 block of West Jackson Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon, after a year-long battle with colon cancer.
Chicago Journal visited Lavicka several times over the years to talk about his projects, most recently last November when cancer forced him to retire from restoration. Lavicka reflected on the projects he’d worked on over the years, from saving his historic block to launching Chicago’s preservation movement.
At the time, Lavicka said that when he died, he wanted to leave the world along with the leftovers from his life’s work — a stash of dozens of heavy wooden doors.
“I suppose you could stack up 50 feet of doors underneath me,” he said. “Set me on fire like a Viking.”
Click below to read some of Chicago Journal’s coverage of Lavicka from recent years.