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Chicago adds Little Village arch to protected landmarks

January 30, 2022 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago officials have designated the arch marking an entry point into the city’s Little Village neighborhood.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Wednesday’s City Council vote marked the first time a Mexican architect’s work has been granted landmark status in the city.

The approval protects structures in the city from significant alteration or demolition.

The arch spans West 26th Street in Little Village, a Southwest side community know as “the Mexican capital of the Midwest.” According to city data, about 77 percent of the area’s population are of Mexican descent.

“It means the world,” resident Cristy Calderon said. “Growing up, it felt like it was the forgotten place in the city. I think having a landmark in our community is really going to bring people in and show what we’re really about.”

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The arch was built in 1990 as a show of community pride and Mexican Americans’ contributions to the city. Architect Adrián Lozano designed the piece based on arches often found in Mexican communities.

A bronze clock gifted by former president of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari was installed at the top of the arch a year later.