In March of 2017, an arson fire caused significant damage to a historic 36-unit apartment building at 115 Lafayette Avenue (corner of Barton). After the fire, preservationists were walking on pins and needles, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst – the damage was estimated to be over $1.5 million. All of the residents in the building were displaced, and three fire fighters were injured.
A year later, a building permit was issued to the owner, Lafayette Barton Apartments LLC, the same entity that had purchased the circa-1900 apartment building (37,956 sq.ft. of space) for $1.7 million in August of 2015. This past March, Preservation Ready Sites pointed out that workers could be seen shoring up the roof and parapet.
Work is still underway to bring 115 Lafayette Avenue back to its original state. The saving of this apartment building is a huge won for the West Side of the city. These are the types of structures that speak for a neighborhood. It is unimaginable to think about what would have happened to this significant corner, had firefighters not managed to contain the fire.