Tacuma Roeback, Managing Editor | Chicago Defender
Chicago police have launched an arson investigation into a blaze that occurred at the historic Swift mansion in Bronzeville. City firefighters responded to a fire at the three-story, 131-year-old building at 4500 S. Michigan Ave. on Sunday morning.
Firefighters were able to put out the blaze within a few hours. However, around 2:30 p.m., the fire rekindled, and flames tore through the roof of the building.
There were no injuries, and the extent of the damage is not known. It is also not known whether any valuable items were lost during the blaze.
“We won’t know until later, the memorabilia and historical information that was contained within that we may never be able to recapture,” Ald. Pat Dowell told NBC Chicago.
The Swift Mansion was built in 1892 by meatpacking magnate Gustavus Swift, who presented it as a wedding gift to his daughter Helen, who married Edward Morris, the scion of another meatpacking executive.
The mansion was listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and served as a funeral home before it was the headquarters of the Chicago Urban League. The Inner City Youth and Adult Foundation acquired the building in 1995 and continues to occupy the structure today.
The Swift Mansion was being renovated at the time the blaze occurred.
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