Located at 100 E. Chicago St. in Elgin, the adaptive use project transformed the former Home Banks Building, a 15-story, Art Deco tower, into a 44-unit market-rate housing complex. Still considered the tallest building in Elgin, the iconic tower was completed in June 1929, just months before the stock market crash, leading to decades of underutilization.
The recent adaptive use project is exemplary not only for its exterior restoration and interior reuse, but also for the extensive collaboration it took to ensure the project’s success, which relied heavily on community and organizational support. The Illinois River Edge Redevelopment Zone Historic Tax Credit was set to expire in December 2016, and construction delays due to unforeseen circumstances threatened the project’s use of this instrumental funding tool. Landmarks Illinois acknowledged the impending expiration of the state’s RERZ tax credit, listing it on its 2015 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois and successfully lobbied with representatives from the five River Edge cities to ensure that the legislation was extended, ultimately saving this project.
Exterior scope of work at the Elgin Tower included restoring the building’s limestone façade, restoring the iconic corner-mounted clock and installing 272 windows that are in keeping with historic profiles. Interior scope of work included the restoration of the entrance lobby, which involved restoring historic elevator cabs, decorative plaster and a chandelier. Original office features, including doors and cabinets, were incorporated into the design of new apartments. The Elgin Tower Building is considered one of the most impactful projects in the City’s historic downtown in over 20 years and has since spurred interest among other property owners who are looking to rehabilitate their historic buildings with the use of federal and state historic tax credits.
City of Elgin
(Photo credit: Christen Sundquist)All 2018 Award Recipients