Award for Rehabilitation

Overton Hygienic Building


Located within Chicago’s Black Metropolis – Bronzeville Landmark District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1922 building was designed by architect Z. Erol Smith and built using funds raised by the local African-American community. This four-story, 31,000-square-foot office building originally housed Anthony Overton’s cosmetic company and some of the first commercial real estate in the city marketed and leased exclusively to the black community. By the 1980s, the building had been abandoned, and it sat vacant and deteriorating for the next 20 years. In 2006, the Davis Group LLC began an extensive restoration of the building which included replacement of 300 terra cotta pieces and the replication of 117 wooden-sash windows. At street level, 1,300 square feet of storefront space that had been previously boarded up was rehabilitated, creating a more inviting atmosphere along the State Street corridor. The awards jury noted that “the rehabilitation of the Overton Hygienic Building, an anchor within the community, is paving the way for further revitalization within the neighborhood.”

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