Award for Advocacy

Historic Residential Hotels Preservation Planning, The Carling Hotel


The Carling Hotel is the recipient of the 2018 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Advocacy. Located at 1512 N. LaSalle Dr. in Chicago, the project transformed the four-story Carling Hotel into 80 Single-Room-Occupancy (SRO) units. Originally built in 1927 as a residential hotel, a previously under-documented building type, the Renaissance Revival building is one of only 65 remaining licensed SROs in the City. Scope of work included restoring the building’s façade and lobby and updating MEP systems. Interior historic fabric, such as terrazzo flooring, plaster walls, arched doorways and double-loaded corridors, were retained. Apartment spaces were reconfigured to provide residents with larger units that include private bathrooms and small kitchens. The project utilized complex funding sources and was the first project to take advantage of the City of Chicago’s 2014 SRO Preservation Ordinance.

Perhaps most important, the owner, understanding the building type’s significance and recognizing its under representation in scholarly research and official documentation, commissioned a Multiple Properties Documentation Form (MPDF), which was completed in 2016. This document traces the evolution and importance of residential hotels and establishes a framework for listing these buildings in the National Register of Historic Places. This undertaking was critical in making available crucial financing from the federal historic tax credit and will likely do the same for projects of this type in the future. Due to the completion of the MPDF, buildings that once solved a pressing housing issue are now able to adapt to meet contemporary affordable housing needs, demonstrating that historic preservation and affordable housing can come together to create an innovative template for an often-stigmatized housing type.

Project Principals

The Michaels Development Group (owner)
Landon Bone Baker Architects
MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC
Linn-Mathes, Inc.
Ramsey Historic Consultants, Inc.

(Photo credit: Credit: Ballogg Photography © 2018)

All 2018 Award Recipients

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