2020 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Rehabilitation
A brilliant rehabilitation of the National Register-listed Julia C. Lathrop Homes has produced 414 mixed-income residences for Chicago’s North Side and restored 16 of the original 32 buildings first constructed in 1938 under the Public Works Administration. The first phase of the project – completed in 2019 – is the result of a seven-year planning process led by Lathrop Community Partners that included community engagement and thoughtful consideration for how one of the nation’s earliest public housing projects should be reused to serve residents today. In 2007, Landmarks Illinois included Lathrop on its Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. Today, the rehabilitated campus is home to two- and three-story, walk-up rowhouses, property management and retail space, a boat house, woodshop and a future community room for residents. The property’s Great Lawn, which fronts the Chicago River, originally a Jens Jensen design, has also been restored as a green space for both the Lathrop residents and the surrounding community to enjoy. During the redevelopment, preserving architectural elements like stair rail, stair towers, exterior masonry, finials, copings and the limestone entry portals was prioritized. Most commendable, is the high-quality residential spaces that make up Lathrop, offered for a range of income levels, ensuring current Lathrop residents could stay while attracting new residents from the surrounding North Side neighborhoods.