PULLMAN ARTSPACE LOFTS, CHICAGO

2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation AWARD FOR REHABILITATION

Pullman Artspace Lofts uniquely combines historic preservation, needed low income housing and dedicated arts space in a 33,000-square-foot development on Chicago’s far South Side. Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) and Pullman Arts led the rehabilitation of 1880 brick tenement housing in the historic Pullman neighborhood, one of the nation’s first planned industrial communities in the 19th century. The new development is the result of an intense community engagement initiative by the developers, which included surveying more than 380 artists and community members who indicated there was both a great need and broad community support for the development of a work/live space for artists and their families. Pullman Artspace Lofts houses 38 apartment units that serve veterans, low-income artists and individuals with supported services and were designed specifically for artists and their families. It is the first new housing development in the neighborhood in more than 60 years and signals a revitalization of the community.

Pullman Artspace Lofts is housed in two historic buildings (“Block Houses A and C”) and one new construction building. The exteriors of buildings A and C were meticulously restored to their original appearances, and the interiors were conscientiously adapted with much of the woodwork retained. The new construction building was designed by taking inspiration from the Pullman neighborhood’s historic appearance and craftsmanship. Today, 100 percent of the apartments are leased and fully occupied with a long waiting list of residents hoping to live and work in the space in the future — proving how sought after this new hybrid arts and housing project in historic buildings truly is.

 

PROJECT PRINCIPALS

  • David Doig, Ciere Boatright, Tom McMahon, Pastor Merlon Jackson & Arnold Pugh, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives
  • Steve Soltis & Nicole Romany, Pullman Artspace Lofts
  • Frankye Payne & Debbie Newman, PullmanArts
  • Brian Berg and Marilyn Katz, MK Communications
  • Ann Alspaugh, (former) President of PullmanArts
  • Andrew Michaelson, Kathleen Kvern, Tio Aiken & Kimberly Moore, Artspace
  • Ernest Brown, Brown & Momen, Inc.
  • Helene Gayle, Chicago Community Trust
  • Tracy Scott, Chicago Housing Authority
  • David Doig, Ciere Boatright, Tom McMahon, Pastor Merlon Jackson & Arnold Pugh, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives
  • Eleanor Gorski
  • Annie Kraft,Federal Home Loan Bank
  • Mark Murray, Field Foundation
  • Joe Szabo, Pat Shymanski & Michael Shymanski, Historic Pullman Foundation
  • Joe Neri, IFF
  • Kristin Faust, IHDA
  • Tio Dugar, Ludwig Company
  • Mark Cannon, M Cannon Roofing Company
  • William Shafroth, National Parks Foundation
  • Ty Steele, Tiffany Lomax & Christy Klobach, Pepper Construction
  • Albert Raffin, Raffin Construction
  • Andrew O’Brochta & William Ketcham, Stanec Architecture, Inc.
  • Cassie Wagner, U.S. Bank
  • Samir Mayekar, Deputy Mayor, City of Chicago
  • U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly
  • Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale

LI ASKS: WHY IS THIS PLACE IMPORTANT TO YOU?

David Doig, President of CNI

The historic buildings that today house Pullman Artspace Lofts had long been neglected and abandoned and faced possible demolition. Today, they are a new home for artists and their families, and the units’ affordability is ensured for at least 30 years. Additionally, the community involvement in the planning process as well as the overall restoration of these buildings make it project the developers are most proud of. A recent case study by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business points to the Pullman Artspace Lofts and the revitalization of the Pullman neighborhood as national models for community renewal that can and ought to be replicated across the nation. The project is an instrumental part of the overall development of Pullman within the context a historical designation. It is congruent with the $37 million renovation of the Pullman Clock Tower becoming the Pullman National Monument’s new Visitor Center, and the restoration of historic Pullman Row Homes that has been an ongoing process with broad cooperation.

HOW DID SAVING THIS PLACE IMPACT PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY?

David Doig, President of CNI

The agreement with the Chicago Housing Authority that apartments are for residents making 30 percent to 60 percent of the average median income and receive Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the State of Illinois ensures affordability of the units for 30 years, which will stabilize and strengthen the community by helping to keep longtime residents living in Pullman. The project has been a catalyst for millions of dollars of additional investments and developments in the community. Many of its supporters have also helped with the $37 million redevelopment of the Pullman National Monument site and its 12-acre campus. The new developments in Pullman, including Amazon’s fulfillment center, a second Gotham Greens greenhouse, a new SC Johnson warehouse, One Eleven Food Hall and more are driving the need for affordable housing and cultural amenities in the community.

Pullman Artspace Loft’s extensive and ongoing community planning process began 10 years ago and collected residents’ input over the course of 80 public meetings and special events, including a design contest. This feedback helped to guide developers on creating what is today a tremendous amenity that the community takes pride in: A safe and affordable place for artists to live and work. We know future programs and events at the Pullman Artspace Lofts hosted by residents and community members will attract more people to live, work and visit the Pullman neighborhood.

 

Learn More about Pullman Artspace Lofts

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