During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) assembled teams of well-regarded architects to design much-needed housing for low-income families throughout Chicago. Almost a century later, one such development, Julia C. Lathrop Homes, is undergoing a comprehensive transformation.
Part of Chicago Housing Authorities’ (CHA’s) groundbreaking Plan for Transformation, which seeks to combine CHA, affordable and market rate housing into single, mixed-income developments, Lathrop continues the tradition of collaboration.
Development partners Related Midwest, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and Heartland Housing—together, Lathrop Community Partners—oversaw the project. The design team included JGMA, Design Architect; HED, Executive Architect; Michael Van Valkenburgh (MVVA), Landscape Architect; and McGuire Igleski & Associates (MIA), Exterior Preservationist.
The HED team contributed its integrated design expertise and extensive housing experience to modernize the historic structures; incorporate health, wellness and sustainability strategies; redesign systems for efficiency and effectiveness; address accessibility; and provide LEED documentation for two additional structures on this site. The overall project has LEED and Green Enterprise Community certification, becoming one of the largest Green Enterprise Communities to date. Additional recognition has come in the form of multiple design awards:
Chicago AIA Design Excellence Award
ENR Midwest’s 2020 Best Projects: Best Project, Residential/Hospitality
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation 2020 Landmarks IL Chicago Neighborhood Development Award for Rehabilitation
The revitalized Lathrop is a bustling, diverse and sustainable community on Chicago’s rapidly evolving riverfront.