The Lathrop Homes public housing complex, at the intersection of Diversey, Damen, and Clybourn, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With CHA interest in bringing a new income mix to the 900-unit Homes (i.e. market rate housing), there's been considerable pushback. As far as we know, the designated redevelopment team haven't settled on a formula, nor have they decided which if any buildings to demolish. But with the threat ever looming, the news comes as a victory for preservationists. An excerpt of a press release from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency via Blair Kamin:
The Julia C. Lathrop Homes is one of the largest and most architecturally elaborate of the 52 initial public housing projects in the United States constructed as part of the New Deal in the 1930s. The federal government sought to create public housing with well-equipped units that had access to well-designed exterior spaces. This dedication to beautiful and useful indoor and outdoor spaces as used in the Lathrop Homes came to dominate affordable housing construction until after World War 2. Famed landscape architect Jens Jensen created small parks and kitchen gardens within the dense Lathrop Homes neighborhoods, providing poor Chicagoans with open space and the chance to plant and tend their own gardens.
The listing doesn't guarantee protection against demolition, but it adds another layer of bureaucratic review if state or federal funds are to be used.
·Lathrop Homes listed on National Register of Historic Places [Cityscapes]
·Lathrop Homes Redevelopment To Move Forward, But How? [Curbed Chicago]