Julia C. Lathrop Homes was originally designed by a collective of architects and constructed in 1938 as a New Deal model for public housing. Today (10/15/2019), Lathrop has completed its multi-phase transformation into a new mixed income residential and commercial community led by Lathrop Community Partners, a partnership of Related Midwest, Heartland Housing and Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation with HED acting as the Executuve Architect for Phase one!
Lathrop is unique in terms of its location on the Chicago River on the northside, the recently rehabbed North Campus includes the original Administration Building, updated apartment buildings and rowhouses, Prairie style landscape architect Jens Jensen’s Great Lawn, and the re-activated riverfront.
HED contributed its integrated design expertise and extensive housing knowledge to modernize the historic structures, address accessibility challenges and coordinate new systems not imagined in the original structures. However, the tradition of collaboration among architects and designers has also been continued in the Lathrop redevelopment. The project was master planned by Farr & Associates and HED leveraged the talents of project designer JGMA, landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh (MVVA) Historic Preservationist McGuire Igleski & Associates (MIA), and Civil Engineering by Terra.
Together, this team has reimagined the historic 35-acre development through a multi-phased masterplan that honors the original intent of the famed landscape architect Jens Jensen and creates a vibrant attraction on the City’s rapidly redeveloping riverfront, including the preservation and modernization of 16 historic buildings on the north half of the site and creating six acres of green space. Lathrop is now a bustling, diverse and sustainable neighborhood connecting two of the City’s most prominent areas.
“Related is proud of our long history of successfully preserving and developing affordable and mixed-income communities that serve the needs of all residents and the neighborhood,” said Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest. “For Lathrop, we worked closely with our partners to revitalize and reimagine a historic riverfront community rooted in a rich cultural past. Through the Lathrop Partners public-private partnership, we have brought to life the first phase of a vibrant mixed-income community that everyone can call home.”