Lathrop Homes Historical Preservation Meeting 7/3/13

Julia Lathrop Homes redevelopment project
Focus on historic preservation
July 3, 2013
Metcalfe Federal Building

The following are my notes from the meeting. They are not meant to be a definitive transcript of the meeting — just points I thought worth noting.  If you were at the meeting, please feel free to add a comment to clarify, expand, or correct…  The next meeting is a community meeting on July 30.  We will post an announcement here when the date and time are set.  We will also post the slides from the meeting as soon as LCP releases them (Monday, 7/8?)

The meeting began on time at 1:00 PM, moderated by Eric Sandstedt of HUD.

CHA overview: Mike Jasso, CHA

  • CHA’s vision & goals
  • not about rehabbing asset but placing asset in community – CHA Plan Forward, continuation plan to build mixed income community
  • Integrated neighborhood in broader context
  • Attractive all around
  • Process –
  • coord CHA with other city agencies for financial, regulatory perspectives
  • understand deal-breakers infrastructure, finance, politics
  • historic nature, marketability, reposition as mixed income, not public housing, 400 PH units
  • having mixed income distributed across site, not in separate area
  • rebrand site

The Plan – Doug Farr (LCP)

  • “preservation plan”
  • income distribution across site
  • northern side – more open space, built for families
  • tall building to the south – also mixed income units

1208 units

  • 41% (504) market rate (parking ratio 1.0)
  • 17% (212) affordable (parking ratio .7)
  • 39% (400) public housing (parking ratio .25)
  • 7% (92) CHA senior (parking ratio .3)

Site Usage

  • 27 acres housing
  • 6 acres parking if on grade
  • site is 33 acres

non residential uses

  • 20000 sf retail
  • TBD community uses
  • need 80 parking spaces (1 acre)

presentation about branding

  • tag line: preserved and transformed

Overall Plan

  • 450 units n of diversey
  • more than half s. of diversey
  • north focuses on preservation and open space
  • south – focuses on transformation, open the space, access to river
  • north – retain great lawn – maybe give to park district
  • clyborn “wall” retained for sense of enclosure
  • intensify use of the corner at diversey & river
  • in resp to question: buildings “mothballed” to ensure they can be rehabbed
  • rigorous plan of restoration for the historic row houses
  • transformational: landscape and fencing
  • T buildings – 3 / 4 units per floor; exterior renovation; transformation to add vestibule at stair hall doors
  • gut/rehab on interior – insulation, good windows, energy eff. appliances
  • surface parking on edges of great lawn (envisioned as paved playlots in original Jensen plan)
  • greatest asset is the river
  • change building at hoyne, clyborn, wellington into commercial space? coffee shop, etc (would need to drop floor slabs to grade – currently 1/2 floor above grade)
  • south
  • 2 preserved building + powerhouse
  • 3 new e/w streets, leavitt extended into site
  • boulevard dividers on diversey at midblock
  • new gateway buildings on diversey
  • light at schubert/clyborn, public space at shubert & river
  • powerhouse retained for purposed TBD – retail? community? enhance w/public plaza?

Integrity Report – Andrea Terry (LCP)

  • restored north side restores original planning features and each original building type and design features of architecture
  • preserve street faces
  • opening “damen wall” opens area to neighborhood

definition of success – tell the story of the ’30’s vision of the future with modern sensibility of attractiveness

archaeological report – Will Tippens (LCP)
potowatamie settlements: is there anything there? onsite soil borings planned. Phase 1 complete by end of august.


  • character of the south – to be discussed at 7/30 meeting
  • unified whole vs. north/south division
  • integrate into the neighborhood – trade off more preservation on south with removal of T building to expose river and great lawn – but integrates with Costco, not residential areas. Open up more on North? Need to balance of preservation with financing options.
  • has team looked at using vacant land on Oakdale to build new buildings to preserve some older building
  • elimination of kitchen gardens – major feature of jensen’s plan
  • elimination of elizabeth wood park
  • safety issues from new streets going through south
  • how will development be rolled out? can’t answer yet
  • are we destroying the landmark and the original vision?