Ribbon was cut recently at what we used to call Lathrop Homes, now Lathrop Residences, as part of the continuing evolution of public housing in Chicago.
Perched on the banks of the Chicago River just north of Bucktown and just south of Lake View, Lathrop was one of the first public housing projects in Chicago when it was completed in the 1930’s.
Its ongoing redevelopment will turn it from strictly public housing into a mixed-income community, a strategy widely seen as better for cities and the people who live in them.
The Lathrop redevelopment was spearheaded by Related Midwest. The recent ribbon cutting saw the opening of the first phase, which included 16 rehabilitated buildings, a cafe, and a five acre park by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates — the same firm behind The 606 and Maggie Daley Park. Related Midwest honcho Curt Bailey noted, “While Lathrop’s original design from 1938 turned its back on the Chicago River, the new park embraces our revitalized river with a beautifully designed riverwalk, boat launch and gathering spaces.”
The 16 buildings now online have a total of 355 apartments. Some of them opened last year, but the formal ceremony wasn’t until this month. When the entire project is complete, there will be 1,116 apartments at Lathrop, including 222 reserved for families that meet affordable housing guidelines, and 400 for Chicago Housing Authority clients.