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Katherine Ferguson

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RBIC Honors Cedar Street and the Bush Temple of Music

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Friday, July 28, 2017

On Tuesday, July 25, Cedar Street Companies was honored by the Landmarks Illinois Real Estate and Building Industries Council (RBIC) for the outstanding rehabilitation of The Bush Temple of Music. The annual RBIC Award, given each year since 1993, recognizes companies and individuals that "demonstrate a special dedication to historic preservation through responsible development and planning." As part of the The Bush Temple team, we are proud of the outstanding preservation work that is represented in this exeptional project. 


In their rehabilitation of The Bush Temple for use as 101 luxury apartments, Cedar Street Properties went to great lengths to maintain the historic character of the building - from marble walls and terrazzo floors to original single-paneled doors with fritted glass and restored panel windows. 

The Bush Temple of Music joins Cedear Street's family of FLATS branded apartment buildings, a group of historic Chicago buildings that are offering amenity-rich living experiences in the city. MHA is proud to serve as historic consultants for The Lawrence House and The Otis in addition to The Bush Temple. 


New Historic Rehabilitation Guidelines

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Friday, July 14, 2017

Consider them the "10 Commandments of Rehabilitation." The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation are the litmus by which all historic tax credit projects are tested before they are approved. If you have used an HTC program, you are probably well aware of their allowances and limitations for sensitively rehabilitating an historic building.

Note: The avoidance of words like preservation, restoration and reconstruction in describing them is intentional. Those each have their own set of standards. Rehabilitation is the only treatment that allows for alterations and the construction of a new addition.

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 5.17.07 PM.pngClick image for full 2017 guidelines

Just this week, the National Park Service released revised Guidelines. While the Standards themselves remain the same, guidance on specific treatments have been updated to include 20th-century building types, materials, and systems that are now 50 years old. Advances in technology have also been taken into consideration for the Guidelines as well. In particular, the new version includes additional entries on glass, paint and other coatings, composite materials, imitative materials, and curtain walls. Rehabilitation Guidelines are also broadened for related new construction on a building site.

Another change to the Standards includes the removal of the Energy Efficiency section (see the Illustrated Guidelines below) and the inclusion of Guidance on Resilience to Natural Hazards.

Here are a few more helpful links to guidance from the Technical Preservation Services division of the Nation Park Service:

  • Preservation Briefs | These 49 whitepapers help to shed light on some of the more specific questions that might arise in historic rehabilitations from cleaning, repair, and substitute materials to seismic retrofits, lead-paint hazards, and graffiti removal.

  • Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings | Last updated in 1997, the pictures may be old but so are the buildings they discuss. This guide for rehabilitation treatments includes, among other things, a chapter on Energy Conservation.

  • Sustainability | The National Park Service has a whole webpage dedicated to preservation and sustainability. Check it out for subjects like energy efficiency in historic buildings, new technology and historic properties, sustainable prerservation in practice, and an interactive web feature on sustainability guidelines.

For guidance on how to apply the Standards to a specific project, contact our expert team.

Topics: National Park Service, Standards for Rehabilitation, Secretary of the Interior, Guidance

Mid-Year Review of State Historic Tax Credits

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Pizitz Building | Birmingham, AL

It's been a wild year for tax reform. It seems the concept has never been more popular. While we await what will unfold on the national stage, states have been wrapping up their 2017 sessions and debating the merits of their own tax credit programs. 

In the June 2017 issue of the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits, partner Bill MacRostie gives an update on some of the economic studies, the comebacks, and the changes that are shaping the state historic tax credit landscape. 

Read the full story here | 
Plenty of Activity Surrounding State HTC Programs


Topics: State HTC, Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits

The Historic Advisor | Spring 2017

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, May 25, 2017


Inside the issue

ProjectSuccess_2017Q2_banner.jpg  Working_2017Q2_banner.jpg  Awards_2017Q1_banner-1.jpg


Topics: The Historic Advisor, Historic Mills

Historic Tax Credit Legislative Update (from NTCIC)

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Friday, May 5, 2017

This update comes from Michael Phillips, Public Policy Manager at the National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC). 

The legislative environment in Washington has intensified as the Trump Administration moves past its 100th day in office. Today the House passed the American Health Care Act by vote of 217-213. If passed by the Senate, it could bring up to $1 trillion in baseline revenue, which would act as a partial offset to reducing the corporate tax rate.  Overcoming this legislative hurdle, even if the legislation fails to advance in the Senate, creates new momentum in the House to tackle tax reform legislation.

In the tax reform debate, attention shifted to the Administration on April 26th after the White House released its “Core Principles” for tax reform.  National Economic Council Director, Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, highlighted an aggressive cut to corporate and individual tax rates to encourage growth.  Beyond “Eliminat(ing) tax breaks for special interests,” the document provides few details about how the Administration would pay for its proposed rate cuts and is silent about how it would treat specific community development credits. The text of the White House document can be found at:

In the House and Senate, tax reform remains a critical priority. The Ways and Means Committee is continuing its lead role in developing legislative language for a tax reform bill. In late April, Republican members of the Committee participated in a retreat to find common ground on several outstanding questions that must be resolved before tax legislation moves forward.  Despite calls for greater leadership by the Senate to move the tax reform process forward and strong opposition by some Republican Senators to a House-devised Border Adjustment Tax, there has been little indication the Finance Committee is working quickly to assemble its own version of comprehensive tax reform.

Since the Administration announced it had pivoted its legislative priority to tax reform, there have been many statements about when legislation would be signed into law.  Details about the scope and structure of tax reform will be forthcoming, according to the Administration, but the window to complete tax reform appears to run between October 2017 and March of 2018. Many in Washington view the Administration’s statement of tax reform principles as the beginning of a negotiation process. 

The Administration’s engagement presents an important opportunity to advocate for the Historic Tax Credit with the House, Senate, and the Administration. Now is the time for stakeholders to engage and make the case for the HTC with Congress and the Administration. The future of the historic tax credit in tax reform will depend on the ability of advocates, both in DC and at home, to share the value and need for this economic development incentive. Please make plans to engage your member of congress on behalf of the HTC.


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Topics: policy, Advocacy, federal HTC