MHA Project The Carling Wins 2019 Chicago Neighborhood Development Award

On May 9th, 2019, the 2019 Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA) honored those who have made a difference in Chicago neighborhoods in 2018. This year marked the 25th CNDA, and the architects Landon Bone Baker Architects received the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design for the Carling Hotel, a project MacRostie Historic Advisors consulted on. The award celebrates thoughtful and successful design for low- to moderate- income populations that addresses a neighborhood need while remaining sensitive to the character and context of the surrounding built environment.

Landon Bone Baker Architects were faced with the task of preserving the historic character of the neglected Carling Hotel while modernizing the original 155-room SRO into 80 affordable apartments. Each apartment includes a small kitchen and private bathroom. The building’s MEP system was updated to contemporary standards. Historic features such as the decorative exterior masonry, arched doorways, and terrazzo flooring were preserved.

The Carling Hotel redevelopment, led by affordable housing developer The Michaels Organization, marked an important step in the reuse of the historic Single-Room-Occupancy (SRO) buildings in Chicago. Once a prominent form of affordable housing in Chicago that had fallen out of favor, SRO buildings are receiving renewed attention in the city as an important component of the history of affordable living that are worthy of preserving. A Multiple Properties Documentation Form (MPDF) on Residential Hotels in Chicago from 1880-1930 was written by Ramsey Historic Consultants, Inc. and financed by The Michaels Organization, helping the project receive federal historic tax credits. The project was also financed through Chicago’s Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) Preservation Ordinance. The MPDF and SRO Preservation Ordinance will aid in the future conservation of affordable housing through preservation of other historic Chicago SROs.

There was a first-place tie for the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, which was also won by Landon Bone Baker Architects for City Gardens. MHA would like to congratulate Landon Bone Baker Architects for receiving the award and the entire project team for the successful rehabilitation of the Carling Hotel!