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The National Park Service has listed the Lathrop Homes on the National Register of Historic Places!

Lathrop Photo

The National Park Service has listed the Lathrop Homes on the National Register of Historic Places! 

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) issued a press release today (April 30, 2012) to announce the news.  It's is a vindication for the Lathrop residents, alumni & allies who have campaigned for so many years to preserve Lathrop in both senses of the word -- to use historic preservation rehab in order to preserve Lathrop as housing for low-and moderate-income families.

The National Register listing does not directly protect Lathrop from demolition like City of Chicago landmark status would.  Demolition is still a serious threat.

But the listing:

  • makes Lathrop eligible for federal Historic Rehab Tax Credits, which could fund up to 20 percent of the revitalization of Lathrop (if the Revitalization Plan for Lathrop includes substantial preservation).
  • provides federal recognition of Lathrop's architecture, landscape and historical significance.
  • requires CHA to protect all of Lathrop's buildings from deterioration during the planning process.
  • requires CHA to keep HUD and IHPA informed -- throughout the planning process -- about any steps or changes that could impact full or partial preservation.
  • requires CHA to submit the final plan for Lathrop to the federal government's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for review.

 The Logan Square Neighborhood Association and the Lathrop Leadership Team are grateful to Landmarks Illinois and public housing historian Elizabeth Milnarik for nominating Lathrop for the listing.

This is a moment to savor, but our fight goes on.  CHA must change its development guidelines for Lathrop to eliminate market-rate development and maximize public and affordable housing.  CHA must improve the quality of life for current residents and unfreeze leasing, using vacant units to house 'Right to Return' families who want to return now.  And CHA's revitalization plan for Lathrop must include a plan to replace all 925 of Lathrop's public housing units -- on site and in the surrounding North Side communities.

Keywords: CHA, Elizabeth Milnarik, HUD, IHPA, Landmarks Illinois, Lathrop, Lathrop Homes, right to return

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