Gwendolyn Place, Phase C3 Legends South, Wins Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Award

Gwendolyn Place, a mixed-income, mixed-finance affordable housing community located on Chicago’s South Side has been recognized for excellence by The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition as part of its 2016 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Awards program.
The awards, presented June 8 at a ceremony held on Capitol Hill with members of Congress as invited guests, celebrate the best in affordable rental housing development by recognizing outstanding properties in several categories. Read more on The Michaels Organization website here.


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109 E 43rd Street. Photo Credit: David Schalliol


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4333 S Michigan Avenue. Photo Credit: David Schalliol

Parkside of Old Town Wins Placemakers Award

Phase IIb at Parkside of Old Town, now Terrace 459, has been named one of the nation’s top recent developments by Real Estate Forum. The featured “placemaking” projects were largely selected based on the successful coordination and collaboration executed by each project team. View PDF announcement here.


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In place of isolated towers, the new public housing approach offers more housing options and access to more services and amenities by integrating public housing into neighborhoods through mixed-income, lower density development.  A large challenge in building mixed-income housing has been working with limited government subsidies and funding programs while still addressing needs and desires of a mixed-income population. On the site of former Cabrini-Green, Terrace 459 at Parkside of Old Town was able to overcome these challenges through the work of a team long-experienced in designing and building mixed-income and affordable housing projects and by bringing residents, consultants, and the general contractor to the table at the earliest stages. The result is a project that reflects its urban condition and asks to be part a city available to everyone regardless of income.


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Photo credits: David Schalliol


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Photo credit: David Schalliol
Project Team:
Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. (developer)
Cabrini Green Local Advisory Council (development partner)
Linn-Mathes, Inc (contractor)
Landon Bone Baker Architects (architects)
McKay Landscape Architects (landscape)
Prism Engineering (civil)
C.E. Anderson & Anderson (structural)
Spancrete (precast concrete)
Lehman Design Consultants, Inc. (MEP)


Corporation for Supportive Housing Summit

The 2016 Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) Summit, “Housing as a Platform,” took place last week here in Chicago. The 3-day event focused on the most pressing topics for supportive housing today, and aimed to bring more dialog and collaboration to solutions that could improve the lives of the most vulnerable and maximize public resources to build healthy communities.


Harvest Commons Apartments. Photo credit: Wayne Cable Photography


Jeff Bone was among the panel of speakers at Friday’s breakout session, “Supportive Housing Design and Construction,” which gave insight to the design and construction of supportive housing through the presentation of real projects with real budgets. Speakers included Mike Newman (Shed Studio), Bob Mates (Linn-Mathes Construction), Susan King (Harley Ellis Devereaux), Larry Pusateri  (Lightengale Group), and Nadia Underhill (Heartland Alliance Housing).


Together with Nadia Underhill, Jeff walked through the formation of Harvest Commons Apartments, a historical preservation and sustainability project that incorporates 89 Single Resident Occupancy (SRO) units with unique supportive housing services—such as an urban farm, teaching kitchen, and social enterprise café—to help the formerly homeless build healthy, active lifestyles while remaining stably housed.


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Urban Farming at Harvest Commons Apartments. Photo credit: Wayne Cable Photography


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Social Enterprise Cafe. Photo credit: Leslie Schwartz



Planting Planning Session at Harvest Commons Apartments. Photo credit: Shane Welch Photography



Harvest Commons Apartments Resident. Photo credit: Shane Welch Photography

A Tiny Home Community for Chicago

“What struck me is that everyone I went to about this…no one said this can’t be done. No one said it’s impossible. It’s a matter of solving a series of challenges and problems.”
– Eithne McManamin, Tiny Homes Summit, April 2016
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At the recent ‘Tiny Homes Summit,’ Jeff Bone and Eithne McMenamin presented their planned development for a Tiny Homes community in Chicago. The project aims to be a case study for Tiny House development in Chicago.


“We have spent a number of meetings with the city. Our goal was to really do something. We realized right off the bat that we needed to meet with the City, select a property, and make a proposal that they could react to.”  – Jeff Bone, Tiny Homes Summit, April 2016


Together with communities, advocates, and city officials, the team hopes to overcome some of the challenges currently preventing Tiny Homes from being built, like Chicago’s building and zoning codes and a lack of community acceptance.


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Watch their presentation to the Summit for a look into the project and how Tiny Houses can address larger issues of social justice and housing stability.


You can find the full lineup of ‘Tiny Homes Summit’ videos here.


The goal of the Tiny Homes Summit hosted by The Pride Action Tank—a project of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago—the Windy City Times, and lead sponsor Polk Bros. Foundation alongside UIC’s Gender and Sexuality Center and The Alphawood Foundation was to determine what is possible in Chicago and to take deliberate steps toward making a tiny homes community in the city a reality. See


Terrace 459 at Parkside of Old Town Opens, providing more affordable housing options for individuals and families

“To build a community, you have to do it from the inside out. And, you have to start with people. This means that we must make more than a bricks-and-mortar commitment. It means that we must all make a commitment to work together to make a difference in the city.”   – Peter Holsten, President, Holsten Real Estate
Parkside of Old Town’s 459 Terrace (phase 2b) is the latest development in the revitalization of Cabrini-Green. As a part of the Chicago Housing Authority’s “Plan for Transformation,” Parkside of Old Town shifts the old public housing model to a mixed-income strategy. At places like Cabrini Green, people were cut off. Physically and psychologically, they were a city apart. The new apartment buildings aim to eliminate those barriers through lower-density development, greater income diversity among tenants, and amenities that attract residents across a broad range.


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Terrace 459 consists of three building styles: mid-rise, townhomes, and city flats. Image courtesy David Schalliol.


landon bone baker architects were fortunate to work with mission-based developer holsten real estate development corp. and the cabrini green l.a.c. to create a design centered on improving the quality of people’s lives and the neighborhood they call home.


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By partnering early on with the contractor, Linn-Mathes, and precast consultant, Spancrete, LBBA was able to devise a precast concrete panel that complimented the mid-rise program and unit layouts, while creating a building massing sensitive to pedestrians. The design articulates the flexibility and adaptability of the module.



Once fully planted, the interior courtyard, designed by McKay Landscape Architects, will connect neighbors while delineating more private spaces for residents.



Holsten Real Estate Development Corp., Cabrini Green Local Advisory Council, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Housing Authority, Congressman Danny Davis, and Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr., cut the ribbon on Terrace 459.


Client: Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation and the Cabrini Green Local Advisory Council
Contractor: Linn-Mathes, Inc.
McKay Landscape Architects (landscape)
Prism Engineering (civil)
C.E. Anderson & Anderson (structural)
Spancrete (precast concrete)
Lehman Design Consultants, Inc. (MEP)


Read the City of Chicago’s Press Release here.


Last night (and a day early), we hosted our first “on the table” to discuss ways to expand cityLab, our 6-week summer program that hires high school students to engage communities and inform projects through research. We were honored to be in such talented company, and look forward to furthering the conversation. Special thanks to Chicago Community Trust for organizing this city-wide event. Learn more and host your own at


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Winning Tiny Homes Entry Comes to Life

As first place winners of the Tiny Homes Competition, Terry “Vic” Howell, Marty Sandberg, and Lon Stousland worked with Price Construction to realize a prototype of their design, which is on view this week at UIC’s campus. Visitors were able to tour the model home in conjunction with the Tiny Homes Summit through efforts of both Summit and Competition sponsors. See design entry here.


left to right: terry “vic” howell, marty sandberg, lon stousland





Tiny Homes Summit to Address Youth Homelessness

Jeff and Catherine are among the 50 leading experts speaking at the upcoming “Tiny Homes Summit: New Solutions for Youth Homelessness” next week at UIC’s campus. This two-day event will focus on creative solutions to youth homelessness, estimated to be more than 20,000 in Chicago, through the lens of the Tiny Homes movement. Covering everything from research and statistics, current practices, funding, policy, planning, service, civic and social issues, case studies, and next steps, learn how Tiny Homes can provide dignified housing with services and resources for those seeking a path to independent living.
At the Tiny Homes Summit, you’ll also be able to tour the model home designed by the winners of the Tiny Home Competition and built by Price Construction. On Tuesday, join Jeff Bone and Eithne McMenamin as they present St. Paul’s United Church of Christ’s plan for a Tiny Homes development on the north side of Chicago. Immediately following, Lee Bey will be moderating a panel discussion on the Design on Tiny Homes with Catherine Baker and the three winners of the Tiny Homes Competition. 


April 18+19
Student Center East
750 S. Halsted, Chicago
3rd Floor Conference Center
See the full schedule here, and register today!
The Pride Action Tank, a project of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and the Windy City Times, along with lead sponsor Polk Bros. Foundation, joined by UIC’s Gender and Sexuality Center, AIA Chicago, and Alphawood Foundation, are summit hosts. Tracy Baim, publisher of Windy City Times and co-chair of the Pride Action Tank, is chairperson of the summit.


Sounding off in Springfield

LBBA’s Terran Wilson and Emma Jasinski bused down to Springfield last week with other Chicago architects, landscape architects, and structural engineers for AIA’s annual event, Prairie Grassroots. The event, started in 2005, brings architects together with our representatives so that we may lobby for bills and policies pertinent to the field.

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In addition to the issues that AIA set to advocate, Terran and Emma talked to Illinois Housing Council and added a few issues of their own that focus on rental housing insecurity and affordable housing financing. Notably, they asked for their representatives Edward Acevedo and Will Guzzardi to support bill LIHTC Rate Increase (US SB 1442), which would finance 400,000 new affordable housing units over the next decade. As 1 in 4 renters pay more than half their income to housing and the number of extremely low-income families and the number of homeless individuals have increased over recent years, the passing of this bill will help alleviate the housing crisis and provide options for those facing homelessness.

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Terran, who is reporting LBBA’s commitment to AIA 2030, asked for the re-opening of the Solar and Wind Energy Rebate program, which was suspended this year due to the State budget crisis. As part of the AIA 2030 Commitment, we are seeing that reducing buildings’ energy consumption to net zero is going to be impossible without on-site energy production. Developers have very limited budgets, so financial incentives would ensure more energy producing measures in their developments.

Many of the legislators were surprised and unaware that aspiring architects are at risk of not receiving their license because of $6,500 unpaid debt to the national certification board. In addition to this pressing issue in our field, AIA Illinois also asked for the opposition of bills ‘Small Project Threshold Increase/Architect Selection (HB 5595)’ and ‘Procurement Priorities (SB 2400/HB 4644)’ which would bypass qualified Architecture and Engineering firms during a public project’s procurement process and reduce equal opportunities for those in our profession.

Representative Acevedo and Representative Guzzardi were both receptive and eager to discuss ways in which architects can take an active role in addressing district issues and opportunities for positive collaboration.

Left to right: Chyanne Husar, Alex Acevedo, Emma Jasinski, Representative Edward Acevedo, and Tina Wong.

Construction Season in Bloom! 

Nelson Mandela Apartments are growing in East Garfield Park.

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