Lathrop Community Partners, a collaboration between Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, Heartland Housing, and Related Midwest, has partnered with the Chicago Housing Authority to lead a multi-year, multi-phase revitalization of the historic Julia C. Lathrop Homes development on Chicago’s Northwest side. Situated between the Bucktown and Roscoe Village neighborhoods, Lathrop Homes is a 34-acre site bordered by the Chicago River, Diversey Parkway, and Clybourn and Damen streets. The redeveloped Lathrop Homes will be a mixed-income, mixed-use community that will include public, affordable and market-rate housing along with significant green and open space.
The goal of the Lathrop Homes redevelopment team is to produce a model urban mixed-use community offering housing that is affordable to families across a broad income spectrum. The development team’s intention is to create a diverse, connected neighborhood with recreation, parks, community space and retail. The Lathrop revitalization includes 1,116 residential units in three phases. Many of the existing structures will be historically preserved and restored. The development will include homes for public housing residents, households that qualify for affordable housing, and market-rate residents. All residents, regardless of income, will live in apartments with identical floor plans and stylish finishes, and washer/dryers will be included in every home.
The scenery outside the buildings, designed by legendary landscape architect Jens Jensen, will be fully rehabilitated and updated by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh (MVVA)– including an iconic swath of green space known as the Great Lawn. MVVA recently completed Maggie Daley Park and the 606 trail, both in Chicago. In addition, Lathrop’s relationship to its waterfront will be completely rediscovered. The current configuration of Lathrop largely turns its back on the Chicago River, which borders the site to the west and south but provides little pedestrian access or recreational amenities. The revitalization will embrace the shoreline with the installation of a riverwalk – equipped with a kayak launch – that will serve as a community mecca and a natural oasis.