“A shuttered 1920s terra cotta building and a vacant former Chicago police impound lot will be transformed into neighborhood hubs of healthy living, health care, nutrition, urban farming, a recycling enterprise and more under a resident-driven development plan for the Auburn Gresham community.
“The $52.8 million plan, ‘Always Growing, Auburn Gresham,’ on Thursday was awarded $10 million by the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, securing the first Chicago Prize, a new grant that supports projects that spur economic development and improve well-being and safety on Chicago’s under-resourced South and West sides.
“For Carlos Nelson, the redevelopment of the shuttered 1920s building, at 79th and Halsted streets, symbolizes the transformation of a community.
“A building at 839 W. 79th St. is shown Aug. 6, 2020, in the Auburn Gresham community. The Pritzker Traubert Foundation awarded a $10 million Chicago Prize to the group to turn the shuttered 1920s terra cotta building into a healthy living hub.
“‘Seventy-ninth and Halsted, with this four-story (building) sitting ominously vacant, has become the background of our community,’ said Nelson, the CEO of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, a partner in the project. “What this means for me is we are now able to hope. It literally provides hope to youngsters, families and seniors who have endured decades of disinvestment and blight.” (Sweeney, 8/6/20)
Preservation Chicago encourages ownership and City of Chicago to seek a Chicago Landmark Designation for this historic building. This could be considered as an individual Chicago Landmark or as part of a larger Auburn Gresham Landmark District.