Unlike many of the other buildings in the CHA Courts program, Archer Courts existed as a stable, clean and community–oriented development of working class, lower income and elderly residents. However, by 1999, Archer Courts had deteriorated to the point that some Chinatown community leaders wanted the buildings torn down. Rather than clearing the site and starting with a blank slate, as is so often the approach when dealing with older public housing projects, LBBA initiated designs for a renovation plan devised to reuse the old structures.
Primary elements of this renovation included interior unit rehabs, extensive landscaping, the addition of outdoor pavilions (‘leong-tengs’) to provide areas for meditation and the practice of Tai-Chi, new elevators and mechanical systems, a new Wellness Center to assist the elderly residents, and most strikingly, the addition of a glass curtain wall system to enclose the corridors and replace the open air corridor chain-link fencing.
Chinatown, Chicago, IL
Chicago Community Development Corporation
Burling Builders, Inc.
Raths, Raths & Johnson (Structural)
McKay Landscape Architects
Creative Systems Engineers (MEP)
Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design 2002
Distinguished Building Award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects 2002
Good Neighbor Awards 2001