Schools to Residential: Motley School Apartments

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow
Slider

SCHOOLS TO RESIDENTIAL: MOTLEY SCHOOL APARTMENTS


HISTORIC LANDMARK

Built in 1884 for the Chicago Board of Education, the Motley School is a historic four-story brick and wood building whose former classrooms, offices, and gymnasium have been converted to 34 residential apartments. Originally designed by architect John Flanders, the school’s ornate masonry facade, metal cornice, wood floors, millwork cabinets, chalkboards, and trimwork have been meticulously repaired and refinished. Together with the high ceilings and oversized windows, these fully renovated apartments retain the vintage schoolhouse charm while providing energy efficiency, security, and comforts of a state-of-the-art apartment. A dramatic skyline roof deck, private outdoor yards, independently controlled HVAC, available indoor parking, accessory storage, package valet, and pet-friendly apartments are among the available amenities of the Motley School Apartments.


CHALLENGES

In 2013, the City of Chicago sold to the highest bidder the closed Motley School after hosting a community review process to determine an acceptable new use. A multi-family use coupled to historic preservation of the building generates substantial income for the City in the form of purchase price, jobs to minority and Chicago resident workers and suppliers, contributes to the City’s Open Space fund for public parks and provides ongoing tax revenue. Rejuvenation of a neighborhood icon, landscaping of the street and returning of an abandoned building to productive use are among the many benefits to the public.


EXEMPLARY PRESERVATION

The project salvaged and reused a substantial amount of the building components and historic fabric in order to maintain its original identity. The development team salvaged cabinets, doors, slate chalkboards, principals office files, windows and even the maintenance shop’s original maple workbench. Re-purposed discarded elements from other period schools was sought incorporated for period authenticity and material matches.

BEFORE


AFTER


RELATED NEWS + INSIGHTS

Schools to Residential: Peabody School Apartments

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow
Slider

SCHOOL TO RESIDENTIAL: PEABODY SCHOOL APARTMENTS


HISTORIC LANDMARK

The Elizabeth Peabody Public School was designed by the Chicago Board of Education architect W. August Fiedler and constructed in 1894. The 15-room, three-story building raised over a basement stands out for its intricate details utilizing stone, brick, terra cotta, and decorative metal in the Romanesque Revival / Classical Revival style and is a noteworthy example of Chicago’s public school architecture in the late 1800s.


EXEMPLARY PRESERVATION

Following the closure of several Chicago Public Schools in 2013, Peabody School was sold through a public auction with a redevelopment plan to transform the historic structure into 23 apartments with a rooftop deck. The renovation encompassed the preservation and repair of the building’s facade, cornice, interior trim, and built-ins, including the refurbishment of various school furniture, chalkboards, and cabinets. Apartments are enhanced with a multitude of recycled materials sourced from the school to retain the historic character of the original use. Infrastructure modernization included the complete replacement of the mechanical systems and components to ensure energy efficiency. Additionally, a new deck was added at the roof level to be used as an amenity space for the residents. The existing stairs were repaired and extended to reach the roof, and a new elevator was installed to provide access to all levels of the building.

BEFORE

 


AFTER


RELATED NEWS + INSIGHTS

80 Rainey Project Progress

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow
Slider

PROJECT PROGRESS AT PASEO: A 48-STORY MIXED-USE RESIDENTIAL TOWER IN AUSTIN, TEXAS


The Paseo at 80 Rainey is designed with Austin's Rainey Street neighborhood character in mind, known for its bars, eateries, and nightlife. The project reimagines an infill site along Rainey Street, previously used as a food truck lot, into a high-rise mixed-use tower designed in such a way as to invite and engage the public. Ground-floor retail and alcoves planned into the building’s street frontage create social space and allow for a sidewalk cafe culture. Two historic bungalows are preserved and incorporated into the site plan with a landscaped walkway that acts as a connection point for pedestrians to safely traverse from Rainey Street to the riverfront trails and park to the west.

A contextual planning approach, and a sensitive yet bold architectural vocabulary, shape this project into the heart of Austin's growing community. Masonry brickwork encapsulating the building podium engages local masons to further connect the building to its setting and reaffirm its sense of place in the neighborhood. The residential tower above the garage podium extends the project’s themes with mixed aesthetics that echo the dynamic collection of commercial activities on Rainey Street. Residential amenity levels atop the podium are arranged in staggered tiers that seem to organically erode into the building mass.

 

Project Team: David A. HaymesJeff Renterghem, Greg Klosowski (PM), Javier Ortiz, Sofia Ramos, Michael Henning, Peter Evanich

 


September 2023 - Building podium starts to fill out at Paseo!


February 2023 - Groundbreaking Event

The much-anticipated groundbreaking ceremony for Paseo, a 48-story mixed-use tower rising over Rainey Street in Austin, Texas, took place on February 28th. LV Collective, the developer of this exciting project, is bringing 557 apartments and two levels of retail to the popular Austin neighborhood. The project also includes an above-ground parking garage, an impressive 34,000 sq ft of building amenities, and the preservation of two existing bungalows on the site. The event was a festive occasion with live music and barbecue that bespeaks the vibrant culture of the Rainey district.

The project was carefully thought out to complement and enrich the neighborhood's character while providing a new residential and social hub for the community. The building’s overall design emphasizes vibrance and openness throughout. Renderings show a dynamic ground floor façade with lush landscaping that beckons passersby into the space while maintaining energy along the street. Tenants enter the building along Rainey Street through an inviting lobby, which serves as the first glimpse into the building's remarkable living experience.

Above, the parking garage boasts a sleek and minimal appearance with a plant-lined masonry facade. The residential tower features patterned glass and protruding balconies that echo the dynamic atmosphere of Rainey Street. A series of staggered setbacks atop the parking podium open up to an amenity deck that offers more vertical clear space and incredible panoramic views of the city and Lady Bird Lake.

The Paseo is set to complete in 2025.


January 2023 - Construction Commences at Paseo on Rainey Street


November 2021 - Design Coordination at PH with Landscape Architect, TBG Partners!

 


2021 - Project Reveal

Project Goals

- Adhere to the current Rainey district feel and story by providing community spaces for pedestrians
- Provide 10% on-site affordable housing
- Preserve two existing bungalow homes and incorporate them into the new site plan
- Activate the entire Rainey Street frontage
- Connect Rainey Street to the Alley and be a catalyst for future connection of Rainey district to the riverfront trails and the future expansion of the Mexican American cultural center
- Reduce vehicle traffic loads on Rainey Street by moving vehicular access, loading, and pick-up away from the street
- Preserve most of the existing trees on site
- Improve pedestrian experience by providing additional shading, planting oversized trees in front of the property

 

City Context

Austin’s Rainey District is defined by a series of bungalows that have been converted into restaurants and bars over time. The street as a result has become a dynamic nightlife hotspot for dining and entertainment. Rainey Street has recently started attracting urban dwellers due to its proximity to the city center as well as the Colorado River and the riverfront green space.

City Context Map by Landscape Architect, TBG Partners
Building Context Diagram

 

Existing Site Conditions

The site currently operates as a food truck lot and is occupied by two bungalows which currently operate as bars.

Existing Site Conditions by Landscape Architect, TBG Partners

 

Site Plan

Facing the street will be various retail and restaurants while the preserved bungalows will provide additional use as commercial space. Between the main building and the bungalows will be a landscaped garden and walkway connecting Rainey Street to the riverfront park and trails.

Site Plan by Landscape Architect, TBG Partners

 

Human Experience Vignette - Public Realm

Rendering by Landscape Architect, TBG Partners
Rendering by Landscape Architect, TBG Partners
Rendering by Landscape Architect, TBG Partners

RELATED NEWS + INSIGHTS

An Urban Project: 465 North Park

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow
Slider

AN URBAN PROJECT: 465 NORTH PARK


Three key factors needed to be addressed at the site of 465 North Park: the built environment, the natural environment, and the social context. The project is sited in the city’s prestigious Streeterville neighborhood at the gateway to one of Chicago’s most famous tourist destinations, Navy Pier. The city block that the building is located borders the Chicago River to the South, Lake Michigan and the Ogden Slip to the East, and North Columbus Drive, one of nine routes that link the northern and southern halves of the city, flanks the block to the West. Surrounding the site is historic architecture and commercial buildings, including the modern Loews Tower and the Chicago Tribune Tower whose view corridor restricted the height of construction on the southern portion of the site.

“The elegantly curved facades of the elliptical towers provide visual relief (as opposed to harsh corners) by opening up sightlines past the building in all directions towards iconic buildings (built environment) and towards the lake (natural environment).” - Christopher Chiu

The chosen plan was one derived from an overlay of three ellipses. Christopher Chiu, who was an integral part of the CD and CA stages of the project, remarks, “the elegantly curved facades of the elliptical towers provide visual relief (as opposed to harsh corners) by opening up sightlines past the building in all directions towards iconic buildings (built environment) and towards the lake (natural environment).” This approach engaged the rectangular Loews Tower as a more organic counterpart. Its slender profile pushed to the corner made 465 North Park seem the taller of the pair from some angles. The elliptical plans were overlaid and canted in a way that conserves the Tribune Tower’s sightlines, allows for sweeping panoramic views in all directions, and admits natural light across the entire depth of the floor plates. The full-height window walls reflect the immediate context, thereby further reducing the appearance of a visual obstruction when viewed from the exterior.

At a social level, 465 North Park receives heavy foot traffic from those who work in the city as well as tourists. With the north facade of the building base making up a part of the street wall that leads to Navy Pier, there was an opportunity for visual as well as physical interaction between the building and the pedestrians. The elliptical form of the tower flows down to the front, southwest corner of the site, allowing the tower to engage the street and bring focus to the first floor retail spaces. The tower masses are thoughtfully pulled back from the property lines above the 4-story podium to divert its imposing height from the street level. An internal parking lot rising five stories inside the core is screened from view by residential units wrapping the lower floors along the two primary street fronts. Heather Faircloth designed the laminated dwellings on the face of the garage podium which both hides the parking garage and creates active space above the retail that further strengthens the urban connection. The 2-story loft-style townhome units just under the 6th-floor amenity deck are high enough off the ground to reduce noise from the city and still enjoy people watching on the street below. These units at the base of the building are some of the most expensive and sought-after rentals in the development.

Exchanges within the building mass are also treated as an extension of the social context. Interaction is encouraged through the open floor plans of the nearly one acre of interior and exterior amenity spaces spread over three different levels. The amenity spaces include lounges in both expansive and intimate settings, a business center, conference room, demonstration kitchen and dining room, swimming pool, and lushly landscaped gardens. Replete with high-end finishes and details, Christopher Chiu notes how "the amenity draws residents to linger, socialize or explore while soaking up the views on all sides.” Despite the sprawling size of the main amenity deck on the 6th floor, residents get a sense of being cradled inside the urban context with a direct connection to the city. The niche dining and grilling stations, fire pits and planters scattered throughout the amenity decks also provide semi-confined spaces for smaller-scale interactions without giving up the views.


RELATED NEWS + INSIGHTS

PH Projects Along Chicago’s Popular 606 Trail

Slider

PH PROJECTS ALONG CHICAGO'S POPULAR 606 TRAIL


Summer is in full swing and Chicago's 606 Trail is once again a popular course for runners, bikers, and those looking for a place to walk off a big meal from one of the many trendy restaurants in the area. PH has been involved in the transformation of the Wicker Park neighborhood since long before the 606 Trail opened in 2015 and it's incredible to see how much (or little) has changed over time! Check out the Google Maps below to see the PH project locations!


RELATED NEWS + INSIGHTS

1847 N Humboldt Project Highlight

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow
Slider

CENTURY-OLD CHURCH TRANSFORMED INTO ONE-OF-A-KIND APARTMENTS


Churches regularly dot the corners along historic Humboldt Boulevard, yet rarely are they found mid-block as is the church serving as the anchor for this project. The unique siting of 1847 N. Humboldt presented a challenge - how to preserve the valuable character and architectural integrity of a neighborhood landmark and transform it into a modern residential building - all while working within the constraints of the site's infill location mid-block.

The site previously had a parking lot on the boulevard which, in effect, was a visual missing tooth along the otherwise uniform street-wall of residential buildings lining the block. One of the first moves was to relocate parking to the alley which then made it possible for a new addition to close this gap at the street. The reimagined structure is in three parts. The first being the former church structure which contains 6 dwellings. The second, a new annex in the place of the parking lot, matches the setback of the church's facade and adds an additional 9 units. The third, a glassy central spine, set-back slightly from the others, serves as both the main entry as well as primary circulation for the residents.

Visually, the church is the focus, with the annex serving as a strong, quiet partner. The form of the annex takes its cues from the proportion and rhythm found at the church, but the detailing is simplified and it utilizes darker, more uniform materials in order to highlight the lighter, more ornate limestone facade of the church. The light-filled spine allows all residents to benefit from the character of the church - as it’s located along the church wall, with exposed stained glass and views along the church’s side facade from all levels. A window on the third floor facing the rear, along with the double-height glazing at the front washes the vaulted space with natural light and views from both directions.

Project Architect: Jon Young


RELATED NEWS + INSIGHTS

Flats on Federal Project Progress

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow
Slider

ARMOUR INSTITUTE ADAPTIVE REUSE PROJECT PROGRESS


Armour Institute is the iconic red brick building that can be seen from the I-90 Expressway just before entering downtown Chicago from the south. Opened in 1893, the historic building would eventually become a part of the renowned Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT, Illinois Tech) campus where it continued to serve administrative duties until being closed in 2007. The Armour Institute of Technology began as a manual training school teaching under one roof architecture, engineering, industrial arts, physical ed, and the nation's first fire protection engineering courses, resulting in a structure as varied as its curriculum. In 2017, private developers purchased the building with a plan to convert the building for residential use. New fire protection systems, masonry repairs, and structural reinforcing are a part of the program for building wide repairs and upgrades. Upon completion, Armour Institute will adopt a new name, the Flats on Federal, and will include 102 market-rate and affordable units as wel as resident amenities. The Chicago Landmark building will continue to serve local residents and the IIT neighborhood as a viable housing option available to students and non-students alike.

Project Team: Kenneth DeMuth, Christopher Woodfin, Elliot Schwarz


May 6, 2021 - The Plan Review Committee of the Landmarks Division of the Department of Planning for the City of Chicago approves proposed plans for adaptive reuse of the former Armour Institute building.

Armour Institute


January 15, 2021 - "Before" images


December 3, 2020 - Masonry repair work begins at Armour Institute

armour institute masonry work armour institute masonry work armour institute masonry work armour institute masonry work armour institute masonry work armour institute masonry work
Drone photography courtesy of Klein & Hoffman


RELATED NEWS + INSIGHTS

The Old Colony Building: Pushing The Limits Of Design

Slider

THE OLD COLONY BUILDING: PUSHING THE LIMITS OF DESIGN


PH Partner, Kenneth DeMuth, AIA, presented at the 50th Anniversary of CTBUH World Congress on October 31st, 2019, divulging historical details behind the inception of the Old Colony Building and its recent preservation efforts. Ken's full essay has been published in CTBUH's "First Skyscrapers Considerations of Critical Buildings and Technologies in Skyscraper History".

Abstract:
In 1891, several Chicago architects hastily designed 15 downtown office skyscrapers to beat a deadline for a surprise building height ordinance. Incredibly, Holabird & Roche (H&R) would design five over a single weekend, four of which were built, and three of which stand as landmarks today. Among these, the 17-story Old Colony Building (OCB) would stretch the limits of contemporary design and engineering expertise with raft foundations, lateral bracing, and height, thereby creating a template for the speculative office tower. High-rise evolution and the role played by skeletal framing is much celebrated, but less attention is given to other aspects such as soil engineering, wind bracing, component prefabrication, and the emerging role of the specialized engineering and construction techniques required to realize this evolving new archetypal form.

As a truly American invention, the modern business office tower pursued ever-increasing scale, efficiency, and innovation to become profitable and competitive in the rapidly expanding city centers. The scheme for OCB provided a footprint exceeding the lot area on the reasoning that the greater construction expense was justified by greater rents obtained. Reducing masonry weight by increasing glass areas allowed load-proportioned footings to carry a taller building, stiffened by a first-of-its-kind portal bracing system. Former bridge engineer Corydon Purdy nested Bessemer steel arches between prefabricated “Phoenix” columns, allowing the narrow 17-story structure to offer unimpeded floor layout plans while spreading overturning loads across the wide foundation mats. Repetitive, system-based structural components and innovations in masonry construction sequencing sped the construction process.


RELATED NEWS + INSIGHTS