MHA recently worked with Laborers' Home Development Corp. (LHDC) to rehabilitate and convert a 100-year-old former high school in Paris, Illinois into low-income senior housing. The $9.6 million project was funded through a combination of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and state and federal historic tax credits. In fact, Tiger Senior Apartments was one of the first projects awarded credits through Illinois' new state HTC program.
Paris High School was built in 1909, designed by Bloomington, Illinois architect Arthur Low Pillsbury in the Classical Revival style. In 1922, two new additions were constructed, also designed in the Classical Revival style by Arthur Pillsbury. In 1943, a new gymnasium in the Streamline Moderne style was attached to the rear of the high school.
More than half of the residents of the 42-unit property are former Paris High School students. In addition to the restored exterior, the returning residents will recognize the school's retained original interior details including blackboards, lockers, hardwood and terrazzo floors, tin ceilings, and wood doors and built-ins. The original gymnasium and auditorium are now gathering spaces for residents.
The property was redeveloped with a commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. As a result, the 64,000-square-foot property is now ADA compliant and meets all Fair Housing laws. Additionally, enhanced energy efficiency and sustainability goals were strategically aligned with preservation and rehabilitation efforts in order to achieve a Silver level National Green Building Standard Certification.
Landmarks Illinois | 2021 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse
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