The Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments were constructed in 1929 in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood by Julius Rosenwald, then president of Sears, Roebuck & Co. to provide decent, affordable housing for the working class African-American community. The complex became known as “The Rosenwald” in the neighborhood and was called home by many legends in Chicago’s African-American community, including Nat “King” Cole, Gwendolyn Brooks, Joe Louis, and Quincy Jones. Since 1999, the complex sat vacant and fell into disrepair. On September 30, 2016, Developers and City Leaders celebrated the $132 million restoration and reopening of Rosenwald Court Apartments.
The eight building, Arts & Crafts era complex has been historically restored and renovated with 239 apartments, ground floor retail spaces, a 2-acre landscaped courtyard, and includes a full range of resident amenities. The development offers affordable and senior housing units.
Powers & Sons was part of the construction team selected to renovate Rosenwald Courts Apartments. Our project team was led by Claude Powers (Project Executive), Dan O’Laughlin (Senior Project Manager), Henry Taylor (Project Superintendent), and Jeremy Booker (Project Engineer).
Powers & Sons restored the original construction including all interior finishes to 33 walk-up units in the three historical flats located on 46th and Michigan. The apartments are two bedrooms, 1.5 baths and approximately 900 – 1,383 square feet. Each includes granite countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, hardwood flooring and black appliances. Original woodwork and casework are featured throughout the buildings. This included preserving original entry lobbies, wood staircases, wood trim, and fireplaces.
The redevelopment was made possible with the support of the City of Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority. “Thanks to a strong partnership and commitment to creating strong, stable neighborhoods, we are bringing back a historic property to Bronzeville and providing quality, affordable housing in the way this building did when it was first built almost 90 years ago,” Chicago Housing Authority CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. said.
More than a dozen financing sources came together to fund the project which included tax exempt bonds, historic tax credits, low income housing tax credits, Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits, TIF, NSP funds, and private loans. Rosenwald Courts Apartments is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.