The tenth National Trust/HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation was awarded to the restored and revitalized Hilliard Homes, a modernistic public housing complex designed by renowned architect Bertrand Goldberg.
Hilliard Homes, completed in 1966 in downtown Chicago, is a well-known, cast concrete complex, located on a 12.5 acre site. It consists of two 22-story arc-shaped towers, two 16-story cylindrical towers, and a one-story community building surrounded by grounds and an open-air amphitheater. By the 1990s, Hilliard Homes had become dangerous, unsafe, and ill-managed. The $99.3 million rehabilitation effort was part of the city of Chicago's massive effort to improve the quality and culture of its public housing. Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation served as the main developer. Sources of financing included low-income housing and historic rehabilitation tax credits, Chicago Housing Authority's capital fund, a first mortgage issued by the Federal Housing Administration, and loans from the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, and the Federal Home Loan Bank. The restored complex contains 654 residential units, of which 305 are public housing with rent based on 30 percent of household income and 349 are affordable rental housing for low-income households. The two 22-story buildings provide family housing and the two 16-story buildings have senior housing. The community building, amphitheater, and landscaping were restored as part of the project for the use and enjoyment of the residents.
The project demonstrates the city of Chicago's commitment to the traditionally African-American neighborhoods of the South Side, and has encouraged the stabilization and reinvigoration of the area. Hilliard Homes is also notable as the only Chicago Housing Authority high-rise tower that has been listed as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, even though it is less than 50 years old.