HUMBOLDT PARK — One of Humboldt Park’s oldest social service organizations is a winner of this year’s slate of Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards.
The Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp. was awarded a Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award for renovation of a 29-unit apartment building credited as a “masterful how-to model” for “second chances” in community development.
The award is one of eight given to nonprofit organizations across Chicago to honor their achievements in community development and architectural design. More than 1,400 developers, business leaders, neighborhood advocates and elected officials, gathered for the 21st annual award ceremony Feb. 17 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan Ave.
Bickerdike was awarded for saving the HUD-owned building at 1704 N. Humboldt Blvd. from demolition in 1985 and converting its 54 studios into 29 affordable housing units. Bickerdike CEO Joy Aruguete explains more about Bickerdike's history and mission in a video for the awards ceremony.
The building has since seen removal of lead and asbestos along with rewiring throughout, according to Local Initiatives Support Corporation. New amenities include Energy Star windows, appliances and fixtures, air conditions, high efficiency heating, water-saving fixtures and solar hot water, among others.
The work is part of Bickerdike’s commitment to “providing high quality affordable housing, struggling against gentrification and displacement, promoting economic development by creating and preserving jobs, and advocating for additional resources” in West Town, Humboldt Park, Logan Square and Hermosa, according to its website.
“Typical of Bickerdike, the work was accomplished primarily with local labor via its Humboldt Construction Company,” according to the LISC. “Tenant dislocation was minimized and a Community Advisory Board including tenants assists with management.”
Other winners of the 2015 awards include Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, Thresholds, the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, and Skilken and Troy Enterprises.
“The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards celebrate what truly makes our city great — the passion, creativity and diversity of our community development leaders,” said LISC Chicago Executive Director Susana Vasquez. “This year’s recipients have all made dramatic contributions to the economic, social and cultural life of the communities they serve — from inspirational buildings to dedicated organizations and developing leaders, CNDA honors everything that makes Chicago neighborhoods thrive.”
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