NHLs are nationally significant historic places that possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Taking the perspective of a recent Archives sojourner, “this building is part and parcel to the social justice work we’re doing [and have historically done].” It is through the lens of our historical social justice engagement that the ICA is petitioning the Secretary of the Interior to designate the ICA GreenRise as a National Historic Landmark.
If granted NHL status, the ICA GreenRise would then be eligible to apply for National Treasure status. National Treasures are NHLs that are found to be endangered irreplaceable buildings, landscapes, and communities. The ICA GreenRise, built in 1921, is already a Chicago Landmark and is seeking to restore the building to its original condition through Historic and New Market Tax Credits.
Restoration will involve rehabilitating the main entrance, stairwell, elevator lobbies, and executive suites, and some of the infrastructure by combining original systems with innovative green technology. The building also has some deferred maintenance that would benefit from the preservation efforts of National Treasures status.
The historic social justice work that stemmed from the building is also linked to its future sustainability. Currently ICA GreenRise is in the process of embedding itself as a community sustainability ‘hub’ in the Northside of Chicago. The hub concept was created through the CSLN, and attempts to create decentralized spaces across the city for people to come learn skills and tools around sustainability.
ICA GreenRise is excited to announce the addition of Stone Soup, a housing cooperative with a mission around social justice and action, to our 5th floor. To welcome Stone Soup to the building programming staff organized a hub day around intentional communities. Four different intentional communities, including ICA GreenRise and Public Allies, Stone Soup, Benton House and Jesus People USA came together to learn from one another about the various forms of intentional community life. After a potluck meal, there was a lively World Café that centered around questions each of the communities were currently experiencing along with a bicycle maintenance and orgamizing (organizing through origami) workshops.