Police station in Chicago’s Boystown to become part of senior housing project

A former police station in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood is set to become part of a housing development serving gay seniors, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

For $1, the city is selling the old Town Hall District station, 3600 N. Halsted, to Heartland Housing Inc., which plans to incorporate it into a new construction project of about 90 lower-income apartments for seniors.

The Sun-Times said the project is a parting gift to the gay community from Mayor Richard Daley. The site lies within the heavily LGBT 44th Ward, which is represented on city council by the city’s first openly gay alderman, Tom Tunney.

Michael Goldberg, executive director of Heartland Housing, told the Sun-Times that the design is incomplete but “will preserve much of the exterior of the old Town Hall station and some interior features.” Constructed in 1907, the building is under consideration for landmark status, which probably would be granted under the deal.

The project also will include ground-level commercial space. The strategy of preserving a historic building façade and including commercial space was used successfully in building the Center on Halsted, Chicago’s LGBT community center. Located next door to the senior housing project, the Center on Halsted will provide social services to its senior residents.

Four months ago, at a Center on Halsted event for then-mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel, Tunney talked about the irony of turning a police station that once epitomized the tensions between police and the gay community into a housing project that will benefit gay seniors, said the Sun-Times.

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