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The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project

The Charles H. Shaw Technology and Learning Center is a dramatic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the Power House facility of the original Sears, Roebuck and Co. world headquarters in the North Lawndale community. In August of 2009, the building welcomed the students of Henry Ford Academy: Power House High, a public charter high school affiliated with the Henry Ford Learning Institute of Dearborn, MI.

By preserving historic elements of the old power plant, including some of the equipment that produced power for the sprawling Sears complex, the Homan Arthington Foundation created a living laboratory and a unique learning environment. Power House High is not only preparing students for their careers, but is inspiring them through daily contact with compelling architecture and the remnants of the building’s power-generating past. In addition, the building provides community space so that all of Homan Square has access to this piece of the neighborhood’s history.

From its multi-layered financing to its careful combination of historic preservation and green elements, the Charles H. Shaw Learning Center epitomizes creative problem solving and thoughtful design. For transforming a vacant building into a unique and innovative educational environment while maintaining its historic integrity and incorporating sustainable design elements, the Homan Arthington Foundation is the winner of the 2010 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project.