Chicago Vocational Career Academy Historic Structures Report and Preservation Plan

Chicago, IL

The Chicago Vocational Career Academy (CVCA) complex has been called a “Palace of Preparation,” containing an academic building, instructional shop wings and an associated 1943 airplane hangar. Upon completion in 1940, CVCA was placed into service to support the World War II effort before admitting its first full class of high school students in 1946.
As part of a multi-discipline team charged with the assessment and scope development for the anticipated $75M rehabilitation of the underutilized school, AltusWorks prepared a Historic Structure Report (HSR) summarizing the Orange-rated building’s local significance, historical context, condition of historic fabric, and character defining spaces, materials and features which were ranked based on their level of integrity. The report also included a preservation plan for the demolition of the Anthony Wing which was significantly deteriorated due to the proximity to the raised tollway. The plan suggested incorporating salvaged decorative architectural elements into the new exterior enclosure where the wing was removed from the main building to maintain the historic character. The HSR and preservation plan guided the design team during development of programming options and project budgets.
Chicago Vocational Career Academy, exterior façade
Chicago Vocational Career Academy, preservation plan