Amanda Fuson

Master of Architecture

The focus of my practice is examining the nexus of historic preservation and affordable housing as a viable economic model for providing equitable housing for all and preserving the historic fabric of our neighborhoods. While over 75,000 people in Chicago are homeless, 65,000 buildings are reported vacant to the city. Community groups fight to preserve the historic fabric of their neighborhoods at risk of redevelopment. Buildings sit vacant while tens of thousands are without homes. While not every vacant building is appropriate for reuse, synthesizing the city’s housing needs and historic preservation goals demands our investigation as architects. The solution of adaptive reuse as a tool for providing equitable housing for all also provides a viable economic model for the preservation of our collective, built memory. The focus of my research is the adaptive reuse of vacant, historic buildings into reimagined Single Room Occupancies as a model of how existing, centralized neighborhood assets can become a tool for affordable housing.