LSSI Dedicates Spring Ridge Senior Housing Scrapbook

Members of the Rockford community, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) and new residents came together June 12, 2008, to celebrate the dedication of Spring Ridge Senior Housing.

“I don’t like being here – I love being here,” says Linda Wilson, a Spring Ridge resident who spoke at the dedication. “I feel like I have another family, and the staff people are tremendous.”

Betty Washington, another Spring Ridge resident, agrees, commenting, “I’m in seventh heaven. It’s a beautiful place. I feel at home already.”

Spring Ridge, a program of LSSI, is an apartment community for low-income seniors. It features 60 one-bedroom apartments that include a full kitchen with appliances, a visitor entry system and other amenities. The residential community, which cost $7.7 million to build, is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Spring Ridge does not look like a typical subsidized housing development. The building reflects the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie School of Architecture. Upon entering, residents and visitors find themselves in a cozy living room on the first floor, complete with a river rock fireplace and furnishings selected to reflect the building’s design. The lamps in the building’s community areas echo the design of a custom-designed stained glass window that hangs in the lobby, and wood trim throughout building is also reminiscent of Prairie School design.

“The Prairie School style lent itself ideally to the site, which is long and narrow, and located between commercial properties on one side and residential on the other,” says Kevin Hagemann, who, with Lisa Ingalls, oversees LSSI’s Affordable Housing program. “For us, Spring Ridge was a ‘dare to dream’ situation — how we could make this style of building affordable,” he adds.

The building was designed by Tyson and Billy Architects and constructed by John Fridh & Sons. Ron Billy, the architect, says, “It was an exciting project for us. We adapted details that Frank Lloyd Wright used in different homes into the design, such as a front door that is set on the side of the building.”

“Spring Ridge is truly a gem. This is the best project we’ve ever done for LSSI,” he adds.

Hagemann commented that while it was exciting to see the project come to completion, the most satisfying part of it was realizing that Spring Ridge will become home for many people. “That’s the most important thing to me,” he said. “And partnering with HUD has been a wonderful experience. They’re tremendously supportive of providing affordable housing for older adults and people with disabilities.”

For more information about Spring Ridge, call 815/397-4210, or click here.