Standing alone across Interstate 35W from downtown, like an echo of the larger skyline it faces, the housing complex of Riverside Plaza rises conspicuously above the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a towering jumble of concrete and color.
Designed by architect Ralph Rapson and originally conceived as the first phase of a high-density urban development that never came to fruition, the 15-building complex underwent a two-year renovation after it earned National Historic Register status in 2010. The designation allowed the plaza’s owner, Sherman Associates, to tap federal and state tax credits for work on all 1,303 units, the parking structure and common areas.
On Friday, the renovation won the 2013 National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation at the National Preservation Conference in Indianapolis. The $65 million rehabilitation made it the largest affordable-housing development in the state. Sherman Associates bought the complex in 1988.