Creating community out of disrepair
The anchor of the city of Belleville’s town square, the conversion of the Hotel Belleville into Lofts on the Square came after years of work by Belleville residents to find a new use for the city’s largest historic hotel. When it opened in 1931, Hotel Belleville was a major site for trade meetings and conventions, representing the city’s commercial success in the 20th century. After being converted into senior housing, in the 1960s, the hotel became vacant in the 2000s. After threats of demolishment, local preservationists successfully lobbied for the building to be listed on Landmarks Illinois’s Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois in 2014.
After being placed on the National Register of Historic Places designation list, renovation began in 2019 to turn the building into much-needed affordable housing. Lofts on the Square maintains the historic art deco design while creating warm and welcoming homes for residents of low income, retirees, and those with disabilities. The project is a stone’s throw from downtown Belleville, allowing residents to walk to nearby restaurants and shops. The building’s exterior façade consists of brick and terra cotta with historic detailing, preserved with great care during renovation.
Featuring 47 units, Lofts on the Square offers a spacious library and lounge in the original hotel lobby, along with numerous other resident amenities. The adjacent courtyard space provides a welcome oasis from the hustle and bustle of downtown living, and the first-floor retail space provides added vibrancy to the streetscape.