2020 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards: Press Release


September 9, 2020

Media Contact:

Kaitlyn McAvoy
Communications Manager, Landmarks Illinois

Recipients of 2020 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards Announced

CHICAGO – Landmarks Illinois is excited to announce the nine recipients of the 2020 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards. The annual awards program, now in its 27th year, honors exceptional historic preservation projects and the people saving important places in Illinois.

Projects and individuals in Aurora, Chicago, Galena, Moline, Rockford and Watseka, Illinois, will receive awards in the categories of Adaptive Use, Rehabilitation, Restoration, Advocacy and Lifetime Achievement. The 2020 award winners will be honored at a virtual awards ceremony October 21, 2020, the details of which are below. In addition to an award, recipients receive a $1,000 prize.

“Our 2020 award recipients represent a wide range of Illinois preservation projects, from multi-million dollar redevelopments in large cities to grassroots, local efforts in small towns,” said Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois. “One thing these award-winning preservation efforts all have in common, though, is how they will each play an important role in revitalizing our Illinois communities in the months and years to come. While we cannot gather in person this year to celebrate the incredibly dedicated people who led these inspiring projects, Landmarks Illinois is as proud as ever to recognize their contribution to saving our historic places.”

A jury of historic preservation professionals selected this year’s winners. Projects are judged on their impact to the community and how it inspires others, the quality and degree of difficulty of the project and the degree to which the project aligns with Landmarks Illinois’ mission. The 2020 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award recipients are listed below. Visit our website to read more details on each project and project leaders.

Aurora Arts Center, Aurora: Award for Adaptive Use

Located in two downtown historic buildings dating back to the 1920s, the Aurora Arts Center offers affordable housing for artists, job opportunities and arts education space. The adaptive reuse project led by the nonprofit developer group, The Community Builders, has contributed to the revitalization of the city’s downtown district, providing new economic opportunities and greater access to the arts for all residents.

Cook County Hospital Administration Building, Chicago: Award for Adaptive Use

Civic Health Development Group led the $140 million rehabilitation of the long-vacant Old Cook County Hospital, which has completely revived the 1913 Beaux-Arts building and the Illinois Medical District on Chicago’s Near West Side. The project was 20 years in the making and has transformed the threatened building – named four times to Landmarks Illinois’ Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois – into a mixed-use complex that includes a Hyatt hotel, Cook County medical office facility and retail space.

Lathrop, Chicago: Award for Rehabilitation

Lathrop Community Partners, a development partnership between Related Midwest, Heartland Housing and Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp., have rehabilitated the historic Lathrop Homes on Chicago’s Northside. Originally built in 1938 as a Works Progress Administration project, the new Lathrop Homes includes a renovation of 16 of the original 32 historic buildings to produce 414 mixed-income residences, green space along the Chicago River, community gathering space, administrative buildings and more.

University of Chicago Keller Center, Chicago: Award for Adaptive Use

The University of Chicago-led restoration of the 1962 Edward Durrell Stone-designed Keller Center has been thoughtfully and sustainably reimagined, creating 125,000 square feet of usable and enjoyable space for both the academic and larger university community. Home to the university’s Harris School of Public Policy, the transformed building now serves as a learning laboratory where students can witness real-world challenges and solutions through design.

The Mark Twain, Chicago: Award for Rehabilitation

The NHP Foundation, a nonprofit real estate corporation, has rehabilitated the 1930 Art Deco building in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, creating 140 single-room occupancy affordable housing units. The project impeccably restored the historic character of both the interior and exterior of the building while also meeting all Department of Housing SRO requirements.

Marilyn and Carl Johnson, Galena: Joe Antunovich Award for Leadership, Lifetime Achievement

The Johnsons are being honored for their nearly 50 years of dedication to historic preservation in their home city of Galena. Through advocacy, education and hands-on practice, the Johnsons have helped preserve a number of historic buildings in Galena, and co-founded the Galena Foundation, which continues to promote the city’s unique history and heritage.

Garfield School Senior Residences, Moline: Award for Adaptive Use

Gorman and Company led a sustainable and energy efficient adaptive reuse of the former Garfield school campus, constructed in 1902 and vacant since 2014. The former school now is home to senior residences that feature historic character from the building’s original design. The project has brought needed affordable senior housing to Moline and revitalized an aging and once-neglected property.

Friends of Ziock, Rockford: Award for Advocacy

The longtime advocacy efforts of the Friends of Ziock group resulted in the much needed rehabilitation of Rockford’s Ziock Building. The former daylight factory built between 1912 and 1950 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places has been transformed into a hotel and convention center that can attract economic activity and tourism to Rockford. The redevelopment of the former factory, led by Gorman & Company, would not have happened without the dedicated individuals who continued to push for the building’s reuse for nearly a decade.

Roff House, Watseka: Award for Restoration

John Whitman is being honored for his loving restoration of the Roff Home, an 1868 Italianate-style historic home in Watseka widely known for its supernatural lore and for attracting thousands of visitors a year. Whitman undertook a meticulous five-phase restoration of the home to honor its history and its original architectural features, resulting in a revived local landmark.

More about the Awards Ceremony & Special Pre-Event Happy Hour

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Landmarks Illinois will host its first virtual Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards Ceremony on October 21, 2020, at 6 p.m. The awards ceremony is free to Landmarks Illinois members and $10 to members of the public or non-Landmarks Illinois members. Registration is required to attend the virtual event, and registered guests will receive a custom link and information on how to access the online ceremony prior to the event. Register here.

Guests are also welcome to register and attend Breweries Saving Buildings: A Virtual Happy Hour hosted by the Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois that begins at 5 p.m. directly before the awards ceremony on October 21, 2020. This special event will focus on how craft breweries are revitalizing historic buildings and surrounding neighborhoods in Illinois. Brewmasters and owners from past preservation award-winning projects Eris Brewery & Cider House of Chicago and Prairie Street Brewing Company of Rockford will take guests on a virtual tour of their historic homes and lead us in an online taste testing of their beer and ciders. Registration is required and tickets are $5 for all attendees. Guests will be able to purchase beer and cider tasting kits that include specific craft brews from Eris and Prairie Street Brewing prior to the event.

Please visit our website for more information on these events and to register for both.

About Landmarks Illinois

We are People Saving Places for People. Landmarks Illinois is a membership-based nonprofit organization serving the people of Illinois. We inspire and empower stakeholders to save places that matter to them by providing free guidance, practical and financial resources and access to strategic partnerships. For more information, visit www.Landmarks.org.

View and download photos of each award project here.



2020 Award Recipients

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