The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, a Chicago-based investment advisor, awarded the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) a $5,000 grant to support restorations of the Charnley-Persky House, designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in 1891–1892, which was damaged in a flood. The house, located in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood, is the headquarters for SAH.
The Charnley-Persky House—designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a Chicago Landmark—flooded during a rainstorm in August, causing damage to the library's ceiling, walls, and floors. Repairs on the structure have been ongoing since August with help from local restoration architect John Eifler.
The Driehaus Foundation's grant brings the total amount raised for the restoration to over $27,000. This includes donations from over 70 individuals, including SAH board member Cynthia Weese, FAIA, and her husband Ben Weese, FAIA. The cost of repairs—including rental of drying equipment, plumbing and sewer repairs, and tree removal—so far has tallied up to nearly $25,000. But the restoration is not over and SAH is still fundraising to support its efforts to repair the damage.
The cause of the interior flooding was a broken 19th-century trap had accumulated dirt and debris, clogging the pipe and blocking access to the city sewer. The u-shaped trap was designed to keep sewer gases from entering the house, before traps were commonplace in interior plumbing. Sewer repairs are now complete and restoration efforts are focused on the library's ceiling and walls.