This month, the nonprofit Landmarks Illinois released a list of nine winners of its annual Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards, in six different categories ranging from restoration and rehabilitation to adaptive reuse. “Our 2017 award recipients demonstrate dedication, creativity and passion for preserving places that are special to the local community and to our state’s cultural heritage,” said Landmarks Illinois president and CEO Bonnie McDonald in the organization's press release. “The people who made these projects a reality deserved to be recognized and modeled for their efforts in ensuring future generations can enjoy and experience Illinois’ historic places.” And those special places and people will be honored at a ceremony next month in Chicago.

Awards for Restoration

Courtesy of All Saints

All Saints Episcopal Church, Chicago
From Landmarks Illinois: "Built in 1884, the church served as a key community anchor in Ravenswood and is considered the oldest wood-frame church building in Chicago. ... [The restoration] project included replacing the wooden foundation with concrete, stabilizing the original bell tower with an innovative system of steel straps, and removing 100 years of stucco to reveal the original wood siding."

Landmarks Illinois
Landmarks Illinois

Unity Temple, Oak Park, Ill.
From Landmarks Illinois: "This 1908 Unitarian Church is considered one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most beautiful and influential works. The building, however, struggled with issues related to decades of deferred maintenance, leading to its placement on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2009 list of America’s Most Endangered Places. This restoration project faced many major challenges, including matching new exterior concrete repairs to the original tone and texture, recapturing Wright’s original vision for the interior spaces by matching the original plaster and paint finishes, and adding new building systems—including a new geothermal mechanical system, LED lights, AV system, ADA accessibility and code-compliant electrical and plumbing systems—without impacting the visual impact of the original design."

Awards for Rehabilitation

Leslie Schwartz

Aurora St. Charles Senior Living, Aurora, Ill.
From Landmarks Illinois: "The project transformed the former St. Charles Hospital, a six-story Art Deco building, into a 60-unit senior housing complex. The building ... sat vacant for six years before being redeveloped as the state’s first affordable housing project to use the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Historic Tax Credit. ... The rehabilitation project included cleaning and repairing the original Art Deco-style brick, limestone and terra cotta exterior and restoring and converting the original chapel and balcony to a community room for the building’s residents."

Paul Schlismann Photography
Paul Schlismann Photography

Joliet Central High School Student Center Addition, Joliet, Ill.
From Landmarks Illinois: "Facing several significant functional and accessibility-related issues, the school resolved to add a new student center, dining facility, multi-purpose areas, and elevators to the original 1901 school building. The major challenge was designing a functionally modern building that was architecturally sensitive to the existing building’s design, while still emphasizing its distinctiveness from the original structure."

Landmarks Illinois

Rosenwald Courts, Chicago
From Landmarks Illinois: "Developed in 1929 by Sears, Roebuck, and Co. president and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, the massive, 454-unit complex provided housing for middle class African Americans in the early 20th century and was home to singer Nat King Cole, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, musician Quincy Jones, boxing legend Joe Louis, and Olympian Jesse Owens. Ownership was transferred to the Chicago Housing Authority in 1973, and the building closed in 2000. The end rehabilitation includes a mix of senior housing and affordable residential housing and office and retail space, encompassing over half a million square feet in all."

Award for Adaptive Use

Forssander PhotoGraphics, 2017
Forssander PhotoGraphics, 2017

Cooperage 214, Peoria, Ill.
From Landmarks Illinois: "The project transformed a former 27,000-square-foot cooperage factory into attractive office space and 18 luxury apartments. Seeking to revitalize the historic warehouse district of downtown Peoria, the project used Illinois’ River Edge Redevelopment Zone Historic Tax Credit. ... The project restored many of the original industrial details of the space, including wood floors and masonry walls in each unit."

Joe Antunovich Award for Leadership

Landmarks Illinois

Charles Staples, Chicago
From Landmarks Illinois: "During the 1960s, the debate around the development potential of the [former Chicago Public Library] and the destruction of other historic buildings in Chicago’s Loop suggested that demolition was imminent for the 1890s structure. Seeking to change minds and envision a new future for the architecturally significant Beaux Arts building, Charles Staples and his wife Joan engaged directly with the public and fostered relationships with concerned stakeholders to organize a coalition in support of preserving the Library. Stapes continued his advocacy for the structure during its extensive restoration/renovation and its evolution into the Cultural Center throughout the 1970s and 1980s."

President’s Award for Adaptive Use

Landmarks Illinois

District 2 Police Station, Rockford, Ill.
From Landmarks Illinois: "Built in 1898, Turner School was closed and used as office space in 1978. Vacant since 1998, the City of Rockford’s recent transition to a district policing system created an opportunity to transform this local landmark. Extensive demolition of the 1978 office conversion uncovered much of the original wood trim, doors, hardware, chalkboards, and wood floors. With meeting rooms, a gym, and a stage available to the public, the renovated school has resulted in a welcoming space that encourages neighborhood interaction with the police."

Project of the Year Award for Advocacy

Landmarks Illinois

Friends of the Edwards House, Downers Grove, Ill.
From Landmarks Illinois: "Friends of the Edwards House ... formed around an effort to save a local historic home, the Edwards House, from demolition by a developer. Despite a year-long grassroots campaign of social media organizing, community meetings, door-to-door education, and lobbying village officials, the home was destroyed in June 2015. The attention generated by the campaign, however, led to increased interest in historic preservation from both community members and village leaders and spurred the creation of a committee to streamline the municipal preservation ordinance. As a result, the number of landmarked properties grew exponentially, from 2 to 15 over two years."

To join the celebration, purchase tickets for for the Sept. 16 event from Landmarks Illinois here. (Prices range from $45 to $60 for members and nonmembers.) Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at Venue Six10 on South Michigan Avenue in Chicago, starting at 5 p.m.