Woodlawn Apartments, Loop Hotel, Grand Crossing Art Space Get Preservation Award

Three Chicago buildings are among nine statewide that have been selected for this year’s Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award. The award is given annually by Landmarks Illinois, the advocacy group dedicated to preserving the state’s important landmarks.

Stony Island Arts Bank (Courtesy of Landmarks Illinois)

Stony Island Arts Bank (Courtesy of Landmarks Illinois)

The Stony Island Arts Bank at 6700 South Stony Island Avenue won the award for restoration.  You’ll remember this is the building that used to be the abandoned Stony Island Trust & Savings before international startist Theaster Gates turned it into a nucleus for fostering community arts.

LondonHouse Hotel (Courtesy of Landmarks Illinois)

LondonHouse Hotel (Courtesy of Landmarks Illinois)

Unless you completely eschew social media, by now you’ve seen the amazing work done to turn the old London Guarantee and Accident Building into the new LondonHouse Hotel at 85 East Wacker Drive.  People just can’t take enough photographs of, and from, it.

Strand Apartments (Courtesy of Landmarks Illinois)

Strand Apartments (Courtesy of Landmarks Illinois)

And the Strand Apartments at 6321 South Cottage Grove Avenue got both Rehabilitation Project of the Year and Project of the Year awards.  It turned the 1915 building into five dozen mostly low-income apartments.

There were also winners in Galena, Aurora, Quincy, Springfield, Waterloo, and La Grange.  You can read more in the press release below, or check the gallery on the Landmarks Illinois web site.

3 Historic Chicago Buildings to be Honored at Preservation Award Ceremony

CHICAGO, IL – Landmarks Illinois, a membership-based nonprofit advocating for the protection of historic and architecturally significant properties throughout the state, will honor three historic Chicago buildings at the Landmarks Illinois 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards Celebration Saturday, October 22, 2016. The LondonHouse, the Stony Island Arts Bank and the Strand Apartments in Chicago are among this year’s nine award-winning historic preservation projects.

The awards ceremony, which takes place from 4-8 p.m. at Venue One in Chicago, pays tribute to these buildings and the people who went through extraordinary efforts to save, restore, rehabilitate and reuse special places in Illinois.

More on Chicago Award Winners
The Strand Apartments, located at 6321 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago, is the recipient of Landmarks Illinois 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Project of the Year Award for Rehabilitation. The former hotel built in 1914-15 was once a large part of Woodlawn’s vibrant jazz scene. The building later suffered from decades of neglect before being purchased by Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation, which rehabilitated the building into retail space and affordable housing for the people of the Woodlawn neighborhood. The building, now restored to feature much of the original Classical Revival-style character, is an inspiring example of how historical preservation can spark positive redevelopment and reuse in Illinois communities.

“Our Project of the Year is always a challenging decision, but the jury was unanimous in selecting the Strand Apartments,” said Landmarks Illinois President and CEO Bonnie McDonald. “The Holsten team and those supporting the project deserve high commendation for delivering a project showing how preservation serves people. Where there was once only a vacant building, Woodlawn neighbors now have new units of housing, an art gallery, as well as a local service provider helping guide residents to community resources. This is all housed in a sustainably-reused place that shines a light on Chicago’s music history.”
The LondonHouse, located at 85 E. Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago, will receive the Landmarks Illinois 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Adaptive Use. The 1923 Beaux-Arts skyscraper designed by Alfred Alschuler was restored and converted from the London Guarantee and Accident Building into a hotel. The extensive restoration work included repair of the monumental cast-iron windows on the lower floors, restoration of ornamental limestone façade, and stone repair and reconstruction. The work transformed what was previously a struggling office building to an iconic site along the Chicago River.

“LondonHouse completes the rejuvenation of one of the nation’s most important commercial and historic corridors,” said McDonald. “An elegant contemporary addition proves that preservation and modern design can go hand-in-hand and be approved by the Landmarks Commission. Stunning, gorgeous, luxurious, classic – all adjectives used to describe the transformation grounded in the principles of preservation, adaptive reuse and contextual design. Bravo to all involved in polishing this landmark into a brilliant future.”

The Stony Island Arts Bank, located at 6700 S. Stony Island Ave. in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago, is the recipient of the Landmarks Illinois 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Rehabilitation. After 30 years of vacancy, the rehabilitated Stony Island Trust & Savings Bank reopened in October 2015 as the Stony Island Arts Bank, a program site for artist Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to activate underutilized spaces with arts and cultural programming, provide community event spaces and empower artists as agents of community change. The building once faced demolition, but the now repaired and restored space serves as a catalyst for community revitalization on Chicago’s South Side.

“A decade ago, when Landmarks Illinois placed the Stony Island Arts Bank on its Chicagoland Watch List, the challenges facing a reuse for this building seemed insurmountable,” said McDonald. “But insurmountable projects seem no match for the brilliant and indefatigable Theaster Gates. Preserving the building as part gathering space, part archive and part artistic statement on the pattern of neighborhood disinvestment on the South Side, Gates created a beacon for what is possible.”

More About 2016 Award Winners
A full list of the nine Landmarks Illinois 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award winners is below. Visit our website here to view details on each award-winning project

· Clare and Ken Goerlich, Quincy: Joe Antunovich Award for Leadership
· Conn’s Hospitality Group, Springfield: Award for Leadership
· Gibault High School, Junior American History Project, Waterloo: Award for Advocacy
· Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum, Aurora: President’s Award for Restoration
· Jail Hill Inn, Galena: Award for Adaptive Use
· LondonHouse, Chicago: Award for Adaptive Use
· Stone Avenue Train Station, La Grange: Award for Restoration
· Stony Island Arts Bank, Chicago: Award for Rehabilitation
· Strand Apartments, Chicago: Project of the Year Award for Rehabilitation

About the Awards
The Landmarks Illinois Annual Preservation Awards are generously funded by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Since 1994, the awards honor people throughout Illinois working to preserve historic places. This year’s winners will be presented with their award at the event and a $1,000 prize.

The awards ceremony at Venue One, 1034 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL, is open to the public and will kick off with a panel discussion on historic preservation called “From Vacant to Vibrant.” The panel, moderated by Landmarks Illinois Board Chair Will Tippens, will feature some of this year’s award winners who will share stories of their inspiring preservation efforts. The full event schedule follows:

· 4 – 5 p.m.: Award Winner Panel Discussion
· 5:30 – 7 p.m.: Awards Ceremony
· 7 – 8 p.m.: Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres reception

Tickets for the Landmarks Illinois 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards Celebration range from $35-$40 for Landmarks Illinois members and are $50 for non-members. To RSVP, click here or visit our Events page on our website Landmarks.org. You can also RSVP by calling Landmarks Illinois at 312-922-1742.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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