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Old Irving Park brewery, North Lawndale lofts honored with preservation awards

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Chicago’s Eris Cider House and Lofts on Arthington were among nine Illinois projects to earn special recognition

A square masonry building with stone details and stacks of vertical windows stand on a street corner lined with trees.
This vacant building in Old Irving Park served as a masonic temple and the home of Bethel Korean Presbyterian congregation before becoming the Eris Brewery and Cider House.
Photo by Alycia Stack, courtesy of Landmarks Illinois

A former North Side masonic temple and a Sears catalog printing building on the West Side were the Chicago preservation projects that earned a Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award this year. The 26th annual event highlights the state’s top preservation success stories in categories including advocacy, stewardship, and rehabilitation.

In Old Irving Park, the owners of Eris Brewery and Cider House won an award for their reuse of a long-vacant and neglected former masonic temple into a unique neighborhood food and beverage destination. The project was recognized for showcasing the architectural features of the 110-year-old building such as its brick walls and riveted steel beams. Many of the structure’s old fixtures such as its iron radiators were repurposed into railings. Heating and cooling are handled by a new geothermal system that integrates with the restaurant’s brewing equipment.

In the North Lawndale, nonprofit developer Mercy Housing Lakefront earned recognition for restoring a landmarked 111-year-old former catalog printing facility for the Sears, Roebuck & Company into 181 units of affordable housing. Known as the Lofts on Arthington, the project used a mix of historic tax credits as well as low-income housing credits to repair the brick facade and provide amenities including a community room, computer lab, and fitness center to 400 lower-income individuals.

A pair of suburban projects outside Chicago won preservation awards too. Recipients include the stewardship of the dome-shaped Space Age Ford House designed by architect Bruce Goff in 1950 in Aurora, Illinois, and the careful restoration of Orland Park’s Stellwagen family farm back to its original 1860 appearance.

An award was also granted to the rehabilitation of the Illinois Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. The 1855 structure was in a state of disrepair prior to a privately-funded repair effort spearheaded by former first lady Diana Rauner and the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association. The full list of recipients and more information on each project can be found on the Landmarkss Illinois website.

A vast dining room with wood and leather booths. A horizontal window opens to the kitchen and a long bar sits in front of tall, oversized windows.
Inside the soaring dining room and bar of the Eris Brewery and Cider House at 4240 W. Irving Park Road.
Photo by Alan Shortall, courtesy Landmarks Illinois.
A brick industrial warehouse building rising six-stories. It has rows of punched factory-style windows topped by decorative arches.
The Lofts on Arthington project turned the former printing facility at the Sears, Roebuck & Company’s Homan Square campus into 181 affordable housing units.
Photo courtesy Landmarks Illinois
A dome-shaped living room under a circular wood ceiling and glass skylight. The dining room steps up to a second story living area with a floating staircase.
Owner Sidney Robinson was recognized for his more than 30 years of stewardship and maintenance of the Bruce Goff-designed Ford House in Aurora.
Photo by John Waters, courtesy Landmarks Illinois
A traditional red barn with an attached grain silo surrounded by a grassy lawn and a white fence.
The historic Stellwagen family farm in Orland Park will host educational tours, exhibitions, and other events.
Photo courtesy Landmarks Illinois
A Georgian interior with sweeping staircase in a foyer, leading to side rooms with chairs, painting, and a musical harp. There are detailed moldings and neoclassical columns.
The water-damaged Illinois Governor’s Mansion was brought back to its former 1855 glory.
Photo courtesy Landmarks Illinois