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.