November 17, 2020

Landmarks Commission Honors Chicago’s Best Preservation Projects of 2020

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks today honored nine unique projects with 2020 “Preservation Excellence Awards,” including the restoration of a former rapid transit building in Washington Park, the adaptive re-use of a former YMCA/YWCA headquarters on the Near West Side, and the mixed-use repurposing of historic structures in Pullman.

The awards, established in 1999, are presented annually to individuals, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and public agencies that have worked to preserve Chicago's architectural and cultural heritage. Honored during a first-ever virtual award ceremony, the winners were chosen from dozens of projects reviewed by the Landmarks Commission’s Permit Review Committee over the last year.

"This year’s projects represent a tremendous cross-section of preservation work occurring throughout the city,” said Maurice Cox, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), which provides staff services to the Commission. "Each project illustrates excellence in effort and commitment to Chicago’s historic buildings."

This year’s awardees, as well as the annual Preservation Advocacy honoree, include:

11305, 11307, and 11309 S. St. Lawrence Ave. (Pullman Historic District)
Recipients: Nydia Cahue, Wyatt Ollestad, and Dagoberto Cahue

The restoration of the shared mansard roof on three contiguous row houses included the installation of slate shingles, copper flashing, and the replacement of non-original structural and design elements. A new, copper-lined, wood box gutter system was also installed by the three participating homeowners to complete the job.

1421-27 N. Milwaukee Ave. (Milwaukee Avenue District)
Recipient: Realterm

The three buildings at 1421-1427 N. Milwaukee served as the former homes of Mayer and, later, Continental furniture stores. Their rehabilitation for commercial and residential uses included the installation of historically compatible windows, masonry repairs and updates, and the retention of interior tin ceilings.

1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. (Milwaukee Avenue District)
Recipient: Berger Realty Group

The Flat Iron Arts Building restoration involved the repair and replacement of its checkerboard-patterned terra cotta, ornament and windows. Glass fiber-reinforced concrete was used as a substitute material for damaged terra cotta where possible.

1639 N. North Park Ave. (Old Town Triangle District)
Recipients: Martin and Brianna Barboza

Once threatened by demolition under a former owner, the home at 1639 N. North Park was rehabilitated to its historic appearance. Work included repairs to existing wood siding, installation of historically compatible windows, reconstruction of front stairs and railings, and a seamless rear addition.

2218 S. Michigan Ave. (Motor Row District)
Recipient: Windy City Real Estate

The rehabilitation of the century-old, former bank building included extensive repairs to its facade, which had been encased in a masonry wall. Multiple exterior architectural features were restoreds, replaced or re-installed, including a cornice, a simplified parapet and decorative, second-story window grills.

905 W. Fulton Market (Fulton-Randolph Market District)
Recipient: Thor Equities

The 905 W. Fulton project included the commercial rehabilitation of a pair of three-story meatpacking buildings with a two -story vertical expansion and the new construction of a five-story adjacent structure. The work restored the original facades, removed non-historic elements, and incorporated sympathetic design details throughout the new building.

Former YMCA/YWCA Regional Headquarters, 1515 W. Monroe St.
Recipient: Cedar Street Cos.

The YMCA/YWCA project rehabilitated six Georgian Revival buildings as 260 residential units and ground-floor retail. The work involved substantial exterior repairs across the two-block-long complex, installation of more than 270 historically appropriate windows, and the restoration of original entrance doors.

Garfield “L” Station, 319 E. Garfield Blvd.
Recipient: Chicago Transit Authority

The original Arts and Crafts-style building was restored to its turn-of-the-century appearance with restored or replaced terra cotta, wood-paneled doors, central windows, and ornamental elements, as well as the installation of a new copper roof, facia, ands gutters.

Pullman Artspace Lofts, 11127-29 S. Langley Ave. & 704-06 W. 112th St. (Pullman Historic District)
Recipients: Artspace Projects Inc., Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, and PullmanArts

Pullman Artists Lofts integrated two historic apartment buildings that were originally constructed by industrialist George Pullman in 1881. Designed by S.S. Beman, the structures were used as tenement housing for Pullman Co. workers. The project includes a third structure that unites the original buildings, providing 39 affordable, live/work spaces for artists and their families.

The Preservation Advocacy Award
Recipients: Neighbors of the Claremont Cottages and Landmarks Illinois

In response to a demolition proposal on the 1000 block of South Claremont Avenue on the Near West Side neighbors banded together with Landmarks Illinois to procure the Landmarks Commission recommendation and City Council designation of the Claremont Cottage District. The district's 19 Queen Anne-style buildings, built in the late 1800s, are characterized by high-gabled roofs, overhanging eaves, carved wood brackets, patterned bricks, carved stone, and colored glass.

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