March 31, 2009

Friends of Downtown Honors Driehaus Museum with Award for Best New Cultural Institution

The Driehaus Museum has been named Chicago’s Best New Cultural Institution at the 2009 Friends of Downtown Awards. For the past 20 years the Friends of Downtown have celebrated and honored individuals, firms and organizations that have advanced the quality of life for downtown workers, visitors, and residents. Tom Wolf, President of Friends of Downtown, announced the winners of the 2009 Friends of Downtown Awards at a ceremony held in the Empire Room at Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton Hotel.

“The Driehaus Museum is delighted to receive this award that acknowledges its position within Chicago’s rich cultural landscape,” said Museum Director David Bagnall.

Chicago philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus founded the Museum on April 1, 2003 with a vision to influence today’s built environment by preserving and promoting architecture and design of the past. The Museum is a showcase for late 19th and early 20th-century art and design, displayed against the magnificent backdrop of the meticulously restored Nickerson Mansion.

Friends of Downtown also recognized other organizations and projects that have improved the quality of Chicago’s downtown area during the past year, including:

Best New Building:  600 North Fairbanks

Best Renovation:  Palmer House

Best Restoration:  The Blackstone Hotel

Best Adaptive Reuse:  Metropolitan Tower

Healthy Choice Award:  Millennium Park Free Summer Fitness

Best New Open Space:  Parkview

Best Celebration: Election Night in Grant Park

Mary Ward Wolkonsky Award (for lifetime achievement):  Norm Bobins

Friends of Downtown is a not-for-profit civic group that advocates for intelligent planning and urban design for downtown Chicago. Founded in 1981, the organization directly influences planning and development decisions through debate, public advocacy, and cooperation with other civic organizations. Members throughout the metropolitan area are committed to ensuring that downtown Chicago remains the well-designed, vibrant, economic heart of the city.

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