September 04, 2008

The Driehaus Museum Receives Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence

CHICAGO (Sept. 4, 2008)—The Driehaus Museum announced today that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks has honored it with a Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence. The award, which is bestowed yearly, recognizes outstanding projects that involve notable improvements to designated Chicago Landmarks or properties within Chicago Landmark Districts. This year, the Honorable Richard M. Daley presented the award to the Driehaus Museum and 22 other recipients at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.

“We are extremely pleased to be recognized with the Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence, which acknowledges our role in helping to promote the preservation and appreciation of Chicago’s cultural, historical and architectural treasures,” says Driehaus Museum Director, David Bagnall.

Mr. Richard H. Driehaus founded the Museum on April 1, 2003, with a vision to influence today’s built environment by preserving and promoting the architecture and design of the past. To realize his vision, Mr. Driehaus supported a five-year effort to preserve one of the grandest buildings of 19th-century Chicago, the Gilded Age home of entrepreneur and banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson.

The restoration of the Nickerson Mansion included all aspects of the building fabric. A laser cleaning methodology removed decades of pollution from the masonry façade, craftsmen painstakingly restored interior finishes to reveal the original splendor of the carved marble and stonework, and state-of-the-art mechanical, electrical, and HVAC building systems were installed to provide an interior environment to house the Museum’s art collection. In June 2008, the Driehaus Museum officially opened its doors to the public.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks, which applauded the Driehaus Museum for its exemplary preservation effort, also named other landmark buildings and their owners for preserving Chicago’s historic landmarks and for keeping them in active use, including:

  • The rehabilitation of the Tiffany dome and skylight (1897), at the Chicago Public Library Cultural Center, and restoration of its 30,000 pieces of stained glass.
  • The $112 million renovation of the Blackstone Hotel (1910), including brick and terra cotta repair, new windows and canopies, and restoration of its main lobby, ballroom and presidential suite.
  • The complete renovation of 1530 Lake Shore Drive (1916), one of the remaining grand mansions of this prestigious late-19th century residential street, now home to the Polish Consulate.
  • The rehabilitation of the Florham Shoe Company building (1926) and its adaptive reuse from industrial to residential, including a green roof.
  • The construction of a replacement building for the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies, designed to fit into a significant historic neighborhood and also targeting LEED Silver certification for meeting sustainable design and performance measures.

For more information about the Commisssion on Chicago Landmarks and the Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence, visit

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