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LISC Chicago honors top architectural achievements and community development projects at Neighborhood Development Awards

LISC Chicago honors Chicago’s top architectural achievements,ph01
Casa Querétaro by DesignBridge Ltd. won the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, 1st place.

Over 1,500 developers, architects, business leaders, neighborhood advocates and elected officials came together on Thursday, April 5, 2018 for the 24th Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA), organized by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago. Seven organizations and two individuals were honored for their achievements in community development and architectural design.

“For more than two decades, the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design have celebrated Chicago’s neighborhoods by honoring and recognizing the outstanding achievements in neighborhood real estate development, community engagement and neighborhood planning,” said LISC Chicago’s executive director Meghan Harte. “At CNDA we take a moment to really recognize and celebrate the creativity and accomplishments that transform our communities. Our neighborhoods are what make Chicago the unique city it is.”

During the ceremony, CNDA presented six community development awards, three Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design and two awards for personal achievement to individuals. All award submissions were extensively reviewed by teams of judges.

Recognizing the development and successful implementation of a community plan or strategy within Cook County that improves quality-of-life or addresses a specific need, opportunity or issue through a comprehensive planning and implementation model, the Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Plan Award went to Preservation of Affordable Housing Chicago for Woodlawn, A Choice Neighborhood.

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award recognizes a community development corporation for a specific real estate project that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of the community. This year’s winner was UCAN for their Drost-Harding Campus.

For-profit developers of a specific real estate project that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of a community are honored withthe Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award. This year’s winner was Rosenwald Courts Developer, LLC for Rosenwald Courts.

The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award went to Ansonia Properties, LLC for Lake Village East in recognition of a real estate project that has preserved affordable rental housing at risk because of expired subsidy contracts or physical deterioration.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, ICIRR and PASO were honored with the Woods Fund Chicago Power of Community Award for their Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois. This award recognizes the value of community organizing, community engagement and advocacy as important and effective ways to transform neighborhoods or empower communities that have experienced significant social or economic inequities.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Healthy Community Award acknowledges successful, community-based efforts to address the health of a low- to moderate-income neighborhood in the Chicago metropolitan area through creative and collaborative strategies. Healthy Schools Campaign took home this award for Space to Grow – Greening Chicago Schoolyards.

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design recognizes three different recipients for best practices in community design, landscape design and architecture, given to architects who have created outstanding designs in housing, retail or institutional settings that are sustainable, architecturally significant and that match form to function to meet community needs. Eligible projects are located in or predominantly serve low- to moderate-income communities in Cook County and have been completed within the last five years.

The 1st Place winner was DesignBridge Ltd. for Casa Querétaro. The 2nd Place prize was awarded to Landon Bone Baker Architects for Chicago Center for Arts and Technology and Eckenhoff Saunders Architects took 3rd Place for Michael and Karyn Lutz Center.

“The goal of this award is to encourage architects to put the human at the center of the idea in the design process,” said Kim Coventry, executive director of The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. “We want to continue to reinforce that kind of thinking so it becomes the norm in architectural practice. This award truly honors excellence in design in neighborhood projects and recognizes developments that are making a significant contribution to the social, visual and cultural life of their neighborhoods through thoughtful design.”

Awards were also given to Juan Salgado and Rodney J. Walker for their contributions in service and leadership in Chicago. Walker, who is a best-selling author for his 2016 educational memoir A New Day One: Trauma, Grace, and a Young Man’s Journey from Foster Care to Yale, was honored as an emerging leader with the CIBC Norman Bobins Leadership Award. Salgado, recently appointed City Colleges Chancellor, was recognized for lifetime achievement in community leadership and service with the Richard M. Daley Friend of the Neighborhoods Award.

In addition to learning about the most successful community development projects, LISC Chicago and its neighborhood partners discussed the call to action that brought together a collective of community residents and local organizations—representing 26 neighborhoods and more than one million residents—to engage in a dialogue addressing the lack of economic investment and opportunities in many Chicago communities. With a shared commitment of improving the quality-of-life for residents within these communities, this group forged a guiding vision which was shared during the forum portion of CNDA.

Founded in 1995 by LISC Chicago, CNDA has become one of the most publicly-recognized programs to celebrate outstanding projects and achievements in the city and honor the role developers play in building stronger and healthier neighborhoods throughout Chicago.