Press Room

Society of Architectural Historians Honors Sarah Herda, Richard H. Driehaus and Peter Landon at Gala

by SAH News | Nov 15, 2016

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The Society of Architectural Historians held its 7th annual Awards Gala on Friday, November 4, at The Racquet Club of Chicago (1365 N Dearborn St). Over 180 members of SAH and the Chicago architectural community came together to honor Graham Foundation director Sarah Herda, philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus and architect Peter Landon, FAIA. The Awards for Architectural Excellence, which are the focus of the Gala, began in 2010 and represent a unique coming together of architectural practice and academic study.

The event raised over $126,000 for SAH’s educational programs and the ongoing restoration of its headquarters, the Landmark Charnley-Persky House (1891–1892), located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Charnley-Persky House is one of the few extant residences designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright and celebrates the 125th anniversary of its design this year.

“We are delighted to honor three individuals who have distinguished themselves in architecture and philanthropy and, as a result, have put Chicago on a world stage,” said SAH Executive Director Pauline Saliga. “We thank our many Gala sponsors and attendees for helping us celebrate the excellent work that Sarah Herda, Richard H. Driehaus and Peter Landon, FAIA, have done to advance architectural history and design in the 21st century.”

This year’s gala co-chairs were John M. Syvertsen, FAIA, American Architectural Foundation; Cynthia Winter, AIA, Cynthia Winter Architects LLC; and Nicholas Weingarten, FAIA. The gala featured a cocktail reception, a Scotch tasting to benefit the Society’s upcoming annual conference in Glasgow, Scotland, a silent auction and the awards ceremony.

View photos of the event: https://flic.kr/s/aHskL6ygtW

Award for Excellence in Architectural Stewardship
Richard H. Driehaus, Founder and Chairman, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation 

Few individuals have made as indelible a mark on Chicago and the world of historic architecture as has Richard H. Driehaus. As a supporter of the architecture community, whether it be the creation of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Architecture through the University of Notre Dame, working to honor Illinois historic preservation, or founding a magnificent museum of decorative arts, his impact can be termed nothing less than “Historically and Architecturally Significant.” Through personal gifts, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and The Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust, he supports a wide variety of arts and cultural organizations, the built environment, investigative journalism, museums, small theater and dance companies, and economic opportunity throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Among the notable architectural restoration projects he has supported are The Ransom Cable House, The Nickerson Mansion, Old St. Patrick’s Church, Charnley-Persky House, and projects in Bronzeville and the Prairie Avenue Historic District. He provides vitally important support for organizations that are advocates for historic architecture including Landmarks Illinois, the Chicago Bungalow Association, the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Preservation Action Foundation. He also has supported the development of strong neighborhoods through the Resurrection Project, the Local Initiative Support Corporation, the Logan Square Neighborhood Housing Association and several initiatives in Pullman. His support also extends to landscape projects as wide ranging as Millennium Park, Lincoln Park’s Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, Berger Park and Garfield Park Conservatory. Richard’s enthusiasm for great design knows no bounds.

Richard founded Driehaus Capital Management in 1982 and established his foundation just one year later. The staff and directors of the Foundation work diligently to enrich lives, relieve housing insecurity, recognize talent, preserve the best of our cultural heritage, and put Chicago on a world stage. Tonight we honor Richard’s enduring dedication to the preservation and enhancement of the built and natural environment with the SAH Award for Architectural Stewardship. Chicago would have a very different face without his generous support for more than three decades and counting.

Award for Excellence in Public Engagement with the Built Environment
Sarah Herda, Director, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts 

Sarah Herda is the director of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the largest foundation in the U.S. committed to awarding project-based grants to individuals and institutions working at the forefront of architecture. Sarah is receiving the Award for Excellence in Public Engagement with the Built Environment for her role in the both the Graham Foundation and the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.

The Graham Foundation produces public programs to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. Sarah Herda is credited with transforming the foundation’s headquarters, the historic Madlener House, into a world-class public venue for architecture exhibitions and building one of Chicago’s most celebrated venues for public programs, including exhibitions like Chicago cultural interventionist Michael Rackowitz’s The Flesh is Yours, The Bones are Ours.

Along with co-artistic director Joseph Grima, Sarah organized the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015, the largest international exhibition of contemporary architecture ever in North America. “The State of the Art of Architecture,” comprised of 93 exhibits from all over the world, spread between six locations with a total attendance of 530,551, was a huge undertaking. The Biennial included many public programs and tours in addition to the exhibition. Visitors from around the world engaged with and thought about architecture in new and unexpected ways, fostering a global discussion about the future, which SAH particularly values and recognizes tonight with this award. Chicago has always been on the international architectural map and, because of Sarah’s work, it now has a place among the architectural thought leaders as well. 

Award for Excellence in Design, Planning and Sustainability
Peter Landon, FAIA, LEED AP, Founder and Principal, Landon Bone Baker Architects 

SAH members have had a long and deep interest in urban planning and public housing development. Pete Landon has significantly contributed to this body of work, as he has woven a design path that serves diverse residents and creates privacy, dignity, and community on a human scale. In the firm’s own words, “good design is for everyone.” Pete Landon is founder and principal of Landon Bone Baker Architects, known for community-based inner city planning, development, and design work. Landon is a champion of “socially conscious design” and diversity in design, and he has supported neighborhood revitalization efforts across Chicago. He and the firm encourage participation in community and urban policy initiatives and he believes that with diligent and responsible effort, good and environmentally-responsible planning and design is possible. Notable works include affordable housing project Rosa Parks Apartments in East Garfield Park, the historic preservation and sustainable rehab of Harvest Commons Apartments, the adaptive re-use of Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative into a cultural hub for the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood, and Terrace 459 at Parkside of Old Town, a phased development that replaces Cabrini Green’s high-rise development with mixed-income, lower density housing. Pete and Landon Bone Baker Architects were recently selected to adapt and renovate the last remaining building of the Jane Addams Homes for the National Public Housing Museum, which will open in 2018. While public and private partnership for affordable housing faces many challenges, Pete Landon’s work has had an indelible impact on the lives of many residents and the face of Chicago. For that, tonight we honor Peter Landon, FAIA, with the SAH Award for Design, Planning and Sustainability.   

About Society of Architectural HIstorians
Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs. Learn more at  sah.org.


Pictured (L-R): SAH President Ken Tadashi Oshima, Peter Landon, FAIA, Sarah Herda, Richard H. Driehaus, SAH Executive Director Pauline Saliga (credit: Anne Evans)

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SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
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