More than 1,400 community developers, business leaders, neighborhood advocates and elected officials came together on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 for the 21st Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA), where eight organizations were honored for their achievements in community development and architectural design.
The ceremony, organized by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago, is a rare occasion in which all of the contributors to neighborhood redevelopment – community organizers, bankers, residents, philanthropists and others – are in the same room to take stock of their achievements.
“The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards celebrate what truly makes our city great – the passion, creativity and diversity of our community development leaders,” said LISC Chicago Executive Director Susana Vasquez. “This year’s recipients have all made dramatic contributions to the economic, social and cultural life of the communities they serve – from inspirational buildings to dedicated organizations and developing leaders, CNDA honors everything that makes Chicago neighborhoods thrive.”
In addition to learning about the most successful local development projects, Chicago Deputy Mayor Steven Koch delivered a keynote address and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle moderated a panel discussion with Chicago youth leaders. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also provided his support.
“When we think about the City of Chicago, we think of more than just downtown – we think of the historic neighborhoods, the diverse families and the vibrant culture that have come to define us. Chicago has risen as one of the world’s truly great cities only because her neighborhoods have risen with her,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “For more than two decades, everyone involved with the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards has recognized the wide-ranging roles devoted residents and developers play in community building. Congratulations to this year’s winners – may their accomplishments inspire us to work even harder for a better Chicago in 2015.”
During the ceremony CNDA presented five 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. The 2015 CNDA honorees are:
• The Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year Award Winner: Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives for the Pullman Revitalization Strategy
Recognizes the development and successful implementation of an initiative that promotes and/or is integral to a comprehensive community development strategy.
• The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award Winner: Thresholds for Fred and Pamela Buffett Place Recognizes a community development corporation for a specific real estate project that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of the community.
• The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award Winner: Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation for 1704 N. Humboldt Building
Recognizes a non-profit community development organization for a specific real estate project that has preserved affordable rental housing at risk because of expiring subsidy contracts or physical deterioration.
• The Woods Fund Chicago Power of Community Award Winner: Albany Park Neighborhood Council for the VOYCE Project
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. This year, the award recognized an organizing campaign that has genuine youth engagement and where young people were critical to the victory.
• The Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award Winner: SKILKEN and TROY Enterprises for The SHOPS and LOFTS at 47
Recognizes a for-profit developer for a specific real estate project that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of the community.
• The winners for the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design are: • 1st Place – Landon Bone Baker Architects for Fred and Pamela Buffett Place • 2nd Place – Weese Langley Weese Architects Ltd for Grove Apartments • 3rd Place – Wrap Architecture for Bronzeville Artists Lofts
Awarded to three different recipients. Recognizes best practices in community design, landscape design and architecture. The Richard H. Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design are 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. Projects must be located in or predominantly serve low- to moderate-income communities in Cook County. All projects have been completed within the last five years.
“Chicago’s skyline and historic buildings are recognized the world over for their beauty and inventiveness,” said Kim Coventry, executive director of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. “The nation’s first comprehensive city plan was created in Chicago. The modern skyscraper was designed in Chicago, and Chicago’s buildings continue to inspire architects and admirers alike. Today’s Chicago architects work in an environment that requires careful consideration of our inherited architectural fabric and the unique sense of place in the communities in which we live, work, and play. On behalf of the board, congratulations to all of The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and Chicago Neighborhood Development award winners. Your commitment to integrate community development and architectural excellence are having positive impact on our city’s livability.”
Awards were also given to Sarah Ward and Earnest Gates for their contributions in service and leadership in Chicago. Ward, executive director of the South Chicago Art Center, was honored as an emerging leader with the PrivateBank Norman Bobins Leadership Award. Gates, executive director of the Near West Side Community Development Corp., was recognized for lifetime achievement in community leadership and service with the Richard M. Daley Friend of the Neighborhoods Award.
“The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards are the largest and most venerated celebration of the creativity and accomplishments that transform neighborhoods across the city,” said Deborah E. Bennett, CNDA jury chair and senior program officer at the Polk Bros. Foundation. “The awards have become a source of inspiration for those committed to community vitality and renewal.”