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LISC Chicago's Neighborhood Development Awards Honors 25 Years of Top Community Development Projects and Architectural Achievements Across the City

5.08.2019
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Creative Placemaking Award: Urban Juncture for Boxville
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Creative Placemaking Award: Urban Juncture for Boxville

CHICAGO – More than 1,500 community developers, architects, business leaders, neighborhood advocates and elected officials came together on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at McCormick Place for the 25th Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA), where ten 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, real estate developers, architects, bankers, residents, foundation and corporate leaders and others – are in the same room to recognize and celebrate Chicago’s top real estate development and architectural design projects in the city’s neighborhoods.

“The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards was born out of the need to elevate the activity and importance of neighborhood-led development and planning efforts and the importance of good neighborhood design and architecture within those endeavors,” said LISC Chicago’s Executive Director Meghan Harte. “Since that time much has changed. Perhaps most important, we have embedded a greater respect for neighborhood voices in our city because we, in our own proceedings – as community based developers, as an alliance and even in these awards – embody the commitment to inclusion, community voice and thoughtful design. At this moment of great change when a promised focus will be on the neighborhoods and ensuring that needed growth reaches into every corner of the city, we have much to celebrate, much to contribute and, as always, much to learn.”

In addition to learning about the most successful community development projects, and at a moment of profound change in our cities and nation, guests heard from renowned columnist, author and social-critic, Charles Blow. Blow spoke about issues of race, class and gender, how we got to where we are, and the strategies that may achieve the equity and equality we seek. Blow is a New York Times columnist and the author of Fire Shut Up in My Bones, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize.

Charles Blow, New York Times columnist
Charles Blow, New York Times columnist

During the ceremony, CNDA presented seven 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 CNDA25 honorees are:

Recognizes projects in the Chicago region that leverage the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda of change, growth and transformation in a way that builds character and quality of place. 

Recognizes 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.

Recognizes a community development corporation for a specific real estate project that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of the community.

Recognizes a for-profit or non-profit developer for a real estate project that has preserved affordable rental housing at risk because of expired subsidy contracts or physical deterioration. 

Recognizes a for-profit developer for a specific real estate project that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of a community.

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.

Recognizes a successful community-based effort to address the health of a low-to-moderate income neighborhood in the Chicago metropolitan area through creative and collaborative strategies.

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design - 1st Place Winner (tied) – Landon Bone Baker Architects for City Gardens
The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design - 1st Place Winner (tied) – Landon Bone Baker Architects for City Gardens

The winners for the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design are:

***For the first year ever, we have a tie for 1st place**

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 are located in or predominantly serve low- to-moderate income communities in Cook County. All projects have been completed within the last five years.

“The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design was created, in conjunction with the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards, to recognize that the built environment of neighborhoods is as important as that of the central city,” said Anne Lazar, Executive Director, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. “The goal of this award is to encourage architects to put the human at the center of the idea in the design process. 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 neighborhoods through thoughtful design.”

The CIBC Norman Bobins Leadership Award went to Courtney Jones, The Dearborn Realist Board
The CIBC Norman Bobins Leadership Award went to Courtney Jones, The Dearborn Realist Board

Awards were also given to Harrison I. Steans and Courtney Jones for their contributions in service and leadership in Chicago. Jones has demonstrated exceptional leadership and business acumen while being fiercely committed to helping others to improve their quality of life and revitalize underserved neighborhoods, was honored as an emerging leader with the CIBC Norman Bobins Leadership Award. The Steans Family Foundation has worked hand in hand with the North Lawndale community to promote stronger education, employment, health and safety for residents and 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 maintains itself as one of Chicago’s most widely respected programs, one that recognizes the outstanding and most innovative community development projects,” said Deborah E. Bennett, CNDA jury chair and senior program officer at Polk Bros. Foundation. “With this being a special 25th annual celebration, we recognize those leaders and ‘paradigm-shifters’ not only remaking neighborhoods across the city, but offering new ways forward with ground-breaking models of place-making and development. Congratulations to this year’s winners – I know you will continue to be an inspiration to the many individuals and organizations dedicated to community revitalization.”

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 developer’s play in building stronger and healthier neighborhoods throughout Chicago. For more information visit, www.lisc-cnda.org