Chicago Preservationists Honored at Society of Architectural Historians Gala

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The 2014 SAH Awards Gala drew the architectural community together to honor Chicago preservationists and support the restoration of Charnley-Persky House.

Photo (left to right): Robert Furhoff, John Vinci, Dennis Rodkin, Tim Samuelson, John Eifler, Arnold Randall, Marilyn Hasbrouck, Ben Weese, Wilbert Hasbrouck. Credit: Elliott Sturm Photography

We at SAH are delighted to honor six individuals whose passion to preserve the city’s built and natural environments has made Chicago a city that is rich in historic architecture, landscapes and urban plans that enhance our daily lives at every turn.

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) held its 2014 Awards Gala on November 8, at The Fortnightly of Chicago. The theme was A Foundation for Preservation, honoring the work of early initiators and continuing supporters of preservation work in Chicago. The gala’s nearly 200 attendees included architectural historians, architects, preservationists, and others from the Chicago architecture community. The event raised over $45,000 to support the educational mission of SAH and the ongoing restoration of SAH’s landmark headquarters, the Charnley-Persky House, which suffered flood damage in August.

SAH Executive Director Pauline Saliga commented, “We at SAH are delighted to honor six individuals whose passion to preserve the city’s built and natural environments has made Chicago a city that is rich in historic architecture, landscapes and urban plans that enhance our daily lives at every turn. We extend our deep gratitude to these long-time stewards of our designed environment, and we will work every day to build on their lasting legacies. We also are greatly indebted to all who supported the SAH Awards Gala, which raised funds for SAH’s educational outreach programs and the restoration of Charnley-Persky House, the National Historic Landmark entrusted to us.”

SAH presented its Awards for Architectural Excellence to Ben Weese, FAIA, of Weese Langley Weese (Preservation Advocacy); Tim Samuelson, City of Chicago cultural historian (Stewardship of the Built Environment); Robert Furhoff, historic paint analyst and restoration consultant (Architectural Conservation); Wilbert Hasbrouck, FAIA, and Marilyn Hasbrouck, founders of The Prairie School Review and Prairie Avenue Bookshop (Architectural Media); and Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President (Conservation of the Natural Environment). Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, accepted Preckwinkle’s award on her behalf.

The evening included a silent auction of architectural objects and experiences as well as a live auction led by Steven Zick of Christie’s. Live auction items included two roundtrip American Airlines tickets, an original Richard Nickel print, and a new-design vase from Rookwood Pottery. Guests enjoyed piano music by Robert Benson, passed hors d’oeuvres, pasta and burger stations, and wine.

Former Crain’s Chicago Business real estate reporter Dennis Rodkin served as master of ceremonies for a program highlighted by personal anecdotes and career reminiscences from the honorees. Presenting the awards were WTTW host and producer Geoffrey Baer, HPZS Senior Principal Henry Zimoch, HBRA Architects Director of Design Aric Lasher, preservationist Carolyn Johnson, and restoration architect John Eifler of Eifler & Associates Architects. Eifler and John Vinci of Vinci | Hamp Architects co-chaired the gala.

In addition to the gala proceeds, over $37,000 has been raised to help support the restoration of the Charnley-Persky House since August 2014. This includes grants from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and Alphawood Foundation Chicago, a $10,000 challenge grant from Cynthia and Ben Weese, and donations from individuals and organizations. SAH recently launched the Friends of Charnley-Persky House campaign to support educational programs and ongoing maintenance and restoration of the house.

About SAH
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 vocation or avocation, 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

About Charnley-Persky House
Designed by Louis Sullivan with assistance from his junior draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Charnley-Persky House (1891–1892) is recognized as a pivotal work of modern American architecture. The National Historic Landmark building serves as the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians. Docent-led tours of the exterior and interior of the Charnley-Persky House are offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. For more information, visit

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