SAH Receives Grant from Alphawood Foundation Chicago for Charnley-Persky House Restoration

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Alphawood Foundation Chicago grants the Society of Architectural Historians $5,000 to assist with flood repairs to Charnley-Persky House headquarters

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We are extremely grateful to the Alphawood Foundation for providing a grant to help us restore the interior of our Sullivan and Wright-designed headquarters.

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) has received a $5,000 grant from Alphawood Foundation Chicago to assist with flood repair work of SAH headquarters, the Charnley-Persky House. The 1891-1892 landmark house, designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, suffered flood damage in August.

SAH Executive Director Pauline Saliga commented, “We are extremely grateful to the Alphawood Foundation for providing a grant to help us restore the interior of our Sullivan and Wright-designed headquarters. I extend my special thanks to their program officer, Brad White, who offered invaluable advice throughout the the process of unearthing the source of the flood and deciding on a plan to repair the 19th-century plumbing and restore the water damaged interiors.”

To date, SAH has raised over $36,000 for the restoration of the Charnley-Persky House. In addition to the Alphawood Foundation grant, this amount includes a $5,000 grant from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, as well as a $10,000 challenge grant made by board member Cynthia Weese, FAIA, and her husband, Ben Weese, FAIA.

The flooding was caused by an antiquated sewer pipe that had accumulated debris, forcing drainage water to back up during heavy rains. The sewer has been replaced, and interior restoration work will commence in the coming weeks. As donations continue to come in, SAH will use the money raised to defray repair and restoration costs not covered by insurance. In addition to relying on the expertise of restoration architect John Eifler, FAIA, of Eilfer & Associates Architects, SAH plans to work with an architectural or engineering firm to prepare a detailed Current Conditions Report for Charnley-Persky House to help guide SAH with ongoing restoration and maintenance of the building.

If you would like to help support the restoration efforts, please make an online donation or send a check payable to the Charnley-Persky House Museum Foundation to 1365 N. Astor Street, Chicago, IL 60610.

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 Alphawood Foundation
Alphawood Foundation is a Chicago-based grant making private foundation working for an equitable, just and humane society. It awards grants to more than 200 organizations annually, primarily in the areas of advocacy, architecture and preservation, arts, domestic violence prevention, the environment, promotion and protection of the rights of LGBT citizens and people living with HIV/AIDS, and other human and civil rights.

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