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Each year, Landmarks Illinois and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation honor individuals, organizations, projects and programs whose work demonstrates a commitment to excellence in historic preservation. In doing so, we hope to inspire others to preserve, protect, and promote historic resources. 

In addition to the beautifully designed trophy, each of this year’s winning projects will receive a $1,000 cash award. 

All winners will be honored during an Awards Ceremony on October 16th in Chicago.

Richard H. Driehaus is a dedicated supporter of Landmarks Illinois’ mission. His foundation has underwritten these awards since 1994.

Nominated projects must have been completed within the geographic boundaries of Illinois within the last five years. Projects not yet completed will not be considered. 

  • Nominations may be submitted without the knowledge of the nominee
  • Self nominations will be accepted
  • Nominations which are not selected for awards in a previous year may be revised and resubmitted, provided the five-year time limit has not been exceeded.

ADVOCACY – An effective local or statewide campaign to preserve and protect a historic resource. 

  • Communication
  • Community Effort/Grassroots Campaign 
  • Education      

LEADERSHIP– Individual, municipality, private organization, or joint partnership that has championed historic preservation, planning, or public policy. 

  • Emerging Leader 
  • Professional
  • Volunteer
  • Lifetime Achievement 

PRESERVATION – Projects that make possible the continued use of a historic commercial/industrial, residential, or public/institutional structure.  

  • Adaptive Use
  • Rehabilitation
  • Restoration      
  • Stabilization      
  • Stewardship      
  • Sustainability

LEGISLATOR – An elected official who champions historic preservation policy, programs, and funding and/or financial incentives recognizing the importance of preserving Illinois’ heritage.

Judging Criteria 

  • Impact of the project on the community
  • Quality and degree of difficulty of the project
  • Degree to which the project serves as an example of excellence in historic preservation and influences others
  • Degree to which the project aligns with Landmarks Illinois' mission: People Saving Places for People.  


To view previously honored projects and individuals, visit the Preservation Awards page of our website.  

Suzanne Germann, Director of Grants and Easements

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.