By Judy Carmack Bross
For almost 50 years the force for hands-on preservation and effective advocacy for both buildings and neighborhoods has been Landmarks Illinois whose galas first celebrated landmark buildings and now living legendary landmarks. In the last 14 years over 40 individuals, families and corporations have received awards. Almost 700 guests attended the recent gala at the Hilton Chicago that raised nearly $800,000 and singled out passionate preservationists at the heart of saving what is important to Chicago.
This year, Landmarks Illinois honored Ed Wehmer, President and CEO of Wintrust, John Murphy, Chairman and CEO of the Murphy Development Group as 2019 Corporate Legendary Landmarks and dedicated civic leaders and philanthropists Judith and Raymond McCaskey as 2019 Legendary Landmarks—all key partners in landmark efforts. The Murphy Group is currently undertaking the mixed-use re-development of the iconic Old Cook County Hospital, working closely with Landmarks Illinois.
Bonnie McDonald, Landmarks Illinois President and CEO described how the selection process works:
“Landmarks Illinois carefully curates honorees named Legendary Landmarks based on the significance and longevity of the designee’s cultural, philanthropic and corporate contributions to Chicago and beyond. Our 2019 Legendary Landmarks have personal and meaningful connections to historic preservation among their many stellar achievements, and we are proud to illuminate these individuals and corporations as Legendary Landmarks.”
The 2019 Legendary Landmarks Celebration Committee members were: co-chairs Joseph M. Antunovich and Shelley Gorson, Erika Block, Landmarks Board Chair Mark Henning, Frieda Ireland, Judi Male, Sandra Rand, Kathleen Swien and Anne Voshel. Former Saturday Night Live featured player Tim Kazurinsky, now Chicago actor and screenwriter, was the evening’s hilarious Master of Ceremonies.
Photo Credits: Oscar H. Izquierdo, Pivot Photography, Lewis Purdy