Legendary Landmarks

Editor’s Note:  Recalling a glorious gala pre-sheltering





By Judy Carmack Bross


One of the county’s leading preservation advocacy and action organizations for almost 50 years, Landmarks Illinois knows not only how to save save our history but also how to honor those who are making future history.


2020 Legendary Landmarks Daniel Walsh, Timuel D. Black Jr., Joseph P. Gromacki and Matthew Walsh with Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald.Credit: Pivot-Photography


This year’s Legendary Landmarks Celebration tapped Joseph P. Gromacki, Timuel D. Black Jr. and Matthew and Daniel Walsh of the Walsh Group, and almost 700 people were at the to celebratethese preservation heroes. For the last 14 years the gala has honored 40 individuals, families and corporations, and several past Legendary Landmarks were present to offer their congratulations.


All past and present Legendary Landmarks at the March 5 celebration. Back row left to right: Chris Lee of Bulley & Andrews (2015), Fred Berglund of Berglund Construction (2018), Matthew & Dan Walsh of The Walsh Group (2020), Toni Preckwinkle (2018), John Murphy of Murphy Development Group (2019), Joseph P. Gromacki (2020), Joseph Antunovich (2014). Front row left to right: Timuel D. Black Jr. (2020), Michael Kutza (2009), Leslie Hindman (2013), John Vinci (2011), Richard H. Driehaus (2009). Credit: Oscar H. Izquierdo


2020 Legendary Landmark Timuel D. Black Jr. giving his speech at the event.Credit: Oscar H.Izquierdo


At age 100, Black continues to give tours to young people in Bronzeville and share the stories of historic and culturally significant places on Chicago’s South Side, where he has spent most of his life. The noted civil rights leader, educator, historian, author and WWII veteran has devoted his life to promoting black history.


Joseph P. Gromacki, center, receiving his Legendary Landmark honor with 2020 Legendary Landmark Co-Chairs and Landmarks Illinois Board Members Cherryl Thomas and Erika Block.Credit: Oscar H. Izquierdo


A senior partner at Jenner & Block LLP, civic leader and an active patron of the arts, Gromacki serves on the boards of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association, and several other organizations. A member of the National Trust Council and Landmarks Illinois Emeritus Board, he has championed many historic preservation efforts and serves as Board Chair of Historic Deerfield.


Daniel Walsh and Matthew Walsh of The Walsh Group receive their 2020 Corporate Legendary Landmark honor from Legendary Landmark Co-Chairs Cherryl Thomas and Erika Block.Credit:Oscar H. Izquierdo


The Walsh Group, founded in 1898, is a fourth-generation family- owned, Chicago-based business providing services and finance for a wide variety of construction projects nationwide. They are the lead contractor on Chicago’s iconic Old Cook County Hospital project, a historic asset Landmarks Illinois advocated to save for 19 years. Co-Chairmen Matthew Walsh and Daniel J. Walsh accepted the honor.


Actor and Saturday Night Live alum Tim Kazurinsky served as the event’s emcee. Credit: Pivot-Photography


Actor and former Second City alum Tim Kazurinsky insured the merriment as emcee. The $840,000 raised, including $135,000 from the evening’s paddle raise, will provide critical funding for statewide advocacy programs. Bonnie McDonald serves as President and CEO of Landmarks Illinois.

Created in 1971 by a group of young lawyers, professors and civic-minded volunteers horrified by the destruction of the Louis Sullivan Stock Exchange building on La Salle Street to make way for a parking lot, the group still carries the founders’ spirit to preserve, protect and promote historical buildings and resources.


Photos by: Oscar H. Izquierdo and Pilot-Photography

For more information about Landmarks Illinois visit landmarks.org