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Joliet Central High School Awarded 2017 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Restoration

September 22, 2017 03:35 PM
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The Joliet Central High School Student Center addition was awarded the 2017 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Restoration in Chicago on Saturday, September 16, during a special awards ceremony that paid tribute to nine inspiring individuals and organizations that put forth extraordinary effort to elevate historic preservation practice and advocacy in Illinois.

The annual awards program honors innovative preservation projects, dedicated organizations, and uplifting success stories from across the state.

Since being built in 1901, the Collegiate Gothic-style Joliet Central High school has been considered the heart of the town and a beloved historic landmark. 

Facing several significant functional and accessibility related issues, District 204 resolved to add a new student center, dining facility, multi-purpose areas and elevators to the original 1901 school building. The major challenge was designing a functionally modern building that was architecturally sensitive to the existing building’s design, while still emphasizing its distinctiveness from the original structure. Located at 201 East Jefferson Street, the new space provides students with new amenities and spaces that foster learning, collaboration and accessibility for everyone. This modern and engaging space, which did not compromise the original structure and respected the historic details of the highly significant and much-loved 1901 school building, now serves as a point of pride for students and the broader community.

“Joliet High School has reimagined a once underutilized space, turning it into what is now the heart of the school,” said Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois. “The creative design of this rehabilitation project should serve as an example to other schools for how to provide unique gathering space for students.”

The team responsible for this project includes: Joliet Township High School District 204, Wright & Company, Brush Architects, Gilbane Building Company, JSL Masonry Restoration, and A-One Group.

Accepting the award on behalf of the District was Board of Education member Arlene Albert.

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