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Rosenwald Apartments, Hyde Park Resident Win Preservation Awards

By Sam Cholke | August 2, 2017 8:24am | Updated on August 4, 2017 11:47am
 The Rosenwald Court Apartments has undergone a $132 million renovation.
Rosenwald Renovation
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GRAND BOULEVARD — The Rosenwald Court Apartments and a Hyde Park resident who helped create the Chicago Cultural Center will be honored by Landmarks Illinois.

The Rosenwald, 4600 S. Michigan Ave., will be awarded the Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for rehabilitation, and Charles Staples will receive the Joe Antunovich Award for Leadership at a September ceremony.

The Rosenwald reopened last year after a lengthy rehabilitation that revived it from more than 15 years of neglect and honors its role as a home of prominent African-Americans during Bronzeville’s heyday.

“The rehabilitation of Rosenwald Court Apartments has not only provided housing the community needed, but has also served as a signal to residents that their neighborhood is worth investing in,” said Bonnie McDonald, president of Landmarks Illinois. “The project recognized that this building was an important part of the community’s past and should be part of its future.”

Charles Staples of Hyde Park will be honored for his role in advocating for the conversion of the Chicago Cultural Center from its former role as a library in the 1960s. He has continued to advocate for the center and is its longest-serving volunteer, having served since 1994.

McDonald called Staples her hero.

“He had the courage and the vision needed to save the Cultural Center from demolition in the 1970s,” McDonald said. “During his effort, he continued to find new ways to make the argument for why this now nationally and locally recognized landmark deserved to live on. Today, it remains a place we all still cherish and value.”

Staples and the other winners will be presented with their awards and $1,000 each during a Sept. 16 ceremony.