Location: Chicago, Illinois
Architect: Weese Langley Weese Architects Ltd.
Client: The Renaissance Collaborative
General Contractor: Powers & Sons Construction Company Inc.
Consultants: Consolidated Consulting Engineers
Photographer: © Bruce Van Inwegen Photography

After decades of abandonment, this 1913 building—now on the National Register of Historic Places—was faithfully restored to serve its original function as a YMCA. Original materials were discovered and reproduced, resulting in a handsome marble-tiled and oak-trimmed entrance, dignified and airy single-room occupancy units, and a restored ballroom. A mural painted in 1936 by a prominent African-American artist was carefully restored and reminds visitors of the Wabash Y’s history as an orientation center for blacks migrating from southern states to Chicago. Jurors particularly appreciated the restoration of the building to its original purpose. “The building retains robust qualities that YMCAs need to have,” with a handsome—and never contrived—result.
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