Remembering Richard H. Driehaus


Remembering Richard H. Driehaus

AIA Chicago and the AIA Chicago Foundation are saddened to hear that our longtime friend and supporter, Richard Driehaus, has died. Over his long career, Mr. Driehaus has supported myriad initiatives and endeavors in our built environment, ranging from historic preservation to neighborhood community development; from classical architecture to championing affordable housing.

The Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust supports many of AIA Chicago Foundation’s initiatives and operations, making it possible for the Architects in Schools program to expand to seven Chicago Public Schools classrooms. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of AIA Chicago’s Designight celebration.

"Mr. Driehaus set the bar as an example for how an individual can make a positive impact on their community by supporting, inspiring and bringing joy to people that may or may not have ever met him," said Fred Brandstrader, AIA, 2021 AIA Chicago Foundation Board President. "His reach was boundless, and is cherished."

AIA Chicago recognized Mr. Driehaus with a 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the only non-architect to have received the award since its inception in 2006.

“‘Placemaking’ is the word most often used to describe Driehaus’s wide interests and his philanthropies,” wrote Laurie Petersen, who penned the Chicago Architect tribute to Mr. Driehaus on the occasion of his Lifetime Achievement Award. “He is a passionate advocate for the built environment in its largest sense: for the art of architecture, but also interests that range from big-picture city planning to the details of landscaping and lighting. He believes in raising the public’s expectations and convincing people that “good design doesn’t cost, it pays.’”

You can read more about Mr. Driehaus’s life and life and work in Petersen’s biographic article, and you can watch his friends and colleagues pay tribute to his generosity and ingenuity in the video below.