Acanthus Awards

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The annual awards program of the Chicago-Midwest Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art sought a bronze award that exhibited the ideals of the Classical tradition while making the award specific to the chapter. They chose the name of the Acanthus Award of Arete. Arete is a Greek word translated as excellence in fulfillment of purpose or function, and the bronze was created to uniquely honor a project that exhibits that quality.

The origin of the design lies in the philosophical juxtaposition and harmonious interweaving of the geometric and the organic, embodying Chicago’s motto of URBS IN HORTO – City in a Garden – as well as local design traditions. The design is generated from a synthesis of 3 significant moments in the history of American Midwest architecture. The square frame represents the geometric layering present in the Prairie Style. The intersection and interaction of the natural and the geometric, as well as the “awakening” of the square, allude to Louis Sullivan’s teachings. Finally, the Acanthus leaves and corbels represent the Classical, as stipulated by the program.

Architect of Record

Matthew McNicholas
MGLM Architects
343 South Dearborn
Suite 1203
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Phone: 312.624.8172
Fax: 312.277.3780

General Contractor

Robert Baird
Historical Arts & Casting
5580 West Bagley Park Road
West Jordan, Utah 84081
Phone: 801.280.2400
Fax: 801.280.2493

Consultant 1

Scott Morey
Decorators Supply Corporation
3610 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois 60609
Phone: 800.792.2093
Fax: 773.847.6357


Mark Allen Garzon

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