2017 CBC Merit Awards



New Construction Chicago Under $55 Million

Walter Payton College Preparatory High School

Industrial Construction

Saia LTL Freight

Infrastructure Construction

Navy Pier Centennial Wheel

Interior Build-Out

Zurich North America

Construction Under $15 Million

Abe and Ida Cooper Center


New Construction Suburbs

Joliet Central High School Student Center Addition

Rehab Construction

Albert Lane Tech High School Renovation

New Construction Chicago Over $55 Million

River Point Tower

CBC/COAA Owners' Choice Award

Albert Lane Tech High School Renovation

About the Chicago Building Congress Merit Awards

There is no other association activity that more perfectly defines the mission of the Chicago Building Congress than its Merit Award Program.  The Merit Awards have truly celebrated the building industry since 1956 by singling out the outstanding projects in greater Chicagoland built during the past three years.  Merit Awards are presented for construction in the following nine categories:

  • New Construction Chicago - Over $55 Million
  • New Construction Chicago - Under $55 Million
  • New Construction Suburbs
  • Rehab Construction
  • Construction Under $15 Million
  • Infrastructure Construction
  • Industrial Construction
  • Interior Buildout
  • CBC / COAA Owners' Choice Award

What sets the Merit Awards Program above most similar competitions is its meticulous judging process.  Entries from all nine categories are judged individually in multiple judging sessions by a dedicated panel of 40 CBC member volunteers on the basis of the following criteria: 

  • Distinctive, functional, or innovative design
  • Quality of Construction
  • Impact of the project upon the community
  • Safety Record

Past Merit Award Recipients

1956  Prudential 

1957  Old Orchard Shopping Center

1958  Inland Steel

1959  Illinois State Tollway

 1960  Michael Reese Hospital

 1961   McCormick Place

1962  United Of America

1963  United States Gypsum

1964  Continental Plaza

1965  Central District Filtration

1966  Univ of Chicago At Chicago Circle

1967  Oak Brook Development

1968  Lake Point Tower

1969  One First National Bank

1970  McCormick Place On The Lake

1971  Woodfield Mall

1972  James Roscoe Miller Campus

1973  Sears Tower

1974  One Montgomery Ward Plaza

1975  Standard Oil (Amoco)

1976  Water Tower Place

1977  Cultural Center

1978  Academic Facility

1979  Dearborn Park

1980  New City YMCA

1981  Kroc Diagnostic Treatment Center

1982  Chicago Board Of Trade Addition

1983  333 West Wacker Drive

1984  McDonald’s Office Campus

 1985 One Financial Place
           Chicago Hilton And Towers

 1986 190 South LaSalle
           Chicago Theatre

 1987 Center For Professional Education

 1988 Center For Professional Health

 1989 United Terminal

 1990 Riverway
           North Pier Chicago

 1991 Canal Center
           Hotel Inter-Continental Chicago

 1992 City Front Place
           Harpo Studios

 1993  Walsh Grand Headquarters
           Marshall Fields State Street

 1994  Chavez Elementary School
           Sears Tower
           2000 Wacker Drive Streetscape

 1995 Cook County Juvenile Center
           Finkl Urban Manufacturing
           Chicago Commons Nia Family Center

 1996 Monadnock Building
           Children’s Memorial Medical Center
           Fourth Presbyterian Church
           Williams Science Center Addition

 1997 McCormick Place Expansion
           Calumet Deep Tunnel/Reservoir
           CTA Green Line Renovation

 1998 HCSC (Blue Cross Building)
            Chicago Terminal Radar Approach
            Carl Schurz High School Restoration
            Little Village Academy

 1999 Living Coast/Brookfield Zoo
            Brooks Homes Modernization
            Barat College Library
            Elmhurst Art Museum

2000   Adler Planetarium/Sky Pavilion
            Northwestern Memorial Hospital
            Schaumburg Baseball Stadium
            Goldblatt’s Building Renovation
            Lake City Convention/Visitors Center



2001   Pharmacia Life Sciences Building
            Bachelor Enlisted Quarter
            Shedd Aquarium/Amazon Rising
            North Shore Senior Center

2002   UBS Tower
            Glenview Park Center
            360 North Michigan Renovation
            Jubilee Family Resource Center

2003   Homan Square Community Center
            Levy Senior Center
            Midwest Ctr For Green Technology
            La Rabida Children’s Hospital

2004   Soldier Field
            Oak Park Public Library
            York High School
            Lookingglass Theatre

2005   Lincoln Park Zoo Regenstein Center
            Baps Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
            Kendall College Riverworks Camps
            Patty Turner Senior Center

2006   Conservation Of The U-505 Sub
            Orland Park Public Library
            Domestic Violence Court House
            Rogers Park Montessori School

2007   Gary Comer Youth Center
            Calamos Headquarters
            LaSalle Bank Theater
            Chicago Greenworks

 2008  Klarchek Information Commons
            Ravinia New Dining Facility
            Orland Park Police Headquarters
            SOS Children’s Village

 2009  Trump International Hotel
            Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue
            Palmer House Hilton Hotel
            Holy Family Lutheran School

 2010  Art Institute Of Chicago
            Modern Wing & Nichols Bridgeway
            Metea Valley High School
            Uno Veterans Memorial Campus
            Hidden Oaks Nature Center
            S & C Electric Co Advanced Tech Crt
            Village Of Oak Park
            Marion & Westgate St Improvements

 2011  300 East Randolph
            Chicago Botanic Garden
            Plant Conservation Science Center
            The Sullivan Center
            Cast Iron Façade Restoration
            PCC Wellness Austin Family Health
            Exelon Solar City

 2012  Ogden International School
            Astellas North American Hdqrtrs
            Camp Porter Barracks
            III Forks Steakhouse
            Hairpin Lofts & Arts Center
            Old Town School Of Folk Music
            S-K Hand Tool
            Teen Living Programs Belfort House

 2013  Univ of Chgo Reva & David Logan Ctr
            Ronald McDonald House 211 E Grand
            Monroe Building
            LaCasa Student Dormitory
            31st Street Harbor
            Silver Cross Replacement Hospital
            Winpak Portion Packaging
            Baker & McKenzie

 2014  Adjustable Forms, Inc.
            Univ. of Chicago Quad Portal
            CTA Loop Track Renewal Project
            DePaul University Theatre School
            Argonne Energy Sciences Bldg.
            Genevieve & Wayne Gratz  Center
            Instituto Health Sciences Academy                                                     Back of  Yards High School

2015   BP Emergency Services Building
            Adler Planetarium Cosmology Gallery
            LaRabida Children's Hospital Ambulatory Care Ctr.
            University of Chicago 58th St. East & West Revitalization
            University of Chicago Saieh Hall for Economics
            University of Chicago Saieh Hall for Economics
            Northeastern Illinois University "El Centro Campus"
            Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Protein                                       Characterization Facility                                                               OneEleven

2016    NewCity
            Chinatown Branch, Chicago Public Library
            DuPage County Health Dept. Community Center
            Chicago Athletic Association
            Rosewood Beach Development
            Chicago Riverwalk Phase II
            Amazon Sortation & Fulfillment Center
            Confidential Technology  Project  
            Chicago Children's Advocacy Center                                                                                               

As the Merit Awards are considered the "academy awards" of the building industry, the recipient of each Merit Award is kept secret right up to the evening of the CBC's gala Merit Award Night dinner...and revealed sequentially during the tense moments of reviewing each of the four finalist projects, then announcing the winner.  Appropriately enough, since the Chicago Building Congress is considered "The Cornerstone of the Building Industry in Chicago" thrilled winners receive a granite cornerstone Merit Award from CBC...thus placing their projects in the company of all of these distinguished winners.