Announcing the 2020 Merit Awards Finalists

Category Project
Education University of Chicago Keller Center
University of Illinois at Chicago Engineering Innovation Building
Adlai E. Stevenson High School District 125, East Building Addition
City Colleges of Chicago, Olive-Harvey College, Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (TDL) Center
Northwestern University Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center
Healthcare Palos Health South Campus Redevelopment
Rush Oak Park Hospital New Emergency Department
VA Hines New Boiler Plant
Esperanza Health Centers
University of Chicago Medicine's River East Ambulatory Care Center
Residential/Hospitality One Bennett Park
New Moms Oak Park Center and Clare Place
Northtown Affordable Apartments and Public Library
OffShore Chicago
KLEO Art Residences
Commercial Construction UNDER $50M Gillson Park - Wilmette Park District
Experience Center - Ravinia Festival
Chicago Park District Williams Park
Oswego Police Station
Columbia College Chicago Student Center
Commercial Construction OVER $50M Twelve01West
Argonne Materials Design Laboratory
American Airlines O'Hare Concourse L Stinger
McDonald's Global Headquarters
The Lincoln Common
Renovation & Adaptive Reuse UNDER $15M Chicago Riverwalk Esplanade Improvements
The Audi Exchange of Highland Park
Museum of Science and Industry 2019 Exterior Repairs
Lincoln Park Community Services
Tied House
Renovation & Adaptive Reuse OVER $15M Aurora Arts Center
The Old Chicago Post Office Renovation and Adaptive Reuse Project
Ritz-Carlton Chicago
311 West Monroe
Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Infrastructure or Industrial Construction Riverview Bridge
Little Company of Mary Hospital Emergency Department Air Handling Unit Upgrade
Interchange 55 Logistics Buildings A & B
Chicago Transit Authority Quincy Station Renovation
Interior Build-Out Knoll
Allison Dining Hall - Northwestern University
LinkedIn Chicago Expansion
900 Reimagined
Holland & Knight Chicago Office


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:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Residential/Hospitality
  • Commercial Construction under $50M
  • Commercial Construction over $50M
  • Renovation and Adaptive Reuse Under $15M
  • Renovation and Adaptive Reuse Over $15M
  • Infrastructure or Industrial Construction
  • Interior Build-Out

Enter Your Construction Project in the 2020 Merit Awards

The Chicago Building Congress Merit Awards Committee invites CBC members and non-members to submit entries for the CBC’s 2020 Merit Awards competition. This program recognizes the most outstanding construction projects from the past three years in the Chicagoland area.

ENTRY DEADLINE – ENTER your project: Monday, Dec. 16, 2019


(Projects must be completed by Dec., 31, 2019

Categories for 2020

The Merit Awards Program is entering its 64th year – check out these categories which acknowledge the construction industry’s ever-changing landscape.

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Residential/Hospitality
  • Commercial Construction under $50M
  • Commercial Construction over $50M
  • Renovation and Adaptive Reuse Under $15M
  • Renovation and Adaptive Reuse Over $15M
  • Infrastructure or Industrial Construction
  • Interior Build-Out


Congrats 2019 Merit Award Finalists & Winners!


Burbank School District 111 Luther Burbank Elementary School – Winner!
Chicago Architecture Center
Moxy Chicago Downtown

Infrastructure Construction

41st Street Pedestrian Bridge over Lake Shore Drive – Winner!
CTA Wilson Station Reconstruction

Interior Build-Out

Captive Resources
CNA Corporate Headquarters Relocation
C.H. Robinson
Tribune Media & WGN Radio Interior Build Out
DLA Piper – Winner!

New Construction Under $15M

412 N. Wells – Winner!
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Outpatient and DayRehab Center
Brother James Gaffney, FSC, Student Center
Loyola University Flex Lab Engineering Building
Searle Visitor Center

New Construction $15 – $55 M

C.H. Robinson Midwest Headquarters
Milwaukee Belden TOD
AM 1980
Manufacturing Technology & Engineering Center at Richard J. Daley College – Winner!

New Construction Over $55M

Cook County Central Campus Health Center
Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way
Holtschneider Performance Center – Winner!
Northwestern University Ryan/Walter Athletics Center
727 West Madison
The Cooper at Southbank

Renovation & Adaptive Reuse UNDER $10M

Bronzeville Classical School
Merchandise Mart Art on theMART
Greenwood American Kitchen & Bar
The Newberry Renovation – Winner!
University of Chicago Medicine Cell Processing Facility

Renovation & Adaptive Reuse OVER $10M

Hotel Julian – Winner!
Chicago Union Station Great Hall Restoration
Elgin Tower Apartments
Fannie Emanuel Apartments for Senior Housing Modernization
Court House Place / Bartlit Beck Office Renovation


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


  • One Financial Place
  • Chicago Hilton And Towers


  • 190 South LaSalle
  • Chicago Theatre

1987 Center For Professional Education

1988 Center For Professional Health

1989 United Terminal


  • Riverway
  • North Pier Chicago


  • Canal Center
  • Hotel Inter-Continental Chicago


  • City Front Place
  • Harpo Studios


  • Walsh Grand Headquarters
  • Marshall Fields State Street


  • Chavez Elementary School
  • Sears Tower
  • 2000 Wacker Drive Streetscape


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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
  • Northeastern Illinois University “El Centro Campus”Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Protein
  • OneEleven


  • 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


  • Walter Payton College Preparatory High School
  • Saia LTL Freight
  • Navy Pier Centennial Wheel
  • Zurich North America
  • Abe and Ida Cooper Center
  • Joliet Central High School Student Center Addition
  • Albert Lane Tech High School Renovation
  • River Point Tower
  • Albert Lane Tech High School Renovation


  • Washington Wabash CTA Loop Elevated Station
  • Joliet Junior College City Center
  • Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Unity Temple
  • IBEW Local 9, University Park Training Facility
  • Hotel EMC2
  • Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
  • Trumpf Smart Factory


  • Burbank School District 111 Luther Burbank Elementary School
  • 41st Street Pedestrian Bridge over Lake Shore Drive
  • DLA Piper
  • 412 N. Wells
  • Manufacturing Technology & Engineering Center at Richard J. Daley College
  • Holtschneider Performance Center
  • The Newberry Renovation
  • Hotel Julian