Winners in up to 7 categories take home $1,000!

Created in 2005 by the Chicago Bungalow Association with the generous support of The Driehaus Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Bungalow Awards are our annual juried competition honoring the creativity and efforts of homeowners like you.​ Be inspired by past winners, and submit your own home improvement project for a chance to win $1,000 in up to seven award categories, including interior and exterior renovations, restoration, and landscape design!

Nominations for the 2019 Driehaus Awards were due October 29, 2019. Check back soon for winner results!

Explore all winning projects, past and present, in our Driehaus Awards Gallery:

        Congratulations 2018 Winners!

Exterior Rehabilitation

Winner - Troy & DeLisa Bryant, South Chicago

Troy single-handedly transformed the entry of the bungalow he shares with his wife, DeLisa, and their family after a neighbor saw their house on a "We Buy Ugly Houses" commercial. Troy demoed the non-original aluminum, jalousie glass, and uninviting steel security door, and in its place framed a recessed entrance. He installed drywall and insulation, and completed the look with a paint palette true to the bungalow aesthetic. Finishing touches include handmade planters and a back-lit address placard. Troy also built and installed double driveway gates. Mindful of his budget, he completed all aspects of the project himself, and resourcefully salvaged materials like the high-end Craftsman-inspired double doors.

Exterior Rehabilitation

Honorable Mention - Scott & Diana Roth, Forest Glen

During the search for their home, Scott and Diana came across a vacant bungalow on the city’s demolition list from years of neglect and unsafe conditions, and decided to save it from the wrecking ball. With his own architecture firm, Roth Architects, Inc., Scott had the tools necessary to give the property the restart it needed, and make it the ideal home for him and Diana. Part of their dream was to have an outdoor living room, so they built just that. Where there was no garage before, they built a Craftsman-inspired two-car garage with a wood-burning fireplace on the exterior, which they can enjoy from the patio furniture. They also rebuilt the rear of the bungalow, which was boarded up with a failed foundation. Now it extends further into the backyard, making room for a stairway into the basement, and finished beautifully on the exterior with bungalow-appropriate shingles and siding.

Interior Rehabilitation

Winner - Antonette & Steve Donahue, West Ridge

Antonette and Steve rehabbed their crowded kitchen into a spacious, eat-in kitchen for their modern family of four. With the help of Greene & Proppe Design, Inc., they cleverly created a new adjacent breakfast nook from a former bedroom closet by converting two small tandem bedrooms into one. In the kitchen, they installed new white shaker cabinets, quartz countertops, an island and new double hung windows. To complete the transformation, crown molding was installed, existing oak floors were redone, and cast iron radiators were refurbished.

Interior Rehabilitation

Honorable Mention - Joshua Cruz & Kelly Gates, Norwood Park

Joshua and Kelly had four goals in mind for their basement rehab: a full lavatory, workout space, office area, and room to entertain. Joshua chose a pared-down industrial design that wouldn’t falter under the natural stresses of basement climate and flooding. He spent months power-washing paint from the brick walls, and applied DRYLOK® to seal it from moisture. Muriatic acid and a subtle blue dye were used to finish the concrete floor, mirroring the painted blue ceiling. The choice of a sleek floor would cause minimal upset in case of water damage. Arnold Electric Services outfitted the basement with proper electricity. In the corner, a stylish lavatory was added. Joshua outsourced to EDMAR Corporation to build the bathroom wall using reclaimed Chicago common brick, and hired Garrity Plumbing, Inc. to install copper piping. Joshua repurposed an old-growth wood door found in the attic, then frosted and stenciled the glass before installing.

Interior Restoration

Winner - Renee Mercado & Jen Wilson, Dunning

Renee and Jen loved the charm of their new bungalow but felt the dark woodwork and narrowed opening between the living and dining rooms were making the whole house feel cramped. They were in for a surprise when they decided to open the doorway up to its original width—during demo they discovered that the original framing was still intact and wider than anticipated! To complete the restoration, the new opening was trimmed out with oak to match the rest of the home’s trim, all the first-floor woodwork including the floors and doors was stripped and re-stained (JCA Wood Refinishing worked with them to get the color just right), the dirty popcorn plaster ceiling was removed, and a non-original chair rail was replaced with a historically appropriate one. Cramped no more, Renee and Jen enjoy their lighter, airier rooms almost as much as their epic fig tree.

Interior Restoration

Honorable Mention - Jolanta & Kurt Kupferer, Hermosa

For the past year, Jolanta and Kurt have been the proud new owners of their nearly 100-year-old bungalow in Hermosa. Piece by piece, they want to restore some of the original character back to their home. One of the first projects they took on was the bathroom floor. After peeling back two layers of vinyl flooring and one layer of linoleum, they were excited to discover the original hexagon tile underneath! The tile was in good condition but covered with dark glue, which they painstakingly scraped off by hand, and then used Sunnyside Back to Nature Ready-Strip Mastic Remover to strip tougher areas of adhesive around the radiator. Temporarily removing the sink and toilet allowed them to fill-in gaps with cement. For just $60 spent on mastic remover and tile cleaner, they were able to get back their vintage blue-and-white flower design tile!

Small Project

Winner - Andrea & David Keirn, West Ridge

Andrea and David transformed their dingy kitchen pantry into a fully functional space from top to bottom! The original pantry built-in—complete with delivery door and wire glass—was covered in contact paper and years of grime, and the flimsy existing shelves were failing. After cleaning up the built-in, they rebuilt shelves from scratch with sturdy wood. On the floor, several layers of old linoleum were removed and replaced with vintage-inspired hex tile. The woodwork (previously painted brown!) was painted white to match rest of the home. Finishing touches included a cut crystal pull cord charm to complement their vintage dining room chandelier. For just $500, Andrea and David completed the project themselves in 5 weeks.

Small Project

Honorable Mention - Rosita Jefferson & Anthony McDonald, Auburn Gresham

When Rosita bought her first home in August 2018, she wanted to make sure it had a place where friends and family could visit and have a good time. With the help of her partner Anthony and his craftsmanship skills, Rosita transformed her basement into that welcoming space for social gathering. From scratch, Anthony designed and built a wooden basement bar. Despite suggestions from others to use granite as the bar top material, he purposefully opted for wood, hoping to add some warmth to the basement. Anthony cut and stained the countertop, added decorative wood trim, and installed colorful atmospheric lighting. The bar is adorned with Rosita’s handmade beaded candle votives, bar signs and shot glasses from her recent trip to Germany where her eldest son is stationed, and an impressive karaoke sound system.  The entire project took three weekends to complete.

Small Project

Honorable Mention - Keith Paddy & Cassandra Kaczocha, West Ridge

Keith and Cassandra purchased their bungalow in August of 2013 and immediately began turning their house into a home. Inundated with a number of small projects, they filled the bare wall of their living room with IKEA bookshelves as an easy way to store all of their books. However, they quickly out grew them and Keith decided to build something sturdy, elegant, and efficient. With cautious support from his wife and two children, Keith began work on the project purchasing stock cabinets, an electric fireplace, and oak wood boards in various sizes. Knowing the shelf would include built-in lighting and an electric fireplace, he had an electrician, Peter Ozyp, install the necessary wiring. Then Keith built a support box for the fireplace, framed out the entire structure, cut boards for the bookshelves, added Craftsman-inspired detailed trim, and lastly painted the unit linen white to match the rest of the interior. In just four weeks, Keith added function to their home while maintaining a historic bungalow aesthetic.

Green Project

Winner - Anthony & Gary "Butch" Wesorick, Greater Grand Crossing

Butch and Anthony have owned their bungalow in Greater Grand Crossing for 14 years. One day in September 2017, they came home to find their original 1920s garage had caved in on itself after years of water damage! They hired Alliance Disaster Kleenup and AMB Roofing & Sheetmetal to repair the two side walls and rebuild everything else. Butch and Anthony knew the soft historic brick couldn’t be patched with newer common brick, so the contractor used matching historic brick salvaged from another site! Butch took on rebuilding the chimney himself, leveling the concrete floors, and building the door frames for the two new garage doors. He was able to repurpose some original brick from the garage to build the jamb between the two doors from Taurus Security Rolling Shutters. The unique garage always had a second story, but the new configuration allows them to use it as a shared work space, with Butch’s studio on one side and Anthony’s office on the other. Off of the new long-lasting metal roof, downspouts lead away from the foundation to prevent future water damage to the “green” garage!

Green Project

Honorable Mention - Jan & Jodie Gudell, Belmont Cragin

Knowing the challenges of managing stormwater in Chicago, Jan did his research and found drywells as a perfect solution to redirecting stormwater to places other than Chicago’s combined sewer system. To install the drywell, Jan dug out the cavity, backfilled with peagravel, assembled, installed, covered and resodded. One would never guess there’s a drywell working wonders in this bungalow’s backyard. Jan also restored 3 inoperable double hung windows to bring back natural ventilation, and installed a salvaged front door, bronze V-strip weatherstripping and a vintage interlocking threshold. 

Landscape Design

Winner - Douglas Boldt & Lorrie Akins, Belmont Cragin

Over 30 years and with a grand vision, Douglas and Lorrie transformed their promising but underdeveloped backyard into an urban “courtyard” garden, to create a space where family, friends (and pets!) can find inspiration, sanctuary, and sustenance. Using no pesticides or fertilizers other than compost, all the thoughtfully scaled landscaping was done by Doug, including the stone masonry, pavers, planting and maintenance.

Landscape Design

Honorable Mention - Margie Martinez, West Ridge

Margie always loved bungalows and spent two years searching for hers. Finally, in March 2017, she purchased her home in West Ridge, but it came with a challenge: remove ivy covering the entire front, back, and one side of the bungalow! Before the home was hers, ivy was left to grow wild all over the brick and even in through the windows, allowing hornets’ nests to form and other bugs to enter the house. Knowing that ivy damages historic masonry by pumping moisture into the soft brick and mortar, she and her son started removing it two days after closing on the house. Then, she had a gardener remove a dying tree and bulky bushes, and replace the dirt with new organic soil. Margie’s new landscape design included native perennials like Porcupine Grass, different mulches and stones to add depth, solar-powered lights, and stepping stones letting her easily access the plants for watering and pruning.

Window Restoration

Winner - Craig Brandt & Laurie Woolverton, West Ridge

Craig and Laurie have proudly owned their West Ridge bungalow since 2002, but the time had come to rejuvenate their multipane wood casement windows. Swinging casements are even more challenging to work with than the typical double hung Chicago bungalow windows. The existing aluminum storms were failing and paint was peeling on the exterior, while on the interior many windows were painted shut. Craig, an architect by day, created wood storms that could be easily cleaned and switched from glass to screen to optimize ventilation without having to get on a ladder. He perfected his custom design with prototypes in the dining room before fabricating the rest. The windows themselves were each stripped, re-glazed, re-stained or repainted, and spring-copper weather-stripping was added or replaced. Over the course of 3 years, Craig restored 24 windows! Lastly, a new storm door, made by Adams Woodworking in Milwaukee, was installed to protect the new solid mahogany front door that replaced a non-original flush veneer door.

Window Restoration

Honorable Mention - Mike & Amy Adler, Portage Park

Mike and Amy always knew they wanted a bungalow, and when they found “the one” near family in Portage Park earlier this year, the only thing missing from their wish-list was an art glass window. Luck would have it that there was one hidden behind the living room wall—the result of a previous owner’s mid-century “modernization.” Their home inspector noticed it right before they closed on the house, tucked away behind a storm window. Remarkably, the window was in perfect condition. With the help of Mulligan Stained Glass Studio, the Adlers cut a hole in their plaster wall to excavate the glass panel, restored the window and replicated the trim to match the rest in the house. In the process, they learned the glass came from the Wissmach Glass Co. in West Virginia, which was responsible for much of the art glass in Chicago homes. Their panel contains three geometric tulips of green, pink and yellow stained glass, with a touch of rare blue glass at the bottom.

Sensible Addition

Winner - Christopher Gordon & Carolina Gomez, Portage Park

Christopher and Carolina purchased their bungalow in 2013, just prior to adopting their daughter from Carolina’s home country of Colombia, with the intention of converting the semi-finished attic into a two-bedroom, one-bathroom upstairs. When they moved in, the attic was poorly insulated, the floors were covered in old carpet, and it was not unusual to smell hot asphalt radiating from the roof’s shingles in the summertime. With guidance from Andrew Ivari Architects, they built their light and airy second floor with 7.5 foot ceilings, two dormers set back 20 feet from the front of the house following CBA’s Design Guidelines, a master bedroom and their daughter’s bedroom, a full bathroom, and a reading nook and play area. Built-in bookshelves create a geometric design emphasizing and elegantly framing the dormer windows, while skylights bring added light to the bedrooms.

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All About the Awards


The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Bungalow Awards were created in 2005 by the Chicago Bungalow Association, with the generous support of The Driehaus Foundation. An annual juried competition, the Driehaus Awards honors the creativity and efforts of homeowners for the work they’ve done in interior and exterior renovations, restoration, and landscape design. Having grown up in a Chicago bungalow on the South Side of the City, Richard H. Driehaus personally knows the value that the architecture of these homes bring to both families and neighborhoods, and the importance of celebrating bungalow owners' dedication through these awards in order to inspire others. Mr. Driehaus is CBA's strongest supporter, and his generous grants fund the work of CBA, including these awards. 


Nomination Requirements:

  • Brick Chicago-style bungalow located in the City of Chicago

  • Project completed within the last 5 years


Nomination Categories:

  • Exterior Rehabilitation: Demonstrates appropriate rehabilitation projects and/or compatible new additions.

  • Interior Rehabilitation: Demonstrates a contemporary use while maintaining significant features.

  • Interior Restoration: Accurately recovers the details and forms of the Chicago Bungalow.

  • Small Project: Preserves historic detail and form while improving one aspect of a room or the exterior at a cost of $5,000 or less.

  • Green Project: Demonstrates the use of energy-efficient design and renovation while maintaining classic features—can be a rain garden or landscape project if it incorporates green elements such as native plants, permeable pavers, etc.

  • Landscape Design: Demonstrates creative design solution and enhance the overall visual impression.

  • Window Restoration: Preserves historic detail and materials of original wood windows using appropriate methods for repair/restoration.

There is no limit to nominations per home. In 2018 we had a record breaking 78 eligible nominations submitted, capturing a diverse group of bungalow owners from neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

Judging Criteria

The panel of judges is selected by the Chicago Bungalow Association and is composed of architects, preservationists, community leaders, neighborhood development and energy efficiency professionals. Nominations are judged on the overall visual impression, creative design solution, and how well the project maintains the integrity of the Historic Chicago Bungalow. Additional criteria considered includes a diverse geographic and ethnic distribution of selections. One winner and one honorable mention is selected in each category.


Judges for the 2018 Driehaus Awards included Manuel Hernandez, AIA Chicago Architect and Board Director, Chicago Registered Energy Professional (REP), and Owner of Design Seed, Inc.; Emily Wallrath Schmidt, Master of Science in Historic Preservation and Preservation Program Manager at CBA, formerly at National Main Street Center; Jackie Wiese, Master of Science in Historic Preservation and Senior Manager at Elevate Energy; Faith Rackow, Master of Science in Historic Preservation and former Deputy Director of Chicago Bungalow Association.


Winners receive a cash award of $1,000, a handcrafted bronze plaque,
created by local artisan, Frank Glapa of FMG Design, and recognition on
CBA website, social media, and eNewsletter.


Honorable Mentions receive a cash award of $250 (new this year!), a handcrafted bronze
plaque, and recognition on CBA website, social media, and in eNewsletter.


Nominations for 2019 begin on January 1st and will be accepted all year long on our online nomination form. The bungalow need not be homeowner occupied. Nominations from neighbors, friends and neighborhood organizations are accepted.

The elegantly arched doorway of Mr. Driehaus' boyhood bungalow in Brainerd frames his sister, Dorothy (Driehaus) Mellon's on her wedding day October 10, 1965.

Photo Credit: Pacyga, D. A., & Shanabruch, C. (2003). The Chicago bungalow. Chicago: Arcadia Pub.

Our work to create these awards is generously funded by The Driehaus Foundation.

© 2019 Chicago Bungalow Association
Chicago Bungalow Association is an Illinois nonprofit corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3)