Despres awards announced

Staff Writer

The Hyde Park Historical Society will award the Marian and Leon Despres Preservation Awards to the developers who rehabilitated the Harper Theater and the Shoreland Hotel.

Jim Hennessy, associate vice president for commercial and real estate operations at the University of Chicago will accept the award for the work done to restore the Harper Theater.

The Harper Theater reopened in early 2013 after a decade-long vacancy and a $13.2 million rehab.

Landmarks Illinois put the Harper Theater on its 2008 watch list for endangered buildings. In October the same organization awarded the Richard H. Dreihaus Foundation Preservation Award for the work done to restore it.

The interior of the building was gutted to add four theaters, the terra cotta and brick facades were restored and the marquee replicated.

David Gwinn, director of design at MAC Properties, will accept the award for the rehabilitation of the Shoreland Hotel Building.

MAC spent $50 million rehabilitating the Shoreland, 5454 S. Shore Drive, and it began accepting renters in late 2013.

While the Shoreland was originally built in 1926 as a 1,000-room hotel, it spent nearly 30 years housing dormitory students for the U. of C.

Antheus Capital, the financial arm of MAC Properties, bought the Shoreland in 2009 and turned it into a 330-apartment building.

The two ballrooms, including the Art Deco and Spanish Revival-style grand ballroom, were both restored and the original portico was kept in place during construction.

To accommodate renters more easily, parking was added underneath the building and the court was excavated to add 40 more spaces.