Unity Temple Restoration Project Wins Prestigious Urban Land Institute Chicago Vision Award

Oak Park, Illinois, July 16, 2019 - The 2019 ULI Chicago Vision Awards winners were named at an event held on July 10 at Rockwell on the River in Chicago. The Unity Temple Restoration Project was the winner in the category of Historic Restoration just days after the National Historic Landmark was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Developer UTP, LLC and restoration architect Harboe Architects helped bring this Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece back to life.


The ULI Chicago Vision Awards define the standard for real estate development in the Chicagoland area. “We are proud to recognize the visionary work that is being accomplished in our region,” said Mary Ludgin, managing director and head of global research, Heitman, and chair of ULI Chicago. “Our 2019 winners exemplify ULI’s mission of building community—of bringing together public, non-profit and private sector partners in creating places that are dynamic, and are truly visionary in how they have responded to their community’s unique needs.”


The Unity Temple Restoration Foundation’s mission includes raising additional funds for the continued preservation of Unity Temple, as well as providing artistic and educational programming for the public.


“We are honored to be recognized for our efforts in the restoration of Unity Temple,” said Heidi Ruehle-May, executive director of the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation. “ULI Chicago is a strong advocate for sustainability and preservation, and we are privileged to be included in the list of accomplished winners this year. We are especially thankful for the generosity of the Alphawood Foundation, whose generous financial support made the whole project possible.”


Gunny Harboe of Harboe Architects and Jack Tribbia of Berglund Construction released a joint statement: “We are greatly honored to receive this wonderful recognition from ULI. The success of the project is the result of the tremendous effort put forth by the whole team of professionals and contractors, all working together to achieve the best result possible.”





Unity Temple Restoration Foundation (UTRF) is a secular, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to restore, preserve and operate Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple, a National Historic Landmark. UTRF also provides artistic, cultural and educational public programming, and partners with local organizations to present a diverse array of programs.


Frank Lloyd Wright designed Unity Temple in 1905 for his own Unitarian Universalist congregation. It was built between 1906 and 1908 and became Wright’s first major public building commission. In 1970, Unity Temple was declared a National Historic Landmark; as a result, the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation was formed in 1973 to raise funds to preserve the building according to landmark standards. In 2015, UTRF began a comprehensive restoration of the building, primarily funded by the Alphawood Foundation, Tawani Foundation, and private donations. Unity Temple was reopened in 2017; the project, and the architects – Harboe Architects – have since won multiple awards for excellence in restoration. Unity Temple is one of eight Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the United States to be inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

Heidi Ruehle-May, Executive Director
Unity Temple Restoration Foundation
P: 708-260-6661
E: heidi@utrf.org
875 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL 60301