The Hyde Park Historical Society has announced the 2016 winners of its Paul Cornell, Marian and Leon Despres Preservation and Jean F. Block Book awards presented at its annual dinner on Feb. 27 at the Quadrangle Club, 1155 E. 57th St.
This year’s winners included John Boyer, dean of the College and the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in History; Prof. Theaster Gates, professor of visual arts and director of Arts + Public Life; and alumni Judith Stein, AB’62, AM’64, and Almarie Wagner, AM’68. The night’s guest speaker, Jay Mulberry, spoke about the life and achievements of Cyrus Leroy Baldridge, a University of Chicago graduate and noted world traveler, artist, journalist and author.
The 2016 Jean Block F. Book Award, which honors a recently published, scholarly, nonfiction book that focuses on Hyde Park Township, was awarded to Boyer for The University of Chicago: A History.
The book, an in-depth coverage of the history of the University from 1857 to the present, was praised for its numerous and detailed citations, many of which were drawn from the University’s archives, and for the author’s profound understanding of the University and his objectivity on the most controversial subject matters.
The 2016 Marian and Leon Despres Preservation Award, given for outstanding achievement in preserving Hyde Park Township’s architectural heritage, was given to Gates and the Rebuild Foundation for various creative restoration projects, which provide cultural spaces and community-driven programming in an effort that Gates terms “ethical re-development.”