Crabtree Farm owner John Bryan has been chosen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the 2014 Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award — the national preservation movement’s highest accolade.
This likely will come as no surprise to people on the North Shore. Bryan, owner of the bucolic Crabtree Farm in Lake Bluff, was named a “Local Legend” by the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society in 2012 — you can read about him here in a “Sunday Breakfast” article that ran in North Shore Weekend that year.
As for his latest accolade from the National Trust of Historic Preservation? Here’s a press release issued on Nov. 13 announcing the news:
National Trust for Historic Preservation to Present Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award at National Conference
The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its prestigious 2014 Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award—the national preservation movement’s highest accolade—to John Bryan of Lake Bluff, Illinois. Mr. Bryan is one of 17 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2014 Past Forward National Preservation Conference in Savannah, Ga..
Mr. Bryan’s commitment to historic sites and collections is in a class of its own. In 2003, in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Landmarks Illinois, he successfully spearheaded Friends of the Farnsworth House’s effort to raise funds to purchase Mies van der Rohe’s famed Farnsworth House, ultimately leading to the acquisition of the house by the National Trust at auction in December of that year. To this day, Mr. Bryan remains deeply engaged in the stewardship of this modern icon. Mr. Bryan and his wife also endowed the John and Neville Bryan Director of Museum Collections position at the National Trust, ensuring sustained professional care and management of the world-class fine arts, decorative arts, and object collections at National Trust Historic Sites.
During his 25-year tenure as CEO of the Sara Lee Corporation, John Bryan directed a deep engagement of the corporation and its employees with the communities in which they did business. Also, during his time, Sara Lee Corporation contributed more than 5% of its income to not-for-profit organizations, mostly in the civic and cultural arena. In recognition of Sara Lee’s contributions to the arts and culture, John Bryan received, on behalf of Sara Lee, the National Medal of the Arts in 1998 from President Bill Clinton.
Mr. Bryan is equally committed to direct, on-the-ground action. In Chicago, in 1990, he developed and led a successful $100 million corporate campaign to raise funds and renovate Chicago’s historic Lyric Opera House and its historic Orchestra Hall. In 1996, at the request of Mayor Richard M. Daley, he organized a private sector initiative which raised $250 million and created Millennium Park in Chicago. While chairman of the Art Institute’s Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2006, Mr. Bryan led the development of its new Modern Wing, for which over $400 million was raised.
As honorary chair of the Campaign for America’s Historic Places, from 1998 to 2003, he helped ensure the National Trust’s future financial strength. And as an early member and past chairman of the National Trust Council, a group of business, civic, and philanthropic leaders among the Trust’s closest supporters and friends, Mr. Bryan recruited dozens of families to join this important leadership group.
“We are proud to present the National Trust’s highest honor to John H. Bryan,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Few have done more than John to preserve our nation’s historic places for future generations. An active preservationist for more than 20 years, John is a hands-on leader who uses preservation as a tool to enhance communities. Thanks to his extraordinary efforts to help protect threatened places and support the effective stewardship of historic sites, John has made a lasting difference in his home city of Chicago, and nationwide.”
The award will be presented to the Mr. Bryan at the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony in Savannah on November 13.
The Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s highest national recognition. Named for one of the National Trust’s founding trustees, the award is made with the greatest care and only when there is indisputable evidence of superlative achievement in the preservation and interpretation of our historic, architectural and maritime heritage.
The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizen attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation.
The 2014 National Preservation Award Winners:
- Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award: John H. Bryan, Lake Bluff, IL.
- National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation: Owe’neh Bupingeh Preservation Project, Owe’neh Bupingeh, NM.
- The American Express Aspire Award: Recognizing Emerging Leaders in Historic Preservation: Josh Rogers of Newtown Macon, Macon, GA.
- Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation: Bernice Radle of Buffalove Development, Buffalo, NY.
- National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation: Iberville Offsites, New Orleans, LA.
- Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy: Green Mountain Lookout, Darrington, WA.
- The Tony Goldman Preservation Award: Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Brooklyn, NY.
- The Trustee Award for Organizational Excellence: Preservation North Carolina, Raleigh, NC.
- Trustees Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites: Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle, WA.
The 2014 National Preservation Honor Award Winners:
- East Feliciana Parish Courthouse, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- The Forum, Inglewood, California
- Historic Old Administration Building, Fresno, California
- King Street Station, Seattle, Washington
- McGregor Pool Restoration, Detroit, Michigan
- Micros Lofts at the Arcade Providence, Providence, Rhode Island
- Village Revitalization Initiative, State of Vermont
- The Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies at the SCAD Museum of Art Savannah, Georgia
- The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.Visit PreservationNation.org