An Overview of the 2015-2017 Restoration

A comprehensive restoration master plan was developed from 2000 to 2006 to address the complete restoration of Unity Temple, including the building’s exterior and interior, decorative, and environmental components. The plan was updated in 2014 to include additional testing and reports.

Beginning April 2015, Unity Temple Restoration Foundation directed a $25 million dollar comprehensive restoration of Unity Temple. The project restored Unity Temple to its original appearance while implementing environmental improvements to ensure its functional sustainability through the next century. The exterior restoration included concrete conservation, skylight repair, new roofing and drainage, door and window restoration, landscape restoration and exterior lighting.

The interior scope of work includes restoration of historic plaster, repair and replacement of damaged plaster, replication of original finishes, lighting upgrades, art glass restoration, and wood door and trim restoration. A new geothermal heating and cooling system will be installed, as will upgraded electrical and fire alarm systems.

Restoration Awards

2019 – Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation
2019 – American Institute of Architects Illinois, Crombie Taylor Award for Preservation
2019 – Urban Land Institute, Vision Award for Projects
2019 – Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, Wright Spirit Award
2018 – World Monuments Fund/Knoll, Modernism Prize
2018 – Docomomo, Special Award of Restoration Excellence
2017 – Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award from Landmarks Illinois