October 29, 2019


The 2019 Design Excellence Awards were held this past Friday, Oct. 25th within Chicagos Navy Piers Grand Ballroom. The annual awards program, presented by the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), honors the best work by Chicago architecture firms found worldwide.

Selected by panels of architects from around the nation, the institute honors were presented in four categories: Distinguished Building, Interior Architecture, Unbuilt and Divine Detail.

Epstein was the proud recipient of an Interior Architecture award for our renovation and expansion to Chicagos Park Plaza Senior Living Facility. The purpose of the Interior Architecture Award program is to recognize excellence and distinction in interior architecture. The jury for this award selected projects that set themselves apart from the norm according to such considerations as the:

  • Concept for the project;
  • Detailing and execution of the design concept;
  • Achievement of difficult or unusual program goals;
  • Originality of design;
  • Image created for the client through the project.

Park Plaza is an 180,000-square-foot modern Jewish Orthodox senior retirement facility, located on the north side of Chicago, which was built in 1987. The center includes many amenities for social functions such as a beauty salon, library, and game room, as well as other facilities for physical therapy and worship in an independent community. Originally, those amenities were spread throughout the building, and one of Epstein's tasks was to bring all of these amenities together on the ground floor to create a new renovated social area for all to gather. In addition to this, Epstein completely renovated the lobby featuring a water wall and aviary, as well as designing new finishes for all of the ground floor model apartments.

Additionally, one of the most exciting parts of our rehabilitation of the Park Plaza community, was the design of a new 3,600-square-foot synagogue addition to the east of the existing building. This synagogue was designed to accommodate 70 worshipers on a daily basis. And, as part of the Synagogues program, Epstein also designed a new glass Galleria that serves as the social corridor (aka Main Street) and lobby addition for residents and guests to interact and relax.

This is the third AIA Chicago Award that Park Plaza has received. In 2017, the project was chosen as Distinguished Building and, last year, the project received a Divine Detail Award.

Congratulations to our entire Park Plaza design and engineering team for completing the AIA Chicago "trifecta, and for this truly grand example of Epsteins design capabilities!