As we look back on the work we’ve done since our early days in 1993, we find projects that have been recognized again and again for their creativity and innovation in planning and design. Below is a list of 25 awards given to some of our favorite projects.

North Center Senior Campus  City of Chicago

Lakota worked with City of Chicago, local alderman, and developers to prepare a master plan for the redevelopment of the former Martha Washington Hospital site. The campus wayfinding plan and signage design completed for the project was the final step in transforming the area from a 124-year-old hospital to a new affordable senior housing campus.

  • 2009 Livable Communities Award, AARP & National Association of Homebuilders

Uptown Redevelopment Plan
  City of Park Ridge

The master plan for the Uptown district in Park Ridge focuses on the pedestrian-oriented character of the district by framing street walls with first-floor retail and upper-story residential uses. The streetscape design was developed to complement the Art Deco architecture of the historic Pickwick Theater and established a theme for future redevelopment efforts in the area, including the nearby City Commons.

  • 2008 Chapter Award – Program, Project or Tool, American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter
  • 2009 Edie Award, Illinois Development Council
  • 2009 Gold Key Award – Best Overall Community, Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago


Uptown Park Ridge

Downtown Form Based Code Village of Glenview  

Following the preparation of a Revitalization Plan for the improvement of Glenview’s traditional downtown, Lakota created a form-based code that emphasizes the public realm through site/streetscape design and building envelope/form according to land use categories and street types. It encourages high-quality mixed-use development along Glenview Road — the district’s main street — and creates a “street wall” of new buildings along Waukegan Road.

  • 2005 Chapter Award – Plan Implementation, American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter
  • 2008 CNU Illinois Charter Award, Congress For New Urbanism
  • 2008 Chapter Award – Honorable Mention – Program, Project or Tool Award, American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter

Marion Street Streetscape Design
  Village of Oak Park

Lakota developed plans to open Marion Street to two-way traffic in order to revitalize the deteriorated pedestrian mall in the center of Historic Downtown Oak Park. The streetscape design focused on rejuvenating this well-known commercial center with a rich variety of materials, flexible outdoor gathering spaces, and sustainable design techniques. The project has been integral to creating an active and vibrant commercial district, and has spurred additional streetscape enhancements and economic development within the downtown.

  • 2008 CNU Illinois Charter Award – Honorable Mention, Congress For New Urbanism
  • 2008 Chapter Award – Plan Implementation, American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter
  • 2009 Honor Award, American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter
  • 2010 Merit Award, Chicago Building Congress


Marion Street streetscape on a spring day.

Northeast Neighborhood/Eddy Street Corridor Plan  City of South Bend/University of Notre Dame   

The Lakota Group prepared a redevelopment plan and design guidelines for a deteriorated, underdeveloped neighborhood located between the University of Notre Dame and downtown South Bend. This effort focused on creating a mixed-use community that includes new single-family homes, row homes, condominiums, apartments, shops, restaurants, and hotels to serve local residents, faculty, students, and visitors. In addition to guidelines that illustrate the desired urban design, landscape, streetscape, and architectural character, Lakota also assisted the University in finding and recruiting the plan’s master developer.

  • 2010 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter 

Lockport Street Streetscape Design
  Plainfield, IL

Lakota led a design team charged with the revitalization of Lockport Street, Plainfield’s main commercial corridor. The streetscape design focuses on rejuvenating this historic “Main Street” with a rich variety of materials and flexible outdoor gathering spaces, as well as custom signage and wayfinding elements.

  • 2009 Chapter Award- Plan Implementation, American Planning Association – Illinois
  • 2010 Project of the Year (Transportation), American Public Works Association
  • 2012 President’s Award, American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter


Lockport Street streetscape in Plainfield, IL

Campus & Outdoor Classroom  Thomas J. Waters Elementary School

Lakota prepared an overall site and landscape design for a new and sustainable outdoor learning environment at Waters School. The LEED Certified design transformed the existing site, which was covered mostly with impervious asphalt surface, included a number of Low Impact Design technologies—such as permeable paving, rain barrels, and native bioswales to improve stormwater quality. The design created a model urban school campus based on the standards of environmental sustainability through the use of ecological education elements, recycled play field surfaces, local materials, recycling stations, and native plantings.

  • 2013 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter

Master Development Plan
  MedQuarter Regional Medical District

The Lakota Group was engaged by the MedQuarter District to improve the appearance of the district, create a unique identity for the MedQuarter, develop a strong sense of place, maximize the impact of Self-Support Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) funds, and bring economic revitalization, including development and redevelopment, to the area.

  • 2014 Chapter Award, Urban Design, American Planning Association – Iowa Chapter

Riverfront Neighborhoods Comprehensive Plan Update  Moline Centered

The Lakota Group was engaged by the City of Moline and Renew Moline to undertake a collaborative process for updating the Moline Centre, Floreciente, and Edgewater Neighborhood Master Plans.  The updates addressed issues related to downtown revitalization, land use, neighborhood housing, urban design and streetscape improvement, small business development initiatives, transportation and roadway networks, and enhancements to the Mississippi River waterfront. The update also focused on potential land development scenarios pending the realignment of the Interstate 74 Bridge connecting Moline to the Iowa side of the Quad Cities.

  • 2014 Strategic Plan Award, American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter

St. Cloud Placemaking Plan 
 St. Cloud, Minnesota

Lakota led a team that identified placemaking strategies and opportunities to enhance the community’s quality of life. The goal was to create a clear, documented, and shared vision for placemaking that would set the stage for private and public activities to better establish St. Cloud’s “sense of place.”

  • 2015 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter

Lakefront Master Plan
  Winnetka Park District

The Lakefront Master Plan provided a clear approach with detailed strategies for future enhancements for the Winnetka Park District’s five lakefront parks and beaches. In addition to acting as the facilitators of this lakefront planning process, Lakota undertook the engagement of residents and other stakeholders to actively participate in developing a shared community vision.

  • 2016 Strategic Plan Award, American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter

Hubbard Woods Master Plan
  Winnetka Park District

The Lakota Group led the development of a master plan for near and long-term park improvements, which focused on user experience as well as the park’s role in the revitalization of the surrounding district.  The planning effort examined both the function and location of current and potential amenities within the park and in context with the district’s surrounding land uses.

  • 2016 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter

New pavilion and splash pad at Hubbard Woods Park.

Calumet and Southeast Chicago Lakefront Region Wayfinding Concept  Calumet Collaborative

The Chicago Park District, with support from US EPA, engaged The Lakota Group to assist with the development of an Area -Wide Plan focusing on nine southeast-Chicago open space sites: Park 564 (Big Marsh), Park 566 (USX), Steel Workers Park, Park 562 (Van Vlissingen Prairie), Indian Ridge Marsh, Hegewisch Marsh, Whitford Pond / O’Brien Lock, Mittal Woods, and Lake Calumet. The goal of this project was to develop an updated, comprehensive, and achievable strategy for a connected network of ecological and recreational resources in southeast Chicago.

  • 2016 Honor Award, American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter
  • 2017 Chicago Blue River Award, Friends of the Chicago River

The Yorkville Plan
  United City of Yorkville

Yorkville, located 55 miles to the southwest of Chicago in semi-rural Kendall County, experienced significant residential and commercial growth in the early to mid-2000s, followed by a substantial slow down of development post-recession—making the land use and growth scenarios proposed within the 2008 Comprehensive Plan unrealistic. The 2015 Comprehensive Plan Update proposes a new future land use and development framework that concentrates growth in existing residential areas, along with strategies for the revitalization of its traditional downtown district along the Fox River.

  • 2017 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan, American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter

VISION 2020: Comprehensive & Strategic Plan
   Elmhurst Park District

The Lakota Group worked with the Elmhurst Park District in the development of their Comprehensive and Strategic Master Plan, which included detailed strategies for the District’s parks, facilities, and programs that pay special attention to the needs of their unique demographics.

  • 2017 Honor Award for Communication – Illinois Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects

Street level rendering of downtown Yorkville.