Construction trades are essential and hardware stores are open under pandemic orders. And so, if you're handy with tools, you've got time on your hands and you can finish by June 15, you might be eligible for recognition by Landmarks Illinois, which is now accepting nominations for the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Historic Preservation Awards, named for a Chicago philanthropist who made a fortune on the stock market. For more than a quarter-century, the private foundation has funded historic preservation awards that comprise nine categories – the range of prizes spans from best elected official to best advocate to, naturally, best historic preservation projects, and the list of past winners is long, ranging from the renovation of the governor's mansion sparked by former Gov. Bruce Rauner to preservation of houses in Enos Park by Fletcher Farrar, current editor and chief executive officer of Illinois Times – who says historic preservation doesn't make for strange bedfellows? The proud may nominate themselves, the sneaky can nominate anyone deserving, and lucky winners will receive $1,000 checks. More information and online nomination forms are available at The deadline is June 15, all nominated projects must be finished and the awards ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 16 in Chicago.

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