Project Awards

“Project New Leaf” – Phase 1

Cantigny Park


Display Garden

  • New Red Oaks Farm playground and adjacent picnic pavilion
  • 350 new parking spaces
  • Lighted walkways
  • Oak Colonnade stretching from Visitors Center to the First Division Museum
  • Expanded gathering plaza
  • New restroom and visitor information building


  • 2020 ENR Midwest – Best Project – Landscape/Urban Design

New Visitors Center

  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Remodeled Visitors Center
  • Redesign and redevelopment of the display gardens and Gold Pond area

Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center

Chicago Botanic Garden / Northwestern University


  • 2011 Merit Award – New Construction Suburbs; Chicago Building Congress
  • 2011 Award of Merit – Higher Education /Research;Midwest Construction Magazine
  • 2010 Laboratory of the Year; R+D Magazine
  • LEED® Gold Certified; U.S. Green Building Council

A new LEED ® Gold Certified 38,000 sf Plant Conservation
Science Center with state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching facilities for over 200 Ph.D. scientists, land managers, students, and research staff, and includes teaching facilities required for a unique doctoral program in plant biology and conservation that the Chicago Botanic Garden conducts with Northwestern University.

Bramsen Animal Ambassador Pavilion

Brookfield Zoo


  • 2016 Merit Award – New Construction Suburbs;
    Chicago Building Congress

A new 16,500 sf facility and 40,000 sf site development designed by Booth Hansen. Guests of all ages engage in up-close experiences with animal ambassadors. This pavilion houses a variety of animal ambassadors that will interact with guests in the adjacent Hamill Family Wild Encounters exhibit, in other areas inside the zoo, and in venues outside of the zoo. A public portion serves educational events, special events, catered events, and animal ambassador encounters with guests. Public restrooms serve the pavilion, as well as the adjacent Oaks Café.

Glacial Park – Lost Valley Visitor Center

McHenry County Conservation District


  • 2011 Outstanding Facilities Award; Illinois Association of Park Districts and the Illinois Park and Recreation

A LEED ® Gold Certified conversion and extensive renovation of an existing 28,450 sf motel into a new public visitor center with administration offices, exhibit viewing areas, environmental education classrooms, conference center and multipurpose rooms for community use. The project includes the sustainable redevelopment to support a permeable paved parking lot, native plantings, bio-swales, and wetlands.

Three Oaks Recreational Area

City of Crystal Lake

Redevelopment of a 450 acre sand and gravel quarry into a new public recreation area. The project includes the development of new city streets, bridges, decks, parking lots, and the entire utility infrastructure to support the new development. The recreation area includes various buildings, swimming, picnicking, and fishing areas, as well as two boat marinas.


  • 2011 Honor Award; American Council of Engineers
  • 2011 Outstanding Facility Award; American Public Works Association
  • Illinois Governor’s Hometown Award

Wauconda Area Library

Wauconda Area Library


  • 2020 American Institute of Architects Distinguished Building Award
  • 2005 Library of the Year Award by the North Suburban Library System

An expansion of 17,000 sf to the existing 14,000 sf library which included adding a second story to the existing structure and expanding the building in all four directions.

Cook Memorial Public Library

Aspen Drive Library Expansion


  • 2020 American Institute of Architects Distinguished Building Award

15,000 sq. ft. addition and a 20,000 sq. ft. renovation of the existing Aspen Drive Branch Library, which included a 7,500 sq. ft. addition devoted primarily to a Children’s Space.

The Children’s Garden

The Morton Arboretum


  • Best of 2005, Award of Merit by the Midwest Construction Magazine
  • 2006 President’s Award by the Illinois Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects
  • 2006 Gold Award by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association

The 7 acre Children’s Garden includes two main garden area: Backyard Discovery Gardens and Adventure Woods linked by a Central Plaza. The three areas include ten themed gardens within the garden; including water features, climbing, and play elements.

Lincoln Landing

City of Lockport / Will County Historical Society / Give Something Back Foundation


  • 2009 American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award

Lincoln Landing is a spectacular open air park and museum that spans more than one city block. The Federal Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission recently designated Lockport’s Lincoln Landing as one of its officially endorsed historic sites. The centerpiece of the acre interactive park, on the old Illinois and Michigan Canal, is a sculpture of
Abraham Lincoln as a young Illinois legislator.

Chicago Avenue Pumping Station Entrance

City of Chicago


  • Consulting Engineers Council of Illinois, ACEC Engineering Excellence-State Level: Honor Award-Illinois, Structural System category, 2004
  • City of Chicago Landmarks Preservation, Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence 2003
  • Consulting Engineers Council of Illinois, ACEC Engineering Excellence-State Level: Honor Award-Engineering
  • National Council of Structural Engineers Association, NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Award-Merit Award
  • Richard H. Driehaus Foundation – DePaul University, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Public Innovator Award
  • Structural Engineers Association (SEA), SEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Award: Overall Excellence, Best Small Structure Category, Local, Projects Under $5 Million, 2003

Hamill Family Wild Encounter

Brookfield Zoo

Award: 2016 Association of Zoos & Aquariums Honors Award

An extensive redevelopment of the southeast section of Brookfield Zoo. The new Wild Encounter exhibit provides direct encounters with animals, science exploration, animal welfare and personal participation in conservation.

Designed by The Portico Group, the three-acre exhibit features interactive and viewing exhibits for wallabies, reindeer, red pandas, alpaca, llama, goats and a large four-season Budgie Aviary building.

The Grand Garden

The Morton Arboretum

The Grand Garden encompasses three main spaces; the Centennial Plaza, the Celebration Garden, and the Joy of Plants Garden which forms a series of garden rooms, numerous water features and fountains, intuitive wayfinding elements, and an elegant terrace for weddings and special or corporate events.

Spanning 255 yards east to west, the length of about 2½ football fields, the new “Grand Garden,” true to its name. The advancement of the redesign to this historic axis, at the property’s core, is a celebration of the Arboretum’s hundred-year anniversary.

2022 APEX “Award for Project Excellence” Presented by the Great Lakes Construction Association

The new design preserves the original symmetry based on classical European precedents and introduces an English picturesque asymmetrically balanced landscape garden. The Centennial Plaza marks the entrance to the new garden. Looking east, a terrace flanked by waterfalls serves as a venue for weddings and special events. In the opposite direction, taller hedges divides the space into six, more intimate “garden rooms.” Augmentations include repeated use of water elements, exuberant horticultural displays, additional gathering areas, intuitive wayfinding elements, shaded seating, and improved circulation (including ADA ramps and paths).

Featherstone Facts

Average Bid to Build Variance -3.11%,
Average Value for Fee at 145%
Last 5 years – 5 Fabulous Parks
Last 5 years – 5 Fantastic Libraries
Multiple, Decades-Longstanding, Client Relationships – The Morton Arboretum, Chicago Botanic Garden, Brookfield Zoo, the Wauconda Public Library, The Schaumburg Township District Library