The Gate Museum


National Monuments Foundation Mourns Richard Driehaus


The National Monuments Foundation mourns the Chicago-based philanthropist Richard Driehaus, who created and funded the Driehaus Architecture Prize, the premier architecture prize in the world. He is also responsible for the Henry Hope Reed Award, which is given to an individual working outside the practice of architecture who has supported the cultivation of traditional architecture and art through writing, planning, or promotion.

Driehaus’ contributions to humanistic architecture, design, and the built environment exceeded $50 million.

Rodney Mims Cook and National Monuments Foundation directors Priscilla Roosevelt, Richard Driehaus, Susan Eisenhower, and Thomas Gordon Smith The Richard Driehaus Millennium Gate Charette College of Preachers, Washington National Cathedral

He was a generous benefactor of the National Monuments Foundation and was central to the construction of our headquarters, the Millennium Gate Museum in Atlanta.

Driehaus Charette winners present their final design College of Preachers, Washington National Cathedral

The Millennium Gate, the result of the Driehaus Charette

Our efforts in the John and John Quincy Adams Memorial in Washington also became a keen interest of his, and he became a board member of that organization.

Richard Driehaus and colleague Carol Wyant arrive at the mansion house George Washington's Mount Vernon

Rodney Mims Cook welcomes the assembled Adams Memorial Foundation board to Mount Vernon

Military honor guard presents colors and gun salute before a wreath-laying ceremony Tomb of George Washington

Priscilla Roosevelt, her granddaughter Sarah Roosevelt, and Ben Adams depart the tomb of President Washington after wreath-laying ceremony

The father of our country looks over the shoulder of a great American

Adams Memorial Foundation President Ben Adams presides over his board meeting dinner, Mount Vernon

A man of exquisite taste, Driehaus also restored significant historic buildings, including the 1883 Gilded Age Samuel Mayo Nickerson Mansion, which now serves as The Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago; the 1886 Richardsonian Romanesque Ransom Cable Mansion, which served as headquarters for his business; and the 1906 Georgian-style estate built by Norman W. Harris in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

"My first encounter with Richard came about during the construction of our Prince of Wales's World Athletes Monument to the Atlanta Olympic Games.

Interestingly the last time I saw him was a year ago with the Prince of Wales at Dumfries House," said National Monuments Foundation President Rodney Mims Cook.

"The National Monuments Foundation was also very proud to receive the 2006 Palladio Award for Best New Public Space in America for our Peace and Justice Gate by Alexander Stoddart, sculptor.

It was given at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, and Richard and his longtime colleague Carol Wyant were my significant others, and it was a great night for all of us. Richard was one of the most engaging and involved philanthropists I have ever met. His attention to detail even involved pointing out things at my farm when he was a houseguest that would improve it! Leo came to inspect the improvements.

Having been to numbers of Richard's flamboyant birthday parties at Lake Geneva, I knew him to be correct and made every adjustment he recommended.

He always knew if he had made his point with me, particularly a funny one, as his foghorn of a laugh could stop traffic, making him all the more approachable and sincere. His greater-than-life personality and generosity is impossible to replace in the architecture world. He is greatly missed."