We’re longtime fans of the Old Town School of Folk Music, but we sometimes found the Lincoln Square amenities, um, lacking (Boho chic only goes so far). With the completion of the East Building across Lincoln Avenue, parents now have a comfy place to wait while their kids are in ukulele or hip-hop class. One voter found it “gorgeous and inspiring.” The three-story LEED-certified building adds a 250-seat music and dance hall, plus dance studios and classrooms, allowing Old Town to increase its programming by nearly 50 percent (translation: more Wiggleworms). 4545 N Lincoln Ave (773-728-6000).
Other nominees Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden at Chicago Botanic Garden, National Hellenic Museum, The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center