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Preservation Heritage Fund Grants




Landmarks Illinois Preservation Heritage Fund was established in 2004 to provide monetary assistance to preserve or protect significant structures or sites in the state of Illinois.


(photo) DuBois Building, Cobden was a recent grant recipient. This 1892 commercial building, which features a cast iron storefront from the Mesker Brothers Iron Works of St. Louis, MO, will soon be the home of the Union County Museum.



Deadlines for Heritage Grant Applications


February 15, May 15, August 15, November 15





Eligible beneficiaries of Preservation Heritage Fund grants and/or loans are significant structures or sites in Illinois that are under threat of demolition, imminent deterioration, or are of such architectural importance that their preservation will benefit the public and Illinois community.

Structures or sites on Landmarks Illinois’ most recent “Endangered List” or the “Chicagoland Watch List” are presumed to be Eligible Structures.



Applicants must be not-for-profit organizations or governmental bodies. Landmarks Illinois, in exceptional circumstances, can determine other persons or organizations to be eligible applicants if it finds:


1. There is no other practical means of benefiting the Eligible Structure or Site but to
     grant and/or loan money to the applicant;
2. The public benefit of preserving the Eligible Structure or Site substantially outweighs
     the benefits to the applicant; and
3. Every effort has been made to protect the public benefit of the preservation grant
     and/or loan after it is made.

Applicants must own the Eligible Structure or Site, or have sufficient legal control of the Eligible Structure or Site to permit the Eligible Project to be completed and protected as required by Landmarks Illinois.

Applicants must possess the capacity to manage the grant and/or loan funds prudently and have the expertise to execute the Eligible Project in accordance with its approved conditions. An applicant that lacks one or both of these attributes must submit to the expertise of a pro bono Sponsor elected by Landmarks Illinois if, in its sole discretion, it offers to provide it.

Applicants must agree to seek preservation protection for the Eligible Structure or Site from local, state, or national preservation organizations if not already protected. In certain circumstances, Landmarks Illinois may require that the Applicant also agree to grant an easement to Landmarks Illinois to whatever extent Landmarks Illinois considers appropriate or, if the applicant is not the owner of the Eligible Structure or Site, seek such an easement from the owner.

A follow-up report of the project is required to be submitted to Landmarks Illinois within a determined time period.


A project must benefit one or more specifically identified Eligible Structures or Sites and one or more specifically identified preservation issues. Projects relating to Eligible Structures or Sites on the most recent Landmarks Illinois “Endangered List” and the “Chicagoland Watch List” will be given priority consideration.

A project must be for the purpose of preserving (rehabilitation, restoration, adaptive reuse) all or part of an Eligible Structure or Site. Ordinary expenses of owning or maintaining an Eligible Structure or Site will not be considered preservation expenses.

A project must comply, where applicable, with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standard for Rehabilitation, Restoration, or Adaptive Reuse. Landmarks Illinois may ask the applicant for an affidavit of compliance with these standards as a condition of making a grant and/or loan.

A project may include one or more of the following services provided each service can satisfy the project conditions described above:

1. Engineering, architectural, and feasibility studies
2. Stabilization
3. Legal services
4. Surveys and National Register Nominations
5. Preservation ordinance support

A project may not include services that have been completed at the time a grant and/or loan is requested.


Size of Grants

Grants range from $500—$2,500. The size of the grant will be determined by the need of the Eligible Applicant and will be awarded on a matching basis. A match may be a direct dollar amount or, using volunteer labor or services, equal the value of the grant.


How to Apply


A completed application must include:

The Preservation Heritage Fund application form

A disc of digital images of the Eligible Structure and/or Site

A clear description of the threat to the building(s) or district, and a proposed plan of action.

The application must specify the amount of money needed for the project.

The applicant must provide documentation from the IRS of its not-for-profit status and the Bylaws of the organization.


Applications which do not include these items will not be considered complete.


Review of Application


Landmarks Illinois Preservation Heritage Fund Grants are awarded on an ongoing basis at the monthly meeting of the Executive Committee.

Applications will be judged on the importance of the Eligible Structure and/or Site, the nature and degree of the threat of demolition, the quality of the applicant organization, and the quality of the proposed plan of action.

Landmarks Illinois has a limited amount of grant money available each fiscal year. Some worthwhile and eligible projects may not be awarded grants due to limited funds but may be considered in the following year.




Preservation Fund and Easement Coordinator

(312) 922-1742 extension 225





The Landmarks Illinois "Preservation Heritage Fund Grant Application" is available in Adobe Reader PDF format.


Preservation Heritage Fund grant application

Preservation Heritage Fund guidelines

view Other Grants and Incentives








Landmarks Illinois
30 N. Michigan Avenue
Suite 2020
Chicago, IL 60602-3402
tel. 312-922-1742 
fax 312-922-8112



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© Landmarks Illinois. All rights reserved. In addition to the copyright to this collective work, copyright to the materials which appear on this site may be held by the individual authors or others. Landmarks Illinois is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1971 and is the state's leading voice for historic preservation.