Preservation Heritage Fund Grants
LI’s Preservation Fund was established in the mid-70s with seed capital from the sale of the Henry Demarest Lloyd property in Winnetka, entrusted to LI by the Lloyd family. The Preservation Fund was initially operated as a revolving fund, providing both loans to and direct purchase of endangered historic properties. In the early 80's, LI used the fund to purchase, rehabilitate, and sell three rowhouses in the historic Chicago community of Tri-Taylor. Endangered Building Grants were added by the Board in 1982 enabling the fund to make grants to buildings “in critical need”.
In 1989, the Board approved a new policy to bring greater focus to Fund activities. This policy directed 50% of Fund assets to bring multiple preservation initiatives to a single declining neighborhood. In the early 90s, LI developed The Neighborhood Initiative a collaborative, community revitalization strategy offering much-needed technical and financial assistance to residents and community groups on Chicago’s South and West Sides.
The Fund’s major rehabilitation project for the 90s was two units of the 1895 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Waller Apartments on Chicago’s West Side. Exteriors were restored and interiors were converted into larger residential units that were sold as mid-income residences.
In 2004, the board approved creation of the Preservation Heritage Fund, into which the Endangered Building Grant program was folded, to provide greater assistance to preserve important structures and sites throughout Illinois. The Heritage Fund will help provide bricks-and-mortar assistance as well as help fund studies, surveys, and building assessments. The fund will also enable LI to target long-term preservation initiatives that are linked to economic development, affordable housing, and neighborhood character.