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State Budget Merges IHPA into DNR


Under the new Illinois state budget released by Gov. Pat Quinn on March 18, state historic sites will remain closed and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) will end its 24-year-long operation as a stand-alone department. As part of Governor Quinn’s new budget, IHPA will now operate as part of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

In 1985, IHPA was separated from the Department of Conservation to function as a stand-alone department. Its duties are to operate over 60 historic sites and memorials and contain the state’s Preservation Services Division, which administers federal historic preservation programs at the state level, such as the National Register for Historic Places and regulatory review of federal projects that impact historic properties.

Despite public pleas for a reversal of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s decision to close a dozen state historic sites, Governor Quinn’s budget does not contain funding that would allow these sites to reopen. Since the announcement of their closing, Landmarks Illinois has led a statewide campaign to reopen the historic sites, which include Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana-Thomas House in Springfield.

“This is a disappointment and we hope the governor will change his mind on the historic sites issue,” said Landmarks Illinois President and CEO Jim Peters. “We also will continue to work with our colleagues at IHPA to ensure that its identity and important role won’t be lost through this merger.”

Update: The State Journal-Register

•  Crowd helps Quinn reopen historic house








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