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Restoring County Treasures
Second Year of County Courthouse Grants Announced

Four counties will receive restoration grants totaling nearly $200,000 this year from Landmarks Illinois, as part of our statewide County Courthouse Initiative.


This multi-year, $1 million program, which is funded by the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust, was created in 2009 to help restore historic county courthouses throughout Illinois. This matching grant program was designed to help fund the restoration of critical courthouse features, such as clocks, bell towers, cupolas, and ornament, as well as to support the installation of cutting-edge—and energy-efficient—exterior lighting.


Grant applications were limited to courthouses listed or eligible for listing on the National Register for Historic Places. The projects were reviewed by an advisory committee composed of architects, courthouse experts, and Landmarks Illinois board members. The following were awarded grants for projects that will be completed in 2011.


Coles County, Charleston – This Romanesque Revival-styled building, designed by Cornelius Rapp, was constructed in 1900. The colossal stone structure, which features a slender central tower, is the centerpiece of Charleston’s downtown courthouse square. The County will be awarded a matching grant to restore all four clock faces and to repair the tower’s bell.


Edgar County, Paris – The County was awarded a matching grant last year to help restore “Lady Justice,” a 10-foot-tall zinc statue that stands atop the courthouse’s 150-foot-tall central tower. Although the statue has been restored, additional funding was required to complete the project, which included significant structural repairs to the tower and repainting the sheet metal clad tower to match the color of the sandstone building. The courthouse, which dates to 1893, was designed by Henry Elliott.


Effingham County, Effingham – This 1870 Italianate-style structure, which is located on the town square, was vacated in 2007 when a new courthouse was constructed. Although the County still owns the building, it has been leased to the Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association. The association has been awarded a matching grant to help reconstruct the building’s original bell-shaped cupola.


Logan County, Lincoln – This Classical Revival-style courthouse, which was built in 1903-05, features a large central dome with four prominent clock faces. Although the clocks still function, its bell has not rung in years due to the deterioration of the bell stand, which sits on the roof of this 125-foot-tall structure. The County has been awarded a matching grant to help restore the bell, bell stand, and clock faces.


The application deadline for the next round of Driehaus County Courthouse grants is September 1, 2011. Click here, for Grant Guidelines and Application.


A recent USA Today article on county courthouses mentioned
Landmarks Illinois' Richard H. Driehaus County Courthouse
Initiative Grants program, including a quote by President
Jim Peters.


USA Today, January 17, 2011

First Round of Grants Includes "Lady Justice"







Landmarks Illinois
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fax 312-922-8112



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