While LPCI is based in Chicago, as a statewide advocacy organization LPCI is
committed to visiting and giving assistance to communities throughout the state.
(Pulaski, Union and Williamson Counties)
LPCI Advocacy Director Lisa DiChiera recently traveled to Southern Illinois to
attend the annual Illinois Barn Alliance (IBA) Conference held at Shawnee
Community College in Ullin (Pulaski County) and to meet with preservation
advocates and city officials in Marion (Williamson County).
IBA’s third annual conference focused on the challenges of barn preservation and
featured a day long tour of historic barns and farmsteads in Pulaski and Union
Counties. IBA secretary Jacquie Eddleman welcomed everyone to the farm her
family has owned since 1848 in rural Dongola. The house dates to 1857 and in
1917 an innovative “bank” barn replaced a nineteenth century barn.
historic barns toured included a mule barn in downtown Dongola, (currently for
sale, go to
landmarks.org/how_for_sale.htm for more information), and
a turn of the century former potato barn, now housing a store and restaurant, in
Anna. Further information on barn preservation efforts in Illinois and a survey
done by Nick Hayward, a former LPCI intern, can be found at
In Marion, DiChiera met with Mayor Robert Butler (at 43 years in office one of
the state’s longest serving mayors), members of Marion’s new preservation
commission, and Marion Main Street director Bob Stein (www.marionmainstreet.org)
about downtown main street preservation issues and goals. Also, DiChiera met
with an official from First Baptist Church, a 1913 Classical-Revival church that
has been recently vacated by its congregation to relocate to a new building.
Preservation architect Russel Francois of Bloomington joined the meeting and
site visit of the church to offer assistance toward finding a re-use solution
for the building, rather than to consider demolition. To date, the congregation
has not made a decision as to how to proceed.
1917 “Bank” Barn, Dongola
1857 farm house, Dongola
Former potato barn, Anna
Downtown office building, Marion
First Baptist Church, Marion
Downtown streetscape, Marion