2015 Preservation Heritage Grant Recipients

BEECHER MAUSOLEUM GUARDIAN ANGELS: Beecher Mausoleum, Beecher

The Beecher Mausoleum, constructed in 1913, was designed by Cecil E. Bryan. It is a reinforced concrete structure with Bedford limestone veneer. It contains 210 crypts, 173 of which have been sold. In the mid-20th century, vandals destroyed the original windows and the repairs depleted much of the endowment. This property, along with several other mausoleums throughout the state, was listed on LI’s Ten Most Endangered Historic Properties List in 2013. LI’s grant helped the mausoleum complete necessary roof repair work.

MONROE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Bellefontaine Stone Arch Bridge, Bellefontaine

The Bellefontaine Stone Arch Bridge in Waterloo is over 100 years old. The bridge extends over a tributary of the Fountain Creek and connects the only intact portion of the original Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail – what is considered the first road in Illinois and linked French colonial villages in the Illinois Country including Waterloo.
The City of Waterloo and the Monroe County Historical Society are committed to restoring the bridge as it is a significant piece of local history.

FRIENDS OF THE HOMETOWN NEWS: Delavan Times Building, Delavan

The Delavan Times Building was constructed in 1890 and houses The Delevan Times, a newspaper that has served the community since 1874. The weekly publication is believed to be one of the longest continuously printed, independently owned weeklies in the state. The building’s owners wished to create a museum in the rear of the building to honor the contributions of the small town newspapers to the American culture and to provide an educational resource to the Central Illinois area. The building is in need of repairs to create the museum and retain newspaper operations. LI’s grant supported The Friends of the Hometown News’ first phase of the project, which included architectural and engineering fees to accurately scope and design the proposed project.

HISTORIC MARBOLD FARMSTEAD ASSOCIATION: Marbold Farmstead, Greenview

Marbold Farmstead was listed on the LI’s 2012 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. This ornate brick farmhouse and its many outbuildings once stood at the heart of more than 4,000 acres of Marbold family holdings in Menard County. Vacant for over 10 years and stripped of its interiors, a group of local citizens have raised the money to purchase the farmstead and its remaining 10 acres from an out-of-state owner. With a previous Preservation Heritage Fund Grant for $1,500, the Historic Marbold Farmstead Association secured the house from water damage. The 2015 LI grant helped fund masonry repairs on the smokehouse, one portion of the north annex.

ELGIN AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Nancy Kimball House, Elgin

The Nancy Kimball House, constructed in 1846, is one of the oldest surviving residences in Elgin and is a rare example of cobblestone construction. The building, which is publicly owned, had many modifications to the interior over time. The City of Elgin acquired the property in 2009, and the building has been vacant since. Although the City owns the property, the Elgin Area Historical Society is responsible for programming and has taken on the responsibility of ensuring its rehabilitation. The Historical Society was seeking funding to stabilize the building and complete urgent repairs to prevent subsequent deterioration.

HANOVER TOWNSHIP PARK DISTRICT: Old Hanover High School building, Hanover

The Old Hanover High School, built in 1929, is currently owned by the Hanover Township Park District. The Park District was formed and funded by a popular referendum in April 2003 after many years of organization and volunteer work. Among their first actions was to purchase the former Hanover School vacated that summer by the River Ridge School District. With a population of fewer than 1,000 people, Hanover relies on the Park District and this building to provide for local programing including a fitness center and many physical education programs. The Park District was seeking funding for a feasibility study of the structure.

ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: Maeystown

The entire village of Maeystown, founded by German immigrants, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. One of the foremost features of this 1880s village are the stacked rock walls made of locally quarried limestone. The stone wall behind the St. John’s United Church of Christ is in need of repairs. The Church congregation has proven to be good stewards to their historic church building and now intend to preserve the stone wall on their property.

MAYWOOD PRESERVATION COMMISSION: Home for Soldiers’ Widows, Maywood

The Maywood Home for Soldiers’ Widows is currently listed on LI’s Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois list. The Georgian Revival-style building was constructed in 1924. Currently, owned by the Village, the building is need of some attention. The Preservation Commission is partnering with other interested organizations to clean up the property. They are in need of some money to purchase paint and supplies.

WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY: L&N Depot, Nashville

For many years, the Washington County Historical Society has been working on the restoration of the L&N Railroad Depot, which dates from the 1800s. They restored the building through private donations and small local fund raisers. Now that they are nearing completion they are requesting funding for the finishing touches of some interior detail work including the lighting, doorknobs and painting and staining.

SPRINGFIELD PROJECT: Judge Taylor House, Springfield

This Federal-style residence, built in 1857, is one of the largest pre-Civil War buildings dating to Abraham Lincoln’s time in Springfield (1837-61). It was built for John Wickliffe Taylor, who was chief judge of the Sangamon County Board of Justices. From 1869 to 1908, the building was used by two institutions: a home and hospital for “fallen women” and the Ambidexter School, which provided educational opportunities for African Americans. The City of Springfield issued a demolition permit in 2013, the Springfield Project, a community development organization, took over the ownership of the property and had the demolition permit lifted. The Taylor House is key component to larger community revitalization effort underway in the surrounding area called the Neighborhood for Hope. The Taylor House will serve as a heritage/community center within this 49-block area.

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