Preservation News

North Shore School District 112 now participates in tax assessment freeze program

January 31, 2018 – North Shore School District 112 (NSSD112) has opted to participate in the tax assessment freeze program. The decision gives the Lake County Clerk the ability to process requests that maintain the owner’s property tax assessment for 8-years after a qualified rehabilitation, lowering the financial commitment necessary to preserve a historic home. The policy change for NSSD 112 follows a similar action taken earlier this year by Township High School District 113, which filed exemption requests in 2015 and 2016. The recent decisions by Districts 112 and 113 put the institutions in the majority of taxing districts in the state. Read the NSSD112 press release on the news below.

(pictured: NSSD112 CFO Chris Wildman and District 113 Asst. Supt. for Finance Ali Mehanti join Landmarks Illinois officials and local community leaders in front of the Mary W. Adams House in Highland Park designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905.)

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Property Tax Assessment Freeze Program Now Available for Historic Homes in District 113

Township High School District 113 in Chicago’s north suburbs decided earlier this month to allow owners of historic homes within the district to use an important tax incentive to rehabilitate their property.

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City Approves Landmark Status for Uptown District


On Dec. 14, 2016, the Chicago City Council approved official landmark status for the Uptown Square District on Chicago’s North Side – something Landmarks Illinois has advocated for for 15 years.

(Photo: The historic and popular Green Mill is one of the buildings protected by the City’s landmark status)

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Springfield’s YWCA Building Set to Be Demolished

The historic YWCA building in Springfield is set to be torn down. At its Dec. 6 meeting, the Springfield City Council voted unanimously to move forward with demolishing the building, voting 10-0 to overturn a recommendation by the city’s Historic Sites Commission to reject the demolition permit for the building. Landmarks Illinois considers the future demolition of the YWCA building – a designated historic landmark – a major loss to the city of Springfield, its historic district and local heritage tourism. Read our full statement on the news.

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River Edge Historic Tax Credit Extended

A bill to extend Illinois pilot State Historic Tax Credit has passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly as of Dec. 1, 2016, and is on its way to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk for his signature. Here, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois Bonnie McDonald shares our thoughts on the good news.

(Photo credit: River Edge Historic Tax Credit)

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Mid-Century Modern Home in Old Town Faces Demo Threat

On Dec. 1, 2016, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted to deny the demolition of a mid-century modern home in the historic Old Town Triangle District, located at 1638 North Sedgwick St. The owners of the home have applied for a permit to demo the house.

(Photo Credit: Google)

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Is the Federal Historic Tax Credit at Risk? Possibly.

On June 24th, 2016, the Republican tax reform task force in the U.S. House of Representatives released a proposal for tax reform that could threaten the Federal Historic Tax Credit program, as the focus is to eliminate millions of dollars in tax credits and deductions.

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Preservation Efforts for Queen Anne-Style Edwards House Move Forward

The 2015 demolition of the 117-year old historically significant Queen Anne Edwards House in Downers Grove led to the formation of Friends of the Edwards House a volunteer advocacy group whose efforts brought about a simplified Historic Preservation Ordinance in Downers Grove.

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Condition Assessment of Greenstone Church in Pullman

Landmarks Illinois facilitated a pro bono condition assessment, provided by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE), of the historic Greenstone Church (S.S. Beman architect) in the Pullman Historic District. The district is now a designated National Monument.

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Cook County Hospital Rehab Planned

A redevelopment plan for Old Cook County Hospital was approved in May 2016 by the Cook County Board, which will allow MB Real Estate Services to invest $600 million in the historic building and reuse it for hotel, apartments and retail. The developer will pay $2 million in annual rent to the county under a 99-year lease and make use of federal historic tax credits to help finance the rehabilitation.

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Interview with Board Member Shelley Gorson

Board member Shelley Gorson is one of nine board members reaching their “sunset year” in June; that is, a mandatory year off from board service between six-year terms. In her 13 years as a volunteer, Shelley has served as a board member, event, committee, and board chair, and organizational visionary. We sat down with her to ask her about her experience.

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Judge Taylor House Rehab

A transformation is taking place on Springfield’s east side. The Springfield Project, a neighborhood-based organization, recently completed the first phase of repairs to the pre-Civil War era Judge Taylor House for a future community center.

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Losing Chicago’s Modern & Post-Modern Heritage

As Chicago hosted the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, news and opinions about the future demolition of buildings by some of Chicago’s greatest architects – Gene Summers and Helmut Jahn – was announced and opined.

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