The monthly Landmarks Illinois News Roundup keeps you in the loop on the latest preservation news stories from the month as well as Landmarks Illinois’ main advocacy efforts, projects and announcements. You can also receive these monthly news roundups directly in your inbox by signing up for our newsletters at the bottom of the page.
Celebrate 50 years of saving places with us!
Landmarks Illinois will host 50Forward, its 50th Anniversary Celebration, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The hour-long virtual fundraising event will include live entertainment and inspiring stories about our past, present and future told by our 20 Landmarks Illinois Influencers — people who have given their time, resources and expertise to ensure places of our past remain part of our state’s future. Read more about this event and our influencers here.
Thursday, March 25
5:30 p.m. – Virtual Networking Hour
6:30 p.m. – Event Program
This is a virtual event & registration is required. Guests will receive a custom link prior to the event and instructions on how to join.
In lieu of a set ticket price, Landmarks Illinois is asking guests to donate what they can. All donations and fundraising from the event will go directly toward Landmarks Illinois’ advocacy programsRegister
Skyline Council shows Roberts Temple some love on Valentine's Day Weekend
The Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois partnered with the congregation of Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ to heart bomb the historic church in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood on Valentine’s Day Weekend, February 13 & 14. The public art display helped draw attention to the church, which is in need of restoration.
Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, located at 4021 S. State St., was the site of the 1955 open-casket funeral of Emmett Till, who was brutally murdered at the age of 14 while visiting family in Mississippi. Mamie Till-Mobley’s courageous choice to show her son’s body is seen as a defining moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Roberts Temple was designated a Chicago Landmark in 2006
Landmarks Illinois is collaborating with Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ’s congregation, The Mamie Till-Mobley Memorial Foundation and National Trust for Historic Preservation to help assess the condition of the property, determine priority repairs and develop a phased rehabilitation plan. The National Trust included Roberts Temple on its 2020 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. Skyline Council will provide technical assistance and opportunities to bring attention to the church and its restoration efforts. Stay tuned for future project updates!See photos from the heart bomb
New edition of "The Arch" newsletter
Check out the latest edition of our quarterly newsletter!
The February 2021 edition of “The Arch” newsletter is now available to read at our website. In this issue, we kick off our 50th Anniversary year, introduce our “Landmarks Illinois Influencers” and provide updates on our latest advocacy efforts around the state.Read "The Arch"
Fundraising efforts launch to restore S.B. Fuller Home in Robbins
Landmarks Illinois recently awarded the Robbins Historical Society a grant through our Preservation Heritage Fund to help with restoration efforts at the historic S.B. Fuller Home. Since announcing the grant, media and public attention for the preservation project has grown, and the historic society has set up a Go Fund Me account to help fundraise for the overall preservation project at the home.
The S.B. Fuller Home was built in 1958 for entrepreneur S.B. Fuller in Robbins, Illinois, one of the oldest incorporated African American communities in the United States and the oldest Black suburb in the Chicago area. Born in 1905 to a family of sharecroppers in Louisiana, S.B. Fuller began door-to-door sales at the age of nine to help support his family. He moved to Chicago at 17 to pursue a career in sales and went on to create the successful Fuller Products. At his peak, S.B. Fuller owned eight other corporations, was publisher of two newspapers, led the Chicago NAACP, served as president of the National Negro Business League and was a prominent Republican.
“The home in Robbins helps to tell the story about SB fuller as not only one of the nation’s most prominent and successful black entrepreneurs, but one of the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs period.” -BONNIE McDONALD, President & CEO, Landmarks Illinois
Fuller died in 1988, and his former home was donated to the Robbins Historical Society and Museum in 2016. Today, the home is is in need of major repairs before the organization can make it its permanent location. The Landmarks Illinois grant will help pay for mothballing and stabilizing the home.
Click below for the historic society’s Go Fund Me page for the project:Donate to the project
Read more in the news:
Grant to help save 1950s Robbins home of a once-notable Black millionaire
Chicago Sun-Times, February 10
Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald talks about Chicago Monuments Project
On February 17, the City of Chicago launched the Chicago Monuments Project website at ChicagoMonuments.org, kicking off the public engagement phase of the Chicago Monuments Project that aims to identify public memorials, monuments and works of art in Chicago worthy of review and public discussion.
Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald is one of three co-chairs of the Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee, and has given a number of interviews about the group and its purpose in recent weeks.
- 41 Problematic Monuments Flagged by City Commission Identified
WTTW, Chicago Tonight, February 25
- Here is why Abraham Lincoln is on a list of statues being reviewed for ‘cultural appropriateness’
WGN Radio, February 22
- Yes, Lincoln and Grant are on our list of questioned Chicago monuments — and we want to hear your views on that
Chicago Sun-Times, February 22
- AT ISSUE: The Chicago Monuments Project
WBBM News Radio, February 21
More about the Chicago Monuments Project
Monuments and memorials have become a focal point for conversation, protest and activism in the city of Chicago. In response, the city has created a committee to review the city’s collection of monuments and recommend solutions. The Chicago Monuments Project intends to grapple with the often unacknowledged – or forgotten – history associated with the City’s various municipal art collections and provides a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago’s racial history, confront the ways in which that history has and has not been memorialized and develop a framework for marking public space that elevates new ways to memorialize Chicago’s true and complete history. To learn more and share your thoughts, please visit www.ChicagoMonuments.org – and join the conversation on social media using #ChicagoMonuments.
(Photo: A screenshot of the city’s new Chicago Monument Project website, ChicagoMonuments.org, which identified 41 monuments, memorials and other works of art in Chicago that the Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee has identified for further public discussion.)
Learn more about the project and how you can participate:ChicagoMonuments.org
Apply for a Landmarks Illinois grant!
Grant applications due: April 15
Landmarks Illinois has three grant programs:
- Landmarks Illinois Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side
- Preservation Heritage Fund
- Barbara C. and Thomas E. Donnelley II Preservation Fund for Illinois
The next round of applications for each grant program are due April 15.
Click below to learn if you and your preservation project qualify for funding and how to submit an application.Landmarks Illinois Grants
Additional Landmarks Illinois News
- The historic Rock Island County Courthouse has been selected as a finalist by the federal government in its search as the next site of court operations for the Central District of Illinois. Landmarks Illinois, which with the National Trust for Historic Preservation sued the Rock Island County Board and Rock Island County Public Building Commission in 2019 to prevent demolition of the courthouse, has advocated for reuse of the building as a federal courthouse. Read the Dispatch Argus article, “S. government says historic Rock Island County courthouse is finalist as federal courthouse; county still plans on demolition,” for more information. You can also read this letter to the editor from a Rock Island resident in support of a federal courthouse.
- Pentecostal Church of Holiness received preliminary landmark recommendation from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks at its February 4 meeting. Landmarks Illinois awarded the congregation of the North Lawndale historic church a Preservation Heritage Fund Grant in September 2020 to help pay for priority repairs of the structure.
- The Miracle House in Galewood received final landmark recommendation from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks at its February 4 meeting. Landmarks Illinois was one of many organizations and residents to voice support for landmark designation of the 1954 Belli & Belli-designed house in recent months and helped prepare the preliminary landmark designation report on behalf of the owner
- This month U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, reintroduced a bill to make the New Philadelphia site part of the National Park System. Landmarks Illinois has been helping local advocates in this effort. Learn more about this historic site, here and here.
- Landmarks Illinois is encouraging advocates to help spread the word to find a preservation-minded buyer for an architecturally significant home in Winnetka threatened with demolition. The Prairie School-style home, designed by architect John Van Bergen, was previously purchased by a homebuilder looking to tear down the house to make way for new construction. However, the builder has agreed to a 90-day delay to his demolition plans to try to find another buyer who would be interested in preserving and restoring the existing house.
- Landmarks Illinois is helping with preservation efforts to protect the Maywood former home of Fred Hampton, the late Chair of the Illinois Black Panther Party. Landmarks Illinois introduced Fred Hampton, Jr. to members of the Maywood Historic Preservation Commission to discuss next steps for a local landmark designation of the home. We are also working with film producer and journalist Leila Wills, whose parents were members of the Black Panther party, as well as the Public History graduate program at Loyola University on researching Black Panther affiliated sites in the Chicagoland area. Check out this panel discussion hosted by Wills held February 7 on the assassination of Chairman Fred Hampton.
- The Evanston City Council will hear staff feedback on March 8 on the four proposals for the long-term lease and reuse of the historic Harley Clarke Mansion, included on the 2016 Landmarks Illinois Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. (Council meeting agenda will be posted here) The following organizations submitted a proposal to the city: Artists Book House, Evanston Community Lakehouse & Gardens, Evanston Conservancy, ONE Community Museum.
- Landmarks Illinois Lisa DiChiera is participating in two upcoming virtual discussions on the organization’s “Women Who Built Illinois” project. On March 7, DiChiera will help moderate “International Women’s Day Virtual Symposium – Chicago Women in Midcentury Design,” a virtual event hosted by Landmarks Illinois, Farnsworth House and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. And, on March 31, DiChiera will lead a talk hosted by the Vernon Area Public Library, Lunchtime Series: Women Who Built Illinois.
Download the full February 2021 edition of our Preservation News Roundup belowFebruary 2021 News Roundup