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.
Appellate Court issues favorable opinion in Landmarks Illinois' Rock Island Courthouse lawsuit
Landmarks Illinois is celebrating a positive development in our ongoing lawsuit against the Rock Island County Board and Rock Island County Public Building Commission to prevent the proposed demolition of the historic Rock Island County Courthouse. In its opinion issued Thursday, July 16, 2020, the Illinois Appellate Court agreed with Landmarks Illinois’ argument that Rock Island County cannot defy state agencies and must comply with the Illinois State Historic Resources Preservation Act in its pursuit to demolish the historic courthouse.
The opinion stated the county cannot proceed with demolition until it undergoes the proper consultation process with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as required by state law. In addition, the Appellate Court made clear that private parties like Landmarks Illinois and its co-plaintiffs have standing to sue to ensure that public officials follow the law. Read more on this announcement below.
“Landmarks Illinois is pleased the Appellate Court determined that the county must follow state preservation law, affirming the public’s right to be consulted on the future of their courthouse. We stand ready to be a voluntary resource to the county to find a preservation solution benefiting the people of Rock Island County, which we believe is available and feasible.” – Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois.
In the news:
Editorial: Good faith required
Quad City Times Editorial, July 29
Appellate court blocks Rock Island County courthouse demolition for now
Dispatch Argus, July 17
Old Rock Island Courthouse saved — for now
One Illinois, July 17
Courthouse Demolition Blocked
WVIK, July 17
Booth Cottage moved to safe location in Glencoe
The 107-year-old, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Booth Cottage in Glencoe was safely and successfully moved on July 21 from its former location on Franklin Road in the Ravine Bluffs neighborhood to public park land immediate south of the neighborhood to ensure its preservation. The historic cottage, included on Landmarks Illinois’ 2019 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois, faced a demolition threat before the Glencoe Park District Board of Commissioners agreed to a land lease agreement earlier this year with the Glencoe Historical Society, allowing the nonprofit to move and maintain the Wright-designed cottage in Park 7N in Glencoe. Members of the public watched the house move approximately 0.1 miles down the road to its new location. It currently sits on temporary supports pending construction of a permanent foundation.
The Frank Loyd Wright Building Conservancy has documented and shared photos of the move, which you can see at its website here. Landmarks Illinois celebrates this successful move and will be following project updates of the Booth Cottage’s new home.
“By seeing historic buildings, however small, residents are able to witness the aesthetic and cultural history of our area.” – Lisa Sheppard, Glencoe Park District Executive Director
(Photo courtesy of the Frank Loyd Wright Building Conservancy)
In the news:
Skyline Council welcomes new leadership
The Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois, the organization’s emerging professional’s committee, welcomed new leadership in July.
- CHAIR: Liz Peterson, Cedar Street Companies
- VICE CHAIR: Katherine Pohl, AltusWorks, Inc.
- SECRETARY: Paul Tzanetopoulos, Central Building & Preservation L.P.
To begin to introduce these new leaders to the Landmarks Illinois community, we shared a profile on Liz Peterson this month. Liz works as a marketing coordinator at CEDARst Companies, an integrated multifamily developer specializing in adaptive reuse of historic buildings and known for such projects around Chicago as The Bush Temple, The Alfred and The Lawrence House. You can read her full profile and learn why historic preservation is important to her below. Stay tuned in future months for additional profiles on Skyline Council leaders and members.
“Historic preservation begins with citizens feeling connected to their communities, neighborhoods and cities.” – Liz Peterson, Chair of Skyline CouncilMeet Liz Peterson
Women Who Built Illinois
This summer, Landmarks Illinois launched “Women Who Built Illinois,” a database of places in the state created by women. The project will compile data on women architects, engineers, developers, designers and builders in Illinois between 1879 and 1979 and their built projects throughout the state. Places will be assessed for landmark eligibility based on condition and location.
Landmarks Illinois Director of Advocacy Lisa DiChiera and Erica Ruggiero, a member of Landmarks Illinois’ Skyline Council, and a principal at the women-owned architecture firm McGuire Igleski & Associates, have already compiled data on more than 65 women. We encourage you to reach out to us about women in your community who designed and built places.
Read more about this project below at our website and learn how to contact Lisa DiChiera to submit information for the database. The database will be housed on our website at www.Landmarks.org later in the year.Read more
Porcelain Utopia: The Lustron Photography Project
Landmarks Illinois welcomed a guest article July 9 by photographer Dirk Fletcher, who through his Lustron Photography Project has traveled the nation to document iconic Lustron homes – prefabricated enameled steel houses built by the Lustron Corporation in the United States following World War II and created by Chicago industrialist and inventor Carl Strandlund. This month marked two years since Dirk began this project, creating the largest known collection of cohesive Lustron images. To date, he has photographed 320 Lustron homes across 15 states. Read the article, “Porcelain Utopia: The Lustron Photography Project,” at the Landmarks Illinois Preservation News Blog below.
“Seventy years have passed since these Lustron homes were constructed, and the change that has occurred in the neighborhoods in which they are located is staggering. Yet the presence of a 1,100-square-foot enameled steel Lustron home serves as a reminder of a simpler life in the community seven decades ago.” -Dirk Fletcher, photographer
(Photo credit Dirk Fletcher)Read the article
ICYMI: Additional Landmarks Illinois News
- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced the third round of recipients of the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, which went into effect in 2019 after Landmarks Illinois and AIA Illinois advocated for it for more than a decade. Among the latest preservation projects to receive these vital tax incentives are two that Landmarks Illinois has provided advocacy support to: Shimer College campus in Mt. Carroll & West Pullman Elementary School in Chicago.
- The Muddy Waters Mojo Museum in Chicago was named a recent grant recipient of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, which will help preserve the historic former home of the blues legend. Landmarks Illinois was proud to provide assistance in the grant application and thanks our partners Klein & Hoffman, Berglund Construction and Bauer Latoza Studio for their efforts to develop a phased rehabilitation plan for the historic site.
- Downtown Rock Island was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register nomination was prepared by Landmarks Illinois Skyline Council Member Erica Ruggiero through architecture firm McGuire Igleski & Associates where she works as a principal.
- Landmarks Illinois announced the recipients of its one-time special grant fund, the Landmarks Illinois COVID-19 Organization Relief Grant Program in June. Each recipient received a $2,000 grant to help pay for essential, organizational expenditures. Learn about each grant recipient here.
- Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald was happy to be among the numerous guests Khorshid Naderi-Azad interviewed for an episode of her podcast Full Howz, which focuses on the history and successful effort to save the Ebony Test Kitchen. You can also follow the show on Instagram.
- Landmarks Illinois released a Solidarity Statement in June in response to the nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd. “The past week’s protests demand that our work be dedicated to breaking down systems of racism and injustice and ensuring equity in our approach,” the June 4 statement said. Read the full statement here.
You can download the entire July 2020 Landmarks Illinois Preservation News e-newsletter here:July 2020 Preservation News Roundup