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Statewide Endangered

2012 Ten Most Endangered Historic Places 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeport City Hall

230 W. Stephenson, Freeport
(Stephenson County)
 

Update

December, 2012:
Landmarks Illinois was able to provide a follow-up technical assistance report for this site with a grant from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Click here for report.

 

This unusual sandstone and brick city hall was built in 1899 to house the city hall, fire department, police department and library for the burgeoning industrial town of Freeport. It sits on a prominent corner at the west end of the downtown but has been subjected to a series of unfortunate interior alterations over the years and an overall lack of maintenance by the city. Following the collapse of two nearby downtown buildings in 2011, fears for the structural condition of city hall led Freeport to move its offices out of the building. A citizens group was formed to persuade the City that the building could and should be saved.

This 60’ x 155’ building anchors the west end of a city block and is in the city’s downtown National Register district. Its rusticated sandstone base with tall arched windows supports a brick 2nd floor containing the original cove-ceilinged council chamber. The building has various porticoed entrances that originally marked the different functions that were housed in it. An under-utilized attic story has elaborate dormers but is missing its stone parapet. Inside the building has been cut up into many layers and rooms. These layers of inappropriate renovations would need to be removed as part of the building’s rehabilitation. Rockford architect Gary Anderson was hired to do a preliminary study on the condition of the building and the potential cost of rehabilitation.

Like all Illinois municipalities, Freeport has seen its revenue drop and the City Council is concerned about the cost of redoing and maintaining City Hall. There has been discussion of abandoning, selling and/or demolishing the building rather than investing in it for the future. Citizens for Saving Freeport City Hall was formed in November 2011 to open a public dialogue about the future of the building. They have recently been joined in their efforts by Freeport Downtown Development Foundation and Prospering Together. The Freeport City Hall is an important landmark and creates foot traffic for Freeport’s downtown: every effort should be made to give this building a new life for the 21st century.

 

What You Can Do

 

Citizens for Saving Freeport City Hall
c/o Brenda Myers
9 E Stephenson Street
Freeport, IL 61032
(815) 233-7300
tbamyers@gmail.com

City of Freeport

c/o Mayor George Gaulrapp
524 W. Stephenson
Freeport, IL 61032
815 235-8200

 

Additional Links

 

My View: Reclaim history, refurbish Freeport City Hall
Journal Standard, February 8, 2014

Journal Standard (Freeport)
April 26, 2012

Learn the story behind the names inscribed in the cornice of the building: ci.freeport.il.us/citygovernment/cityhall

WREX –TV (Rockford)
April 24, 2012

Journal Standard (Freeport) - video
April 24, 2012

Journal Standard (Freeport) - news
April 24, 2012

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Landmarks Illinois
Suite 1315
53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604 
tel. 312-922-1742 
fax 312-922-8112

 

 

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© 2012 Landmarks Illinois. All rights reserved. In addition to the copyright to this collective work, copyright to the materials which appear on this site may be held by the individual authors or others. Landmarks Illinois is a
tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1971 and is the state's leading voice for historic preservation.