Who We Are

Why do we love old buildings so much? They’re beautiful, they’re well-crafted and they just feel good to us. Oftentimes, they hold special memories. They anchor our neighborhoods and downtowns and make them unique. They provide context to our lives. They make us proud. Over time, they become part of our identity.

When a place that is important to people is threatened, Landmarks Illinois is here to help. Through a wide range of programs, we give people the inspiration and the tools they need to save the important places in their lives. We are an on-the-ground advocate, offering technical assistance, practical resources, small grants, education and endless support— all completely free of charge.


  • A primary resource for all things related to preserving and reusing older historic buildings in Illinois, and the only non-profit preservation organization serving the whole state.
  • A visionary leader experienced at navigating the political landscape and helping to shape policy for historic preservation and community revitalization.
  • A persistent advocate on the front line, ensuring the preservation perspective is part of the community decision-making process.
  • A proactive and strategic group leveraging resources to maximize community impact.
  • An innovator delivering new solutions that save more historic places.
  • A collaborative partner who can help make complex projects happen.

Founded in 1971, Landmarks Illinois is the state’s leading voice for historic preservation. We promote preservation, restoration and adaptive reuse of buildings and sites of many types in order to leverage our past to create a better future. We know that blending old and new makes communities resilient and interesting places to live, work and play.
We are people saving places for people.


Landmarks Illinois hosts many events throughout the year ranging from intimate gatherings to our 750-person gala. Each March, friends, supporters, business professionals and civic leaders gather for our Legendary Landmarks Celebration to acknowledge our successes and honor leaders and visionaries who contribute to a vibrant cultural landscape in Chicago and beyond.


Since its founding, Landmarks Illinois has been guided by the governing contribution
of a volunteer Board of Directors. Our 32 board members support the organization in many ways including the generous donation of intellectual, professional and financial capital. Landmarks Illinois’ board members are among our greatest strengths.


  • Website: www.landmarks.org
  • Founded: 1971
  • Tagline: People Saving Places for People
  • Mission: To preserve, protect and promote architectural and historic resources in Illinois through advocacy and education.
  • Annual Budget: $2.3 million
  • Board of Directors: 32 members
  • Auxiliary Boards: Emeritus Board and Skyline Council
  • President and CEO: Bonnie McDonald
  • Staff: Eight in Chicago; One in Springfield
  • Service Area: State of Illinois

Support our advocacy

Be a voice for the future of our communities by supporting Landmarks Illinois. Our work enhances communities, empowers citizens, promotes local economic development and offers environmentally sound solutions.

Become A Member