April 2, 2020

By Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO, Landmarks Illinois


People are at the core of Landmarks Illinois’ mission, and despite the challenging times our nation – and the world – is facing, that mission remains the same: to help people save places for people. Landmarks Illinois staff is working at home to abide by our state’s “shelter-in-place” order, but we are still here to help you and your community preserve the special and historic places that make your neighborhood unique. Please do not hesitate to reach out to staff members as you need via email. You can locate staff emails here.

Some things have changed, though, as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to keep our supporters, members and donors informed about our the plan of action Landmarks Illinois has put in place for the time being. Below is a summary of how our work has changed or been impacted for the moment:

  • Offices closed: The Landmarks Illinois Chicago and Springfield offices remain closed. All staff members are set up to efficiently work from home until at least April 30 and beyond, if necessary. Our operations and services continue as normal to the best of our ability.
  • Voicemail & snail mail: We will be checking voicemails and physical mail at the Chicago office intermittently. We will do our best to return all phone calls, but this may take longer than usual. Please be patient with us. If you want to check if we received mail from you, please email Landmarks Illinois Office Manager Julie Carpenter.
  • Events & programs: We have canceled the remainder of our Spring Preservation Snapshots Lectures, including our April and May lectures. As things change, future programs beyond May and into summer could change as well. We plan to stay in communication with you as we adapt where needed.
  • Keeping you updated: We want to stay connected with you. Landmarks Illinois continues to monitor “shelter-in-place” orders and assess how these will impact our work. When things change, we will communicate that with you. A great way to stay connected with us is by signing up for our e-newsletters, which we continue to send to subscribers. You can enter your email address at the bottom of this webpage under “STAY IN TOUCH.” Please also follow up on social media @landmarksill on Facebook and Twitter and @landmarksillinois on Instagram.

I want to send a heartfelt thank you to all our members and donors. We are fortunate to have an excellent team of professional staff, strong board leadership and an incredible base of supporters throughout the state that enable us to continue to operate during these challenging times. Thank you! Landmarks Illinois is a membership-based nonprofit organization, and we rely on membership and contributed support to do our work of helping people save places for people!


While many things have changed for now, one thing has stayed the same: The power of place. Landmarks Illinois believes places can serve as a beacon of hope and security for us. Our state’s special and historic places have the power to connect us, even if we cannot physically gather together in them right now. We are asking people all across Illinois to share the places that are saving them during these uncertain times.

(Berger Park in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. My personal “sacred” ground.)

We were inspired by our 2020 Legendary Landmark Timuel D. Black Jr. who refers to special places in his South Side community as his “sacred ground.” These “sacred” places help tell the neighborhood’s story and his more than 100+ years living in the community. We ask you to share the places that make up your “sacred ground” to give inspiration to others.

Is there a building, park or landmark in your neighborhood that you go to for respite, contemplation or a feeling of joy? Think about the places close by that give you strength and comfort. Perhaps you can even still pass by this place on a walk outside? We want you to share these places with us! Here’s how:

We look forward to learning about the sacred places that are helping you stay grounded. And, stay tuned for future updates from Landmarks Illinois as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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