The Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program was established in 2022 and provides monetary assistance to preserve or rehabilitate historic structures in downtowns and other commercial corridors of Southern Illinois to support economic development. Learn about the grant recipients below.
2023 Grant Recipients
Andresen’s Café, Johnston City
Andresen’s Café is the longest-operating business in Johnston City. The business was established in 1927 and located in a building constructed in 1906. Many of the original features and furniture, from the mahogany booths, mirrors, neon lighting and some ceiling tiles are still intact. The popular restaurant and community gathering spot draws large crowds during the day and is located in a commercial section of East Broadway Boulevard in Johnston City.
The current owner of Andresen’s Café, Anthony Spiller, is working to rehabilitate the original building and expand the business. The $2,500 Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preservation Southern Illinois grant will help with the rehabilitation of the historic storefront to the café.Learn more
GM&O Depot, Murphysboro
Built in 1888, the GM&O Railroad Depot in Murphysboro is a former Mobile and Ohio Railroad station, the largest on the rail line between St. Louis, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois. For 90 years, it served as an economic engine for Murphysboro, bringing workers and visitors to the business and entertainment district that developed around the station and helped export produce from the local agricultural industry. The depot closed in December 1977 when the railway became part of the Illinois Central system. Seven years later, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2020, the building was donated to Murphysboro Main Street to house the organization’s offices and welcome center. Main Street has since completed Phase 1 restoration work on the building, including installing a new roof and replacing windows. The $2,500 Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preservation Southern Illinois grant will help Main Street tuckpoint the building, which is part of Phase 2 of the overall restoration plan.Learn more
Riverview Mansion Hotel, Golconda
Grant amount: $2,500
The Riverview Mansion Hotel is a Victorian-style home built in 1894 for John Gilbert, Jr., a local businessman who also served as the mayor of Golconda. The 8,000-square-foot home, once called “The Queen of Silk Stocking Row,” has operated as a hotel since the mid-1920s, providing overnight accommodations and bringing economic activity to the city in Pope County.
Today, owners Anthony and Beth Eckert maintain the funky, boutique-style hotel featuring century-old millwork and other preserved original features. The stately structure features a dozen stained glass windows, including a Palladian-style window on the front elevation that is in need of repair. The Eckerts will use their grant to help pay for exterior maintenance to the window.Learn more
1330 Walnut St., Murphysboro
Grant amount: $2,500
Jamie and Shannon Green are civic leaders in their Murphysboro community and have helped bring the city’s main street back to life. Jamie serves as Director of Murphysboro’s Main Street program and is a steering committee member for Revitalize 62966, which is dedicated to revitalizing Murphysboro through project development and community input.
The historic building at 1330 Walnut St. is one of six commercial buildings in Murphysboro’s Main Street corridor that the Greens have purchased and are restoring in an effort to increase activity in downtown. The first floor is home to two local businesses (White House Salon and Yoga on the Block), and the second floor is being rehabilitated for residential use. The Greens will use their grant to help cover the cost of installing new windows on the second floor.
2022 Grant Recipients
Hardin County Independent, Elizabethtown
GRANT AMOUNT: $2,500
The Hardin County Independent has been a source of regional news for the past 151 years. The paper, headed by third-generation owner, Jennifer Lane, has been produced and managed from its existing location in Elizabethtown since 1925. The 1880s building that houses the paper’s offices is a significant fixture in the business district of the Ohio River town of 204 people.
Although the building has various repair needs, electrical upgrades are at the immediate forefront. The fluctuations in the electricity could cause a fire or loss of equipment due to power failures. Lane will use the $2,500 Preserve Southern Illinois matching grant from Landmarks Illinois to make necessary electrical upgrades.Learn more
Gualdoni building and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows building, Sesser
GRANT AMOUNT: $2,500
Rebecca and Kenny Benedict are the owners of two historic buildings in downtown Sesser in Franklin County: the Gualdoni building (pictured) and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows building, which are home to ground-floor retail space but require repairs on the upper levels.
Located at the town’s main intersection, the Gualdoni building is named after Charles Gualdoni, an early developer of the town who helped get brick buildings such as the Opera House and Hotel Building constructed. Today, the Gualdoni building is home to the ground-floor Brewed on Broadway coffee shop. The building also includes an event center. The Benedict’s are renovating the second floor of the building to create a short-term vacation rental. Downtown Sesser is near the popular recreation area of Rend Lake, making the town an ideal location for rental properties.
Across the street from the Gualdoni building is the former Independent Order of Odd Fellows building constructed in 1910, which is now home to the Pin Up Salon (pictured). The Benedicts will use the $2,500 Preserve Southern Illinois matching grant from Landmarks Illinois to help pay for needed tuckpointing and masonry repairs at both buildings.Learn more