Preservation and Conservation Association of Champaign County
This project serves as the epitome of a community-based effort, one that combined the skills and dedication of many people over several years. The Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA) purchased the Nathan Ricker House in 1996, after it was threatened with demolition for a new apartment building. Built in 1892, this Queen Anne-style house is believed to be the only residential design by Nathan C. Ricker, the longtime head of the University of Illinois’ architecture and engineering departments.
PACA volunteers then began to completely renovate the dilapidated building’s interior and exterior, in preparation for its sale as a private residence. This involved removal of insensitive remodelings—including aluminum siding—and reconstruction of missing features, which was aided by a Landmarks Illinois Endangered Building Grant. In the process, PACA also helped to ensure the building’s long-term preservation by: listing it on the National Register, designating it as Urbana’s first local landmark, placing a preservation covenant on the property and helping the new owners secure a local property tax assessment freeze.