Award for Public Leadership

City of Aurora


The awards jury found this Fox Valley community to have one of the “most diverse” preservation programs in Illinois. Its landmarks ordinance dates to the mid-1980s and its early successes included the adaptive use of an 1855-66 stone railroad roundhouse that had been slated for demolition. In recent years, the City has sponsored a wide range of innovative projects, including: interpretive signage for significant buildings, a cell phone walking tour of downtown landmarks, a set of architectural trading cards aimed at school groups, a web site featuring downloadable brochures, and an architectural survey followed by trolley tours of the city’s vast collection of Sears-designed houses. The City also restored a rare 1924 shelter along the Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30), a set of Art Moderne-style sculptures on a downtown bridge, and played a key role in the $1.5 million conversion of the former Central Fire Station (built in 1894) into a Regional Fire Museum. “Everything they do is outstanding,” the jury noted.

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