FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2022
Communications Manager, Landmarks Illinois
Landmarks Illinois releases 2022 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois
CHICAGO, IL – Landmarks Illinois announced the 2022 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois at a virtual press conference this afternoon. This year’s Most Endangered list is a targeted call to action for historic and culturally significant sites in Cook, Will and Winnebago Counties that face a serious risk of demolition and/or are suffering significant neglect due to lack of maintenance or insufficient funding for repair.
“The 2022 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois are prominent examples of how a lack of funding, planning, creative vision and political will to invest in our historic sites has a detrimental effect on our communities,” said Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois. “These endangered sites all have historic, cultural and economic value, and we want their preservation to serve as catalysts for hope and positive change. Demolishing or improperly redeveloping them would rob current and future generations of the chance to experience them and learn about their unique stories.”
2022 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois
Below are the sites included on the 2022 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. Please visit our website to see full descriptions and photos of each site. A downloadable digital press packet, which includes contact information for local advocates of each site, is also available on the website.
Century & Consumers Buildings – Chicago, Cook County
Two highly visible, early 20th-century commercial buildings at 202-220 S. State St., which sit within the National Register-listed Loop Retail Historic District, face demolition by the federal government. Previous redevelopment plans were halted due to security concerns by the adjacent federal courts, but demolition will leave a noticeable hole in the downtown State Street corridor.
Eugene S. Pike House – Chicago, Cook County
The picturesque, late 19th-century home once used as a “Watchman’s Residence” for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County sits at the southern edge of the Dan Ryan Woods and is part of the National Register-listed Ridge Historic District. The house is vacant and deteriorating and needs an outside user and investor.
Will County Courthouse – Joliet, Will County
Built in 1969 and designed by Otto Stark of C.F. Murphy Associates in partnership with Krugel, Healy & Moore Architects, the Brutalist building is at risk of demolition due to Will County’s current lack of interest to explore reuse opportunities for the architecturally significant but vacant structure.
Elks Lodge No. 64 – Rockford, Winnebago County
A former community meeting space built in 1912, the architecturally significant but long-vacant structure faces demolition by neglect. The building, which serves as an important gateway to the West Downtown Rockford Historic District where revitalization and reinvestment is booming, requires emergency repairs as well as a rehabilitation and reuse plan.
Gillson Park – Wilmette, Cook County
A 60-acre, Prairie-style public park sitting along Lake Michigan that features naturalist landscapes and open space beloved by locals. However, the Wilmette Park District is considering changes to the 107-year-old park that would alter its passive design and remove greenery to add more roads and parking.
More information about the Most Endangered program
The annual Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois is Landmarks Illinois’ largest and longest-running advocacy program, beginning in 1995. The annual list aims to boost advocacy efforts and build support for each property’s eventual preservation.
For the first time in the program’s 27-year history, Landmarks Illinois has less than 10 sites on the Most Endangered list.
“We had a number of places come close to being included on the 2022 list, but thanks to partnerships with local and state government officials and the tireless dedication of local advocates and our staff, these places no longer face an imminent threat,” said McDonald. “We think this year’s more compact Most Endangered list is proof our efforts are working to save Illinois’ historic places.”
Sites included on the Most Endangered list are places that have been nominated by people in Illinois and evaluated by the Landmarks Illinois staff, board and regional advisors. Landmarks Illinois works with local advocates associated with each property to understand the historic/cultural significance of the sites and the preservation challenges it faces.
Once a property is included on the Most Endangered list, Landmarks Illinois remains committed to its preservation efforts, continuing communication and relationships with local advocates and elected officials to provide resources (including small grants) and connections where possible. In many cases, this has led to years- or decades-long relationships between local advocates and Landmarks Illinois. Staff at Landmarks Illinois can also serve as a link to pro bono services from other preservation professionals such as architects, engineers, historians and more.
Learn more about our Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois and see previous Most Endangered lists at our website.
About Landmarks Illinois
We are People Saving Places for People. Landmarks Illinois is a membership-based historic preservation nonprofit organization serving the people of Illinois. We inspire and empower stakeholders to save places that matter to them by providing free guidance, practical and financial resources and access to strategic partnerships. For more information, visit www.Landmarks.org.
###Learn more about the 2022 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois