2023 Heart Bombing: Press Release

Media Contact:

Kaitlyn McAvoy
Director of Communications
Landmarks Illinois


January 19, 2023

Landmarks Illinois’ Skyline Council hosts heart bombing at Will County Courthouse ahead of Valentine’s Day

JOLIET – Landmarks Illinois young & emerging professionals committee, the Skyline Council, and the Courthouse Preservation Partnership will team up to host a heart bombing at the former Will County Courthouse in Joliet on Saturday, February 11, 2023. The event, which showers a historic building with public displays of affection, will bring attention to the architecturally significant courthouse currently threatened with demolition.

Heart bombing schedule

Members of the public are welcomed to attend the heart bombing event. The day begins at 10 a.m. with a community craft making event at MyGrain Brewing Company, 50 E. Jefferson St., #106, in Joliet. The Skyline Council will provide limited art supplies to assemble and design artwork for the heart bombing. The public is also encouraged to bring their own art supplies or pre-made artwork. Coffee, hot cocoa and breakfast snacks will be served. Heart bombing participants will later travel to the former Will County Courthouse at 14 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet to display their hearts and other artwork. Group photos will be taken at 12 p.m.

Preservation efforts at the Will County Courthouse

Landmarks Illinois included the Will County Courthouse on its 2022 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. Built in 1969 by Otto Stark of C.F. Murphy Associates (now JAHN) and Krugel, Healy & Moore, the building’ design is the region’s lone example of Brutalist architecture. Today, the courthouse is vacant and at risk of demolition as county officials have not expressed a desire to explore reuse opportunities.

“Our heart bombing this year feels especially important as the Will County Board is currently exploring plans to demolish the courthouse,” said Alyssa Frystak, Skyline Council Chair. “We urge everyone who does not want to see their unique community landmark torn down to join us for this event to show Will County officials how much the public cherishes this irreplaceable building.”

Landmarks Illinois is working closely with Courthouse Preservation Partners, a local community group in Joliet, advocating for the redevelopment of the Will County Courthouse in downtown Joliet.

More information on heart bombing

Heart bombing was created in 2012 by a group of young preservationists in Buffalo, New York, who showcased their love for abandoned historic properties in their city by papering them with handmade Valentines. The concept has since spread across the nation, encouraging others, including Landmarks Illinois, to use it as a way to activate and bring attention to historic places and local preservation efforts. Landmarks Illinois Skyline Council has hosted an annual heart bombing since 2018 at places including the Harley Clarke Mansion in Evanston and Altgeld Gardens in Chicago.

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.


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