June 2021 Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund Recipients: PRESS RELEASE


June 22, 2021


Kaitlyn McAvoy
Communications Manager, Landmarks Illinois

Two community preservation projects on Chicago’s South Side receive grant funding from Landmarks Illinois

CHICAGO – Landmarks Illinois has awarded two new grants through its new Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side. The grants to LYTE Collective in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood and the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp. in Auburn Gresham will support community preservation projects on the city’s South Side.

LYTE Collective, Greater Grand Crossing

A $2,500 matching grant was awarded to LYTE Collective, an organization serving Chicago youth impacted by poverty and homelessness. LYTE Collective is working to restore the 1926 Ingleside-Whitfield United Methodist Church to serve as a community center for the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. The future space, called the LYTE Lounge, will provide holistic support services, house a health clinic, art and music studios, gymnasium, performance stage, teaching kitchen, computer lab and more than 200 units of secure storage. Youth who visit the future LYTE Lounge will be connected to both immediate and long-term housing and will have access to food, shower and laundry facilities, personal care supplies, legal services and mental health support.

LYTE Collective is currently raising funding to repair the vacant former church, which it purchased in 2017. Renovations underway include updating plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems. LYTE Collective will use Landmarks Illinois grant funding through the Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side to help pay for those updates.

Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp., Auburn Gresham

The Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp. (GAGDC) was also awarded a $2,500 Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side matching grant to aid restoration efforts at its historic property at 79th and Halsted Streets in Auburn Gresham. GAGDC is restoring the four-story, masonry building to transform it into a multi-use site including office and retail space and a federally qualified health center. The historic property was deemed eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and is therefore required to retain certain original features. GAGDC will use Landmarks Illinois’ grant funding toward retaining and reusing an original interior staircase that is required to remain due to the building’s historic significance.

The restoration effort is part of GAGDC, Urban Growers Collective and Green ERA’s “Always Growing Auburn Gresham” project, which was awarded the $10 million Chicago Prize in August 2020 from the Pritzker Traubert Foundation. The larger project will create a “healthy lifestyle hub” that includes the multi-use site at 79th and Halsted as well as an urban farming campus at 83rd and Halsted. The development project is expected to create a neighborhood anchor and bring jobs, food, healthcare and much-needed investment to the Auburn Gresham community.

Learn more about the grant recipients here.

About the grant fund

Launched in May 2020, the Landmarks Illinois Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side provides small planning and capital grants to support organizations and people working to preserve the history, culture and architecture of Chicago’s South Side, where Mr. Black, acclaimed civil rights leader, author and historian has spent the majority of his life living and promoting African American history. Previous grant recipients of the fund are the Muddy Waters Original Jam Out (MOJO) Museum, which is working to restore the Muddy Waters House in North Kenwood, and Greenstone Church in Pullman.

Grants through the Landmarks Illinois Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side range from $500 – $2,500 each, depending on need, and require a one-to-one match. Grant applications are accepted four times a year, and the next application deadline is July 15, 2021. Visit www.Landmarks.org/grants to view complete grant guidelines and to submit a grant application.

About Landmarks Illinois

We are People Saving Places for People. Landmarks Illinois is a membership-based 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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