Director of Communications
For immediate release
October 17, 2023
Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grants help preserve historic commercial buildings in Johnston City & Murphysboro
CHICAGO – Landmarks Illinois has awarded grants to help preserve two historic buildings in the Southern Illinois communities of Johnston City and Murphysboro through the Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program.
The matching grants of $2,500 each will support the rehabilitation of the historic Andresen’s Café in Johnston City and tuckpointing at the historic GM&O Railroad Depot building in Murphysboro. Representatives from Landmarks Illinois and Banterra Bank will present checks to the grant recipients in both communities on October 25. Details on these grant projects and the public check-signing events are below.
Andresen’s Café, Johnston City
Andresen’s Café is the longest-operating business in Johnston City. The business was established in 1927 and located in a building constructed in 1906. Many of the original features and furniture, from the mahogany booths, mirrors, neon lighting and some ceiling tiles are still intact. The popular restaurant and community gathering spot draws large crowds during the day and is located in a commercial section of East Broadway Boulevard in Johnston City.
The current owner of Andresen’s Café, Anthony Spiller, is working to rehabilitate the original building and expand the business. The $2,500 Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preservation Southern Illinois, grant will help with the rehabilitation of the historic storefront to the café.
GM&O Depot, Murphysboro
Built in 1888, the GM&O Railroad Depot in Murphysboro is a former Mobile and Ohio Railroad station, the largest on the rail line between St. Louis, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois. For 90 years, it served as an economic engine for Murphysboro, bringing workers and visitors to the business and entertainment district that developed around the station and helped export produce from the local agricultural industry. The depot closed in December 1977 when the railway became part of the Illinois Central system. Seven years later, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2020, the building was donated to Murphysboro Main Street to house the organization’s offices and welcome center. Main Street has since completed Phase 1 restoration work on the building, including installing a new roof and replacing windows. The $2,500 Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preservation Southern Illinois grant will help Main Street tuckpoint the building, which is part of Phase 2 of the overall restoration plan.
Public check-signing events October 25
Landmarks Illinois and Banterra Bank will host check presentations with the recent grant recipients on Wednesday, October 25. The check presentation at Andresen’s Café will take place at noon at 215 E. Broadway Blvd. in Johnston City, Illinois. At 3 p.m., representatives from Murphysboro Main Street will be presented with their grant at the GM&O Depot, located at 1701 Walnut St. in Murphysboro, Illinois. Members of the community and the press are welcome to attend the check presentations.
About the grant program
The Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program provides monetary assistance to preserve or rehabilitate historic structures in downtowns and other commercial corridors of Southern Illinois to support economic development. Launched in the spring of 2022, this is the first grant program Landmarks Illinois has targeted to a specific Illinois economic development region and is also the organization’s first grant program offered to private building owners, developers and for-profit business owners.
Grants are awarded on a matching basis and range from $500 to $2,500 each based on project need. Grants are distributed twice a year. Grant application deadlines are January 1 and July 1. Commercial property owners, nonprofit organizations or governmental bodies are encouraged to apply. Visit our website to read detailed grant guidelines and to submit an application.
About Banterra Bank
Founded in Southern Illinois, Banterra Bank approached Landmarks Illinois with the grant program concept, because they saw a need for preserving the region’s historic downtown buildings and supporting small business development in the area. Banterra began as a single bank in Ridgway, Illinois in July of 1975. Today, Banterra has $3 billion in assets and is ranked in the Top Eight Percent of U.S. Charter Banks and Top Five Percent for Illinois Charter Banks by asset size. Banterra has almost 40 locations in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Utah, as well as a specialty lending division that serves customers nationwide. For more information, call 866-BANTERRA (226-8377) or go to www.banterra.bank.
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.