Landmarks Illinois issues first Reinvestment Program Loan: PRESS RELEASE

(Landmarks Illinois representatives attended the ribbon cutting at the grand opening of GCI’s Artists on the 9 in April.)

Media Contact:

Kaitlyn McAvoy
Communications Manager
Landmarks Illinois


May 23, 2022

Landmarks Illinois issues first Reinvestment Program Loan to Greater Chatham Initiative to help open ‘Artists on the 9’ on Chicago’s South Side

CHICAGO – Landmarks Illinois, the statewide historic preservation nonprofit, issued its first loan through its Reinvestment Program Loan Fund to the Greater Chatham Initiative (GCI) to help finance the preservation of a South Side building that is now home to the organization’s “Artist on the 9” co-working space and gallery.

Landmarks Illinois Reinvestment Program loans provide up to $150,000 per project to preservation initiatives in Illinois where traditional financing is either difficult to obtain or unavailable. Landmarks Illinois made its Reinvestment Program loan to GCI in February 2022. The loan funded historic storefront repairs at 735 E. 79th St. in the Chatham-Greater Grand Crossing Commercial Historic District where GCI recently opened Artists on the 9.

“Landmarks Illinois was proud to attend the grand opening of the Artists of the 9 space in April and celebrate the completion of this preservation project funded by our Reinvestment Program loan,” said Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois. “Our goal with this loan program is to provide accessible funding and lending terms to worthy preservation projects in Illinois that may be unable to attain conventional financing. We also hope it provides economic opportunities in Illinois communities and sparks future investments in our historic places.”

GCI is a nonprofit charged with developing and driving the implementation of a comprehensive strategy to revitalize the Chatham, Auburn Gresham, Avalon Park and Greater Grand Crossing neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago.

“The Artists on the 9 is a beautiful maker space, gallery and community meeting area,” said Nedra Sims Fears, Executive Director of GCI. “We are pleased that Landmarks Illinois and Greater Chatham Initiative’s visions aligned so we can make this first-of-a-kind makerspace available in our neighborhood. The interim construction loan was an important piece of the financial puzzle.”

More about the Landmarks Illinois Reinvestment Program Loan Fund

Nonprofit and for-profit organizations as well as building owners and renters working to preserve a historic or significant Illinois building, structure or site are welcome to apply for Landmarks Illinois Reinvestment Program loans. There are no application deadlines for Reinvestment Program loans. Loan applications are processed as received and are considered monthly by the Landmarks Illinois Reinvestment Committee.

Interested parties should contact Landmarks Illinois Director of Reinvestment Suzanne Germann to discuss applying for a Reinvestment Program loan or to make a donation toward the loan fund. The Reinvestment Program Loan Fund was made possible thanks to generous gifts from The 1772 Foundation and three individual donors.

Visit our website at to learn more about the Reinvestment Program Loan Fund.

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



Learn more about the Reinvestment Program Loan Fund

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