2022 Preservation Heritage Fund Grant Recipients

Announced June 2022

PODER Learning Center, Chicago


PODER provides tuition-free English education and job training programs to Spanish-speaking adults in Chicago. The nonprofit is currently restoring a 90-year-old former power station at 3357 W. 55th St. in Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood with plans to make it into its headquarters. PODER will use Landmarks Illinois’ grant fund to help restore the building’s north entrance.

The power station was constructed in 1932 and originally owned and operated by the city of Chicago Bureau of Electricity. Over the last twenty years, the building and adjacent lot have sat vacant and become targets for graffiti and trash. Despite the property’s neglect, the building’s overall structure has remained in overall good condition. PODER’s future HQ aims to provide a physical, safe space to gather and learn while serving as a conduit, connecting city residents with resources and local employers, thereby creating a more vibrant and economically viable Gage Park and greater Southwest Side of Chicago.

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City of Granite City

Grant amount: $4,000

Built in 1904 as Granite City’s first “permanent” city hall, police station and fire house, the Fire Hall building currently operates as a museum featuring antique firefighting equipment as well as firefighting memorabilia. Long-term plans for the structure include removing a wall shared with the adjoining historic structure to make more room to house period-specific fire equipment and engines and create an educational and interactive historical site to teach visitors about local city history. The city will use Landmarks Illinois’ grant funds to make necessary roof repairs to the Fire Museum.

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New Holland Area Historical Society, New Holland

Grant Amount: $4,000

Ryan Hall is a c.1880 city-owned structure located in New Holland’s downtown business district and the last commercial structure in the community retaining the essential elements of its original Commercial Italianate design. It is being restored to house local historic memorabilia and artifacts and serve as a meeting place for the New Holland Area Historical Society. The historical society will use Landmarks Illinois grant funds to help with masonry repairs on the rear of the building where an original large arched window is in failing condition.

Winnebago Community Historical Society, Winnebago


The Winnebago Community Historical Society purchased the historic former Town Hall building in 2018, saving it from possible demolition. Since then, the historical society has installed a new roof on the structure and continued restoration efforts. The Town Hall was constructed in 1894 and is one of the oldest buildings in the Village of Winnebago.

The historical society will use Landmarks Illinois’ grant funds to hire GWA Architects to conduct a condition assessment and preservation plan for the exterior of the Town Hall building. This plan will be used to determine the immediate course of action toward the building’s rehabilitation.

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Announced March 2022

First Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chicago

Grant amount: $5,000

First Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church was constructed in 1888 on South Ashland Avenue in the University of Illinois Medical District on the city’s Near North Side. It is the second oldest Lutheran parish in the city and was one of the first churches in the city to officially vote to integrate in the 1950s. When Chicago was torn by racial strife in the 1960s, people of all races worshiped together at First Immanuel and worked to better the community. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke there in 1966.

Last fall, the congregation conducted a conditions assessment of the building and determined what repairs were needed. In December, the boiler that heats the church’s sanctuary was determined too dangerous to operate, making this a top priority repair. Landmarks Illinois grant funds will be used to install a new boiler.

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Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum, Effingham

Grant amount: $4,000

The Effingham County Museum (ECM) is located in the former Effingham County Courthouse, an 1872 Second Empire-style building that today is used to highlight Effingham County history through exhibits, programs and tours.

Although the building is owned by Effingham County, the ECM has a 25-year lease and is responsible for its maintenance. The building is in need of painting on the exterior trim and wood surfaces, and Landmarks Illinois’ grant will be used toward the cost of this project.

Landmarks Illinois also previously awarded ECM a grant through our former Richard H. Driehaus County Courthouse Initiative.

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Preservation, Inc., Springfield

Grant amount: $5,000

Preservation, Inc. is a nonprofit created to ensure the preservation of the Ursuline Academy campus, a Catholic high school in Springfield, Illinois, that operated from 1857 until 2007. Landmarks Illinois included Ursuline Academy on its 2008 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois  when multiple historic buildings on the campus were threatened with demolition. The campus was later purchased by Benedictine University. The Ursula Hall Music Conservancy, which was part of the original Ursuline campus, was constructed in 1908 and designed by the city’s first architect William Conway. The hall was once one of the only places in town to hold large events and concerts.

Preservation, Inc. has purchased the music hall and is planning to rehabilitate the long-vacant structure to return it to a community center. Landmarks Illinois’ grant funds will be used to help stabilize the building as part of the rehabilitation project.

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