November 2023 Preservation News Roundup

The monthly Landmarks Illinois News Roundup keeps you in the loop on the latest preservation news stories from the month as well as Landmarks Illinois’ main advocacy efforts, projects and announcements. You can also receive these monthly news roundups directly in your inbox by signing up for our newsletters at the bottom of the page.

Landmarks Illinois accepts award in NYC for saving the Ebony Test Kitchen

Landmarks Illinois received an Advocacy Award of Excellence from Docomomo US for its years-long effort to save the Ebony Test Kitchen – a culturally significant part of the Johnson Publishing Company legacy and prominent feature in its former headquarters in Chicago.

The award was given as part of the 2023 Modernism in America Awards that highlight preservation projects across the country. Landmarks Illinois, along with all 2023 award winners, were honored at a public ceremony in New York City on November 2.


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Landmarks Illinois publishes 'The Relevancy Guidebook'

Landmarks Illinois published “The Relevancy Guidebook: How We Can Transform the Future of Preservation,” written by Landmarks Illinois President and CEO Bonnie McDonald. Based on interviews with 130 preservation professionals and advocates in the United States, its territories and members of tribal nations, the guidebook identifies the field’s current challenges; presents ways to make it more equitable, inclusive and just; and provides actionable solutions to enhance its relevance in a changing world.

“The Relevancy Guidebook” is available to all via a free download at the Landmarks Illinois website.

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Apply for a grant by January 1, 2024!

Applications for the next round of grant funding through the Landmarks Illinois Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side and the Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program are due January 1, 2024.

Visit our website to learn about the grant programs and see if your preservation project qualifies for funding.

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Input sought at Dec. 8 meeting on reuse of Century & Consumers Buildings in Chicago

The General Services Administration (GSA) has invited representatives of the real estate and development communities to participate in an upcoming charrette-style discussion about reuse opportunities for the properties at 202-220 S. State St. in Chicago, including the Century and Consumers Buildings. To consider the reuse of these iconic and prominent skyscrapers, the GSA needs to hear from the real estate and development community in Chicago. Details on the upcoming meeting are below.


Charrette-style discussion / “Information Exchange for Potential Redevelopment Opportunity at 202-220 S. State Street, Chicago, IL”


Friday, Dec. 8, 2023
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.


John C. Kluczynski Federal Building
230 S. Dearborn St., 35th Floor HUB
Chicago, IL


The Century and Consumers Buildings were included on Landmarks Illinois’ Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois in 2022 and 2023, in response to a $52 Million federal appropriation to pay for their demolition. The GSA, which owns the buildings, contends that they must come down to address security concerns at the adjacent Everett M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse. However, as part of the required consideration of alternatives under the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act, the GSA is also willing to consider adaptive reuse subject to certain security requirements.

Landmarks Illinois Advocacy Manager Kendra Parzen told the Commission on Chicago Landmarks on November 13 that demolishing the buildings would be the “wrong choice for Chicago.” Read her full statement here. And, click below to learn about the Dec. 8 GSA meeting.

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LI staff attends national preservation conference in D.C.

Members of the Landmarks Illinois staff attended the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s national conference, Past Forward, on November 8-10 in Washington, D.C. Pictured is (from left to right): Kendra Parzen, Landmarks Illinois Advocacy Manager; Quinn Adamowski, Landmarks Illinois Regional Advocacy Manager; Jean Follett, former Landmarks Illinois Board Member & historic preservation consultant; Anne Lazar, Executive Director of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; and Leila Wills, Landmarks Illinois Programs Manager. Not pictured: Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois.

The Trust is currently seeking proposals for presentations for next year’s conference in New Orleans as well as nominations for its National Preservation Awards.

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Landmarks Illinois leads meetings to advance federal preservation legislation in D.C.

Regional Advocacy Manager Quinn Adamowski served as the Illinois State Captain to coordinate and lead the legislative advocacy meetings in Washington, D.C., prior to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s PastForward Conference last month. Advocates (shown above) discussed several important pieces of federal legislation, including bills that would improve the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit, increase the Historic Preservation Fund and designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail. The group met with representatives from the offices of the following U.S. representatives from Illinois: Reps. Jonathan Jackson (1st District), Eric Sorensen (17th), Mike Quigley (5th), Robin Kelly (2nd), Sean Casten (6th), Darin LaHood (16th), Raja Krishnamoorthi (8th), Delia Ramirez (3rd) and Nikki Budzinski (13th). Please call your federal officials to encourage them to support H.R.1785H.R. 3350, and H.R. 4338. 

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Mark your calendars for 2024 Preservation Forward!

Our annual spring fundraiser at The Old Post Office in Chicago will take place February 29, 2024, and celebrate the statewide efforts of Landmarks Illinois and honor our 2024 Landmarks Illinois Influencers:

  • Lisa Yun Lee,Executive Director, National Public Housing Museum
  • Juan Moreno, Project Design Principal, President & Founder, JGMA
  • Shermann “Dilla” Thomas, Chicago Historian & Co-Founder, Chicago Mahogany Foundation
  • HIRE360, Nonprofit Influencer, Represented by Jay Rowell, Executive Director
  • Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation, Corporate Influencer, Represented by SVP & General Counsel, Jackie Holsten & President, Peter Holsten

Tickets go on sale in January.

Sponsorships now available.

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Double your impact! Donate today!

Your donation to Landmarks Illinois’ Annual Fund will be matched!

Miss Giving Tuesday earlier this week? You can still donate to our Annual Fund! Thanks to a generous matching challenge gift from Anne Voshel through the Van Dam Charitable Foundation, your year-end gift to Landmarks Illinois will be matched dollar-for-dollar if you donate by January 31, 2024. Anne Voshel has been a dedicated Landmarks Illinois member for over 30 years serving on the former President’s Committee, Board of Directors and the Emeritus Board. We thank Anne for encouraging others to give through this challenge.

Please give the most generous year-end gift you can!


Additional Landmarks Illinois preservation news

  • Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald presented the opening remarks at the Bisnow “Chicago Repositioning and Conversion Summitt” on November 29. The event took place at Bell Works Chicagoland in Hoffman Estates, the former AT&T headquarters that has been transformed into Chicagoland’s first “metroburb” featuring office, retail, residential and community gathering spaces.



  • Landmarks Illinois congratulates Ciere Boatright, Landmarks Illinois Board Member and the co-chair of our DEI collaborative, on the appointment by Mayor Brandon Johnson to lead the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. We look forward to watching Boatright’s leadership shape the future of Chicago! Learn more here.


  • One of Landmarks Illinois’ guiding principles is to fight for and model justice, equity, inclusion, diversity and accessibility. Following this principle, Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald was an invited attendee of the National African-American Reparations Commission’s third annual National Symposium on State and Local Reparations, held in Evanston, Illinois, from November 30 – December 2. McDonald has been exploring place-based reparations work through the Chicago Monuments Project and in “The Relevancy Guidebook.” Landmarks Illinois Influencer Tonika Lewis Johnson was a featured speaker presenting on her “Inequity for Sale” project.

Read the full November 2023 Preservation News Roundup:

November 2023 Preservation News

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