Preservation News Roundup: February 2021

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.

Celebrate 50 years of saving places with us!

Landmarks Illinois will host 50Forward, its 50th Anniversary Celebration, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The hour-long virtual fundraising event will include live entertainment and inspiring stories about our past, present and future told by our 20 Landmarks Illinois Influencers — people who have given their time, resources and expertise to ensure places of our past remain part of our state’s future. Read more about this event and our influencers here.


Thursday, March 25

5:30 p.m. – Virtual Networking Hour

6:30 p.m. – Event Program


This is a virtual event & registration is required. Guests will receive a custom link prior to the event and instructions on how to join.


In lieu of a set ticket price, Landmarks Illinois is asking guests to donate what they can. All donations and fundraising from the event will go directly toward Landmarks Illinois’ advocacy programs


Skyline Council shows Roberts Temple some love on Valentine's Day Weekend

The Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois partnered with the congregation of Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ to heart bomb the historic church in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood on Valentine’s Day Weekend, February 13 & 14. The public art display helped draw attention to the church, which is in need of restoration.

Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, located at 4021 S. State St., was the site of the 1955 open-casket funeral of Emmett Till, who was brutally murdered at the age of 14 while visiting family in Mississippi. Mamie Till-Mobley’s courageous choice to show her son’s body is seen as a defining moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Roberts Temple was designated a Chicago Landmark in 2006

Landmarks Illinois is collaborating with Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ’s congregation, The Mamie Till-Mobley Memorial Foundation and National Trust for Historic Preservation to help assess the condition of the property, determine priority repairs and develop a phased rehabilitation plan. The National Trust included Roberts Temple on its 2020 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. Skyline Council will provide technical assistance and opportunities to bring attention to the church and its restoration efforts. Stay tuned for future project updates!

See photos from the heart bomb

New edition of "The Arch" newsletter

Check out the latest edition of our quarterly newsletter!

The February 2021 edition of “The Arch” newsletter is now available to read at our website. In this issue, we kick off our 50th Anniversary year, introduce our “Landmarks Illinois Influencers” and provide updates on our latest advocacy efforts around the state.

Read "The Arch"

Fundraising efforts launch to restore S.B. Fuller Home in Robbins

Landmarks Illinois recently awarded the Robbins Historical Society a grant through our Preservation Heritage Fund to help with restoration efforts at the historic S.B. Fuller Home. Since announcing the grant, media and public attention for the preservation project has grown, and the historic society has set up a Go Fund Me account to help fundraise for the overall preservation project at the home.

The S.B. Fuller Home was built in 1958 for entrepreneur S.B. Fuller in Robbins, Illinois, one of the oldest incorporated African American communities in the United States and the oldest Black suburb in the Chicago area. Born in 1905 to a family of sharecroppers in Louisiana, S.B. Fuller began door-to-door sales at the age of nine to help support his family. He moved to Chicago at 17 to pursue a career in sales and went on to create the successful Fuller Products. At his peak, S.B. Fuller owned eight other corporations, was publisher of two newspapers, led the Chicago NAACP, served as president of the National Negro Business League and was a prominent Republican.

“The home in Robbins helps to tell the story about SB fuller as not only one of the nation’s most prominent and successful black entrepreneurs, but one of the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs period.” -BONNIE McDONALD, President & CEO, Landmarks Illinois

Fuller died in 1988, and his former home was donated to the Robbins Historical Society and Museum in 2016. Today, the home is is in need of major repairs before the organization can make it its permanent location. The Landmarks Illinois grant will help pay for mothballing and stabilizing the home.

Click below for the historic society’s Go Fund Me page for the project:

Donate to the project

Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald talks about Chicago Monuments Project

On February 17, the City of Chicago launched the Chicago Monuments Project website at, kicking off the public engagement phase of the Chicago Monuments Project that aims to identify public memorials, monuments and works of art in Chicago worthy of review and public discussion.

Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald is one of three co-chairs of the Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee, and has given a number of interviews about the group and its purpose in recent weeks.

More about the Chicago Monuments Project

Monuments and memorials have become a focal point for conversation, protest and activism in the city of Chicago. In response, the city has created a committee to review the city’s collection of monuments and recommend solutions. The Chicago Monuments Project intends to grapple with the often unacknowledged – or forgotten – history associated with the City’s various municipal art collections and provides a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago’s racial history, confront the ways in which that history has and has not been memorialized and develop a framework for marking public space that elevates new ways to memorialize Chicago’s true and complete history. To learn more and share your thoughts, please visit – and join the conversation on social media using #ChicagoMonuments.

(Photo: A screenshot of the city’s new Chicago Monument Project website,, which identified 41 monuments, memorials and other works of art in Chicago that the Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee has identified for further public discussion.)

Learn more about the project and how you can participate:

Apply for a Landmarks Illinois grant!

Grant applications due: April 15

Landmarks Illinois has three grant programs:

The next round of applications for each grant program are due April 15.

Click below to learn if you and your preservation project qualify for funding and how to submit an application.

Landmarks Illinois Grants

Additional Landmarks Illinois News

Download the full February 2021 edition of our Preservation News Roundup below

February 2021 News Roundup

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