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 upcoming events
Skyline Council Heart Bombing at Altgeld Gardens
Landmarks Illinois’ Skyline Council will host its annual heart bombing event this year at Altgeld Gardens in partnership with People for Community Recovery. Heart Bombing is a public display of love for a historic site or local landmark and helps bring public awareness to a historic or culturally significant site.learn more
Landmarks Illinois & IMI Annual Historic Preservation Event: Stone Repair & Restoration
Landmarks Illinois and the International Masonry Institute’s annual historic preservation educational event will focus on stone repair and restoration and includes a special case study on masonry restoration at the Tribune Tower in Chicago (pictured).learn more
Preservation Snapshots Lecture: Saving the Iconic Ebony Test Kitchen
Learn about Landmarks Illinois’ effort to save Ebony magazine’s former test kitchen and its scheduled debut in the the Museum of Food and Drink’s “African/American: Making the Nation’s Table” exhibit in New York City. (Photo credit Lee Bey)learn more
AROUND THE STATE: Regional Advocacy Manager Quinn Adamowski meets with preservation advocates in five Illinois communities
Landmarks Illinois Regional Advocacy Manager Quinn Adamowski traveled to five different Illinois communities in January to meet with local advocates working to preservation historic places. Adamowski was in Bishop Hill, Freeport, Galena, Rockford and Woodstock this month. Learn about the preservation efforts in each community below.
In Bishop Hill, Adamowski met with Todd DeDecker, Administrator of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, to tour historic Bishop Hill, learn about their preservation efforts and visit the Colony Church. Bishop Hill is a colony established in 1846 when a group of Swedish religious dissenters came to Illinois to create a utopia free from the dogma of the established church. More than a dozen historic buildings still remain in the colony, which is a state historic site and a National Historic Landmark.
In Freeport, Adamowksi met with advocates to learn about ongoing preservation efforts in the community including those to preserve the Oakdale Tabernacle, a site included on Landmarks Illinois’ 2018 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois and a recent recipient of a Preservation Heritage Fund grant.
In Galena, Adamowski spoke with advocates about a proposed resort development that incorporates the historic Marine Hospital, a 2014 Most Endangered site. The Marine Hospital, built in 1859, has sat vacant for decades and advocates want to ensure any reuse of the structure maintains its historic character. Learn more about local preservation advocates’ concerns.
In Rockford, Adamowski met with local advocates, including Rockford architect and former Landmarks Illinois Board Member Gary Anderson and Landmarks Illinois Regional Advisor Don Bissell, to learn about ongoing preservation efforts in the city, Rockford’s industrial heritage and the 2020 preservation award-winning redevelopment of the Ziock building.
In Woodstock, Adamowski met with city officials and local advocates regarding the pending redevelopment of the Old McHenry County Courthouse and Sheriff’s House. Built in 1857 and listed on the National Register in 1973, the Old Courthouse is a fixture of Woodstock Square. The City of Woodstock took possession of the courthouse and sheriff’s house in 2011 and has since taken steps to stabilize the buildings, replaced the roofs, refurbished or replaces windows, as well as complete tuckpointing and other necessary repairs. The city is now making plans to initiate a $13 million rehabilitation in March, made possible through historic tax credits and a public/private partnership, that would restore many great historical features and make the buildings handicap-accessible for the first time in their 165-year history. Renovations are expected to be complete on the buildings in the Spring of 2023 and reopen as a banquet facility, micro-brewery, restaurant, incubator kitchen, welcome center and arts center. Landmarks Illinois Corporate Sponsor Plante Moran and former Landmarks Illinois Board Member Gary Anderson’s architecture firm Studio GWA are working on the project.
Landmarks Illinois endorses Lakeside Center reuse proposal
Earlier this month, Landmarks Illinois submitted a letter to Farpoint Development regarding its Rivers McCormick proposal for reuse of Lakeside Center in Chicago. The building, designed by Gene Summers and Helmut Jahn for C.F. Murphy Associates and built between 1968 and 1971, was one of several sites in Chicago proposed for a new casino. Landmarks Illinois’ letter gives conditional endorsement of the Lakeside Center’s reuse as a casino and entertainment center due to the following positive impacts of the proposed project: a significant historic building in need of major rehabilitation would be invested in and adaptively reused, the reuse of the structure is the most environmentally sustainable choice and the proposed design would increase greenspace and public access to the lakefront.
Lakeside Center at McCormick Place is recognized as an iconic fixture on Chicago’s skyline, but it has long been threatened by disinvestment and underutilization. Past demolition discussions between the Illinois Legislature and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority have put the future of the building at risk.Read the letter
Additional Landmarks Illinois news
- The Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission held its first meeting January 10. Approved by legislative act in 2018, the state created the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission to be “responsible for planning and sponsoring official Route 66 centennial events, programs and activities for the greater citizens of Illinois.” The 20-member commission is made up of volunteers with backgrounds in tourism, history, historic preservation and economic development appointed by the governor, elected leaders and state agencies. Bonnie McDonald was appointed to the commission in 2019 to represent Landmarks Illinois and bring knowledge about preserving Route 66’s historic sites. The commission will meet at least quarterly until 2027. All meetings are open to the public.
- Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois, was the keynote speaker at the Preservation Pennsylvania Honor Awards program on January 26. McDonald focused her presentation on how the future of preservation must incorporate justice, equity, inclusion and diversity into its practices.
- The latest annual study of economic impacts of the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit from the National Park Service and Rutgers University, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy was recently published. According to the report, the historic tax credit generated $7 billion in GDP and 122,000 jobs throughout the country in 2020. Additionally, among the case studies featured in the report is West Pullman School Senior Housing in Chicago, a 2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award Recipient!
Download the full Preservation News roundup below!January 2022 Preservation News Roundup