Catch up on Landmarks Illinois’ top advocacy efforts for the month of June 2019 and the latest preservation news from around the state. You can also receive these monthly news roundups directly in your inbox by signing up for our newsletters at the bottom of the page.

Evanston accepting proposals for Harley Clarke reuse & announced viewing dates

The City of Evanston has issued an RFP for a long-term lease of the historic Harley Clarke Mansion. The city will also be opening up the mansion and its coach house to those interested in submitting a proposal. The viewing times allow prospective individuals, nonprofits and for-profit entities to walk through the property. All viewing times will take place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates:

  • July 1, 2
  • Aug. 1, 2
  • Sept. 3, 4, 5
  • and Oct. 1, 2, 3

The City also created a special website where interested parties can find useful information on the historic mansion and the RFP. Two community meetings will be held during the duration the RFP is open, should interested parties wish to vet proposed ideas to the public.

Landmarks Illinois included Harley Clarke on its 2016 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois and has remained involved in local advocacy efforts to encourage reuse, rather than demolition, of the 1928 mansion on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Read the RFP

2019 MOST ENDANGERED UPDATE: Efforts to save FLW Booth Cottage focus on relocation

The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (FLWBC) has released an RFP seeking parties who may be willing to move the Booth Cottage to a new location to prevent its demolition. The RFP comes after the FLWBC met several times with Glencoe Village officials and one of the new owners of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Booth Cottage, which LI included on its 2019 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. The release of the RFP does not obligate the new owners to accept any of the proposals, but does offer an alternative to demolition for the owners to consider.

Since a May article in Dwell, the plight of this threatened and humble home has gained national attention. The FLWBC and LI have received dozens of offers to assist in advocacy and to possibly move the house to as close as the North Shore and as far as across the country.

Read more in the news:

New owners, conservancy square off over Wright cottage in Glencoe
Crain’s Chicago Business, June 27

Battle heats up over Frank Lloyd Wright cottage facing possible demolition
The Real Deal, June 27

Bulldozing a Modernist Landmark
The Wall Street Journal, June 22

Glencoe – Yesterday and Today: The historical legacy of the Booth cottage
Glencoe Anchor, June 18

LI Hosts 2019 Annual Meeting

Landmarks Illinois held its 48th Annual Meeting June 26, 2019, at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen. More than 120 members and supporters joined us for the event, which included walking tours of the historic Chicago neighborhood’s architecture and murals as well as a report on LI’s accomplishments over the past fiscal year. We also elected new board members and welcomed new LI Board Chair Sandra Rand.

Learn more about our newly elected Board Members

Read the LI 2018-19 Annual Report 


Annual Meeting Photos

2019 MOST ENDANGERED UPDATE: Millstadt Milling & Feed Company no longer "public nuisance"

On June 24, Director of LI’s Springfield Office Frank Butterfield, sent a letter to the Millstadt Village Board asking officials to remove the existing designation of “public nuisance” from the Millstadt Milling & Feed Company and to offer support for preservation of the historic building. Included on LI’s 2019 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois, the Millstadt Milling & Feed Company was built in 1857 and its wooden grain elevator was added in 1880. It remains one of the oldest grain elevators in the state still in operation.

In the letter to Village officials, Butterfield also asked the board to grant Millstadt site owners Melissa and James Helfrich extra time to complete a thorough site assessment to understand the scope of necessary repairs and rehabilitation work.

“While the Helfrichs have undertaken a cleanup, research and planning effort with their personal funding, they continue to work with Landmarks Illinois to explore additional funding options for preservation and potential reuse of this unique property,” LI’s letter said. “… Landmarks Illinois is working with the Helfrichs to have an engineer with preservation expertise to assess the building and document necessary steps to ensure the building is in code compliance.”

The Village Board agreed to remove the “public nuisance” designation from the historic site and to give the Helfrichs’ six more months to complete needed assessments. LI will continue to assist, where needed, to ensure the building’s preservation.

Learn more about the Millstadt Milling & Feed Company.


(photo: Credit Liz Chilsen)

LI helps Paxton residents push for preservation of historic high school

Landmarks Illinois also helped residents in Paxton this past month to advocate for the historic Eastlawn School. Specifically, Frank Butterfield, Director of LI’s Springfield Office, wrote a letter to the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Board of Education explaining how the 94-year-old school (determined eligible for listing on the National Register) could be reused with significant help from the Illinois State Historic Tax Credit as well as the Federal Historic Tax Credit.

In the letter, Butterfield pointed out successful school reuse projects that used historic tax credits, including Turner School in Rockford and Bloomington High School in Bloomington.

“These projects, among others, have sparked sizable private investment in a vacant public building,” LI’s letter stated. “These are often win-win for the public bodies and taxpayers, in that they avoid a large-scale demolition and associated costs while adding a property to the tax rolls.”

Read LI’s letter to the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Board of Education.


Read more in the news:

Residents continue push to save historic Paxton school building
Ford County Herald, June 11

National Trust for Historic Preservation announces new President & CEO

On June 24, the Trust announced Paul Edmondson would take over as its President & CEO. LI congratulates Edmondson on the new post and looks forward to continuing our partnership with the Trust!


Read the Trust’s announcement here.


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