Preservation News Roundup: May 2023

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.

'Preserve Southern Illinois' Grants awarded to historic preservation projects in Golconda & Murphysboro

Landmarks Illinois joined grant partner Banterra Bank in Murphysboro & Golconda on May 5 to present checks to two recent recipients of the Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program.


Jamie and Shannon Green were presented with their grant in front of their commercial building in downtown Murphysboro, 1330 Walnut St. (pictured). The building houses two local businesses on the first floor, and the second floor is being rehabilitated for residential use. The Greens will use their grant to help cover the cost of installing new windows on the second floor. Learn more.


Anthony and Beth Eckert were presented with their grant at the Riverview Mansion Hotel, the nearly 130-year-old Victorian-style home the couple now runs as a hotel. The funky, boutique hotel features century-old millwork and other preserved original features. The Eckerts will use their $2,500 grant to help pay for exterior maintenance to a Palladian-style window on the front elevation that is in need of repair. Learn more


Owners of historic buildings in Southern Illinois commercial areas are encouraged to apply for funding through the Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program. Grant applications for the next round of funding through the program are due July 1 and can be submitted online.

The grant program, launched in 2022 in partnership with Banterra Bank, provides monetary assistance to preserve or rehabilitate historic structures in downtowns and other commercial corridors of Southern Illinois to support economic development.

(Pictured: Anthony and Beth Eckert presented with their grant at the Riverview Mansion Hotel on May 5.)

Learn more

Preservation Award nominations due tomorrow, June 1

Want to submit a nomination for the 2023 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards? Nominations are due tomorrow, June 1. The annual awards program honors outstanding preservation projects in Illinois and/or individuals, organizations and advocacy efforts that demonstrate a strong commitment to protecting the places that are important to the people and communities of Illinois. Nominations are submitted online.

Learn more

2023 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois

Landmarks Illinois announced the 2023 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois on May 4. The list calls attention to nine culturally and architecturally significant sites across the state that face growing threats of disinvestment and demolition.

  • Brooklyn, Illinois,
  • Affordable Housing, Cairo, Alexander County
  • Old Lawes Hotel, Charleston, Coles County
  • Century & Consumers Buildings, Chicago, Cook County
  • Damen Silos, Chicago, Cook County
  • Baxter International Headquarters, Lake County
  • Alexander Brothers Blacksmith Shop, Geneva, Kane County
  • Oak Cottage, Naperville, DuPage County
  • Richmond’s Historic Wooden Bridge, Richmond, McHenry County

Learn more about each 2023 Most Endangered place and how you can help us save them.

Explore the 2023 Most Endangered

Our 2023 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois Announcement is also available to watch on our YouTube page: 

Watch the 2023 Most Endangered Announcement

National Trust includes Chicago skyscrapers on '11 Most Endangered Historic Places in America'

The Century and Consumers Buildings in Chicago have been named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2023 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in America. Landmarks Illinois included this pair of Chicago-School skyscrapers at 202 and 220 S. State St. on our own Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois lists in 2022 and 2023 due to the threat of demolition by owner the General Services Administration (GSA).

“Landmarks Illinois felt compelled to nominate the Century & Consumers Buildings to the Trust’s ’11 Most’ list this year, given the heightened threat they face of being demolished by the federal government,” said Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO, Landmarks Illinois. “The fact that the Trust chose to include them on its list is a testament to not only how historically significant these skyscrapers are but just how close they are to being erased forever from our skyline and one of Chicago’s most important retail and commercial corridors. The opportunity to adaptively reuse and return these publicly owned buildings to the tax rolls is immense. Tearing them down would be incredibly wasteful and shortsighted.”

Learn more

The Arch - May 2023

The latest edition of our quarterly print newsletter, The Arch, is now available to read online! Read about our latest preservation easement in Logan Square, explore the 2023 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois and stay up to date on our latest grants and advocacy efforts across the state. (On the Cover: Andrew Schneider (left) and David Berkey in front of the Jefferson Ice House in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.)

Want to receive the newsletter in your mailbox? Become a Landmarks Illinois member!

Read The Arch

Will County Courthouse listed in National Register of Historic Places

The former Will County Courthouse in Joliet, included on Landmarks Illinois’ 2022 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois, has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1969 and designed by Otto Stark of C.F. Murphy Associates, the former courthouse is the first Brutalist-style building in Illinois to be included in the National Register. The National Register nomination was completed by Preservation Futures and supported by Landmarks Illinois and local Joliet group, the Courthouse Preservation Partnership.

Local landmarking efforts are also underway in Joliet. In April, Courthouse Preservation Partnership filed a request of the Joliet Historic Preservation Commission to consider local landmark designation of the courthouse, which continues to face possible demolition. After a preliminary review in April, the HPC scheduled a public hearing, which took place on May 24. At the conclusion of the well-attended hearing, the HPC voted to continue the review into June. Per the City of Joliet Preservation Ordinance, Will County government cannot attain a permit for demolition until the landmark designation process is completed or until 180 days lapses from the filing date of the request for review. Pending any action by the HPC and the city council, a demolition permit may be delayed until October.

Illinois extends & expands Historic Preservation Tax Credit

After spending months advocating in Springfield for the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit (IL-HTC) alongside our partners at AIA Illinois, Landmarks Illinois is pleased to share the news that the Illinois General Assembly has passed legislation that extends the tax credit through 2028 and increases the annual allotment to $25 million (up from $15 million). The legislation will now go to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for a signature.

We thank Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth and Sen. Steve Stadelman who sponsored bills in the House and Senate that successfully called for extending and expanding this vital statewide historic preservation incentive. Please contact your state Representative and Senator to thank them for the Illinois General Assembly’s support for this important program.

Since taking effect in 2019, following a decade of Landmarks Illinois advocacy, the IL-HTC has created thousands of jobs, prevented unnecessary building material waste, brought needed affordable housing to market and encouraged hundreds of millions of private investment in Illinois’ historic places. Continuing this program beyond 2023 makes economic and environmental sense and will help foster lively and sustainable communities Illinois residents are proud to call home.

(Pictured L-R: Landmarks Illinois Regional Advocacy Manager Quinn Adamowski, Sen. Steve Stadelman and Landmarks Illinois Board Chair Gary Anderson at the Illinois State Capitol in March.)

More information on the IL-HTC Program is available on the State Historic Preservation Office’s website.

Learn more

Ebony Test Kitchen featured in upcoming 'National Soul Food Month' virtual programming

From Demolition to Rebirth — the Ebony Test Kitchen’s Journey

June 7

6:30 – 8 P.M.

June is National Soul Food Month, which celebrates the heritage and history of the foods and foodways of African Americans and people from the African diaspora. Charla Draper, who was Ebony magazine’s Director of Food & Home Furnishings from 1982 to 1984, launched the annual month-long celebration in 2001. This year, the month will feature a series of virtual programs focused on African American foodways, including a discussion on the Ebony Test Kitchen.

On Wednesday, June 7, Landmarks Illinois’ former Director of Advocacy Lisa DiChiera will share the work of Landmarks Illinois in saving the iconic Ebony Test Kitchen. Lisa spent years helping preserve the iconic kitchen from the former Johnson Publishing Company Building in Chicago.

Tickets for National South Food Month provide access to the entire series of virtual programming throughout the month. Programs will be recorded, and the link will be provided to registered guests. Each participant will receive a thank-you gift package through the mail. A donation from the tickets will be made to non-profits providing educational resources focusing on the culinary contributions of African Americans and developing culinary life skills in youth.

(Pictured: Lisa DiChiera, former Landmarks Illinois Director of Advocacy; Jean Nihoul, Former Curator & Culinary Operations Manager at the Museum of Food & Drink; and Charla Draper in the Ebony Test Kitchen at MOFAD in February 2022.)


Skyline Council Suburban Pub Crawl & Neighborhood Tour


June 17

11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m

Join Skyline Council members for a pub crawl and suburban neighborhood tour of historic Fort Sheridan and Highwood. Will Tippens, Vice President of Related Midwest and a Landmarks Illinois Board Member, and Joel Chmara, Professor at the College of Lake County and a world-renowned performance poet, will lead guests on a fun walking tour of the neighborhoods to explore history and architecture while stopping at taverns and local eateries. The tour will include stops at Broken Tee Brewing Company, Toadstool Pub, Teddy O’Brian’s and 28 Mile Distilling Company.


'Most Endangered' communities of Brooklyn & Cairo among visits with preservation advocates across Illinois in May

Regional Advocacy Manager Quinn Adamowski traveled to Alton, Brooklyn, Cairo, Carbondale, Galesburg, Golconda, Grafton, Hamburg, Jacksonville, Kewanee, Makanda, Mt. Sterling, Murphysboro, Prairie du Rocher and Quincy this month to meet with preservation advocates, main street professionals and municipal leaders to discuss needs in their communities.

In Brooklyn, included on Landmarks Illinois’ 2023 Most Endangered list, Adamowski met with local advocates at Quinn Chapel and Antioch Church, both locations of the Underground Railroad.

On May 5, Adamowski also attended the Cairo Historical Preservation Project’s Annual Magnolia Celebration (pictured above), an event to promote and gain support for the remaining historic resources in Cairo. Landmarks Illinois called attention to Cairo and its lack of affordable housing on the 2023 Most Endangered list. The CHPP is working closely with local housing advocates on the pending shuddering of the Connell F. Smith Sr. building, a 1968 public housing complex that is currently home to around 60 residents but faces possible demolition.

PRESERVATION SNAPSHOTS LECTURE: The Oldest Freedom Town in America, Brooklyn, IL

June 21

12 – 1 p.m.

Join us for an informative and in-depth discussion on the historic town of Brooklyn, Illinois. Established in 1829 and formally incorporated in 1873, the small town located across the river from St. Louis, Missouri, is the oldest — and one of the last remaining — majority-Black incorporated towns in the country. It is also home to multiple Underground Railroad sites.

Today, however, Brooklyn is threatened by a declining population, high unemployment rate and limited economy. The village has sold parcels of land to railroad companies, contributing to the ongoing disinvestment. Landmarks Illinois included the small town on our 2023 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois.

Landmarks Illinois Programs Manager Leila Wills will lead the lecture and be joined by Landmarks Illinois Regional Advocacy Manager Quinn Adamowski and the Historical Society of Brooklyn, Illinois’ Robert White, III. Learn more about this upcoming lecture & register below.

LEarn more

Miss our May Preservation Snapshots Lecture?

On May 18, Landmarks Illinois Program Manager Leila Wills joined Brian Gorman, one of the co-founders of the Chicago Hip Hop Heritage Museum, to talk about the city’s impact on hip hop music, celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2023. The lecture, “Chicago’s Hip Hop Heritage,” also featured a surprise appearance by Public Enemy’s frontman, Chuck D. Watch it below.

Watch the lecture here

2023 Annual Meeting

June 27

12 – 1 p.m.

Join us at this year’s Annual Meeting to hear about our impact across Illinois helping people save places. Learn how Landmarks Illinois put your membership support to work providing free resources to people who want to preserve places in their communities.

The 2023 Annual Meeting will be held over Zoom and feature a presentation on Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald’s Relevancy Project. Landmarks Illinois members will also vote on new board candidates. Free to attend. Registration required.

Learn more

Support our Spring Appeal

Preservation has the power to revitalize our communities. At Landmarks Illinois, we are committed to helping people reimagine places of our past for a better future.

Join us in our effort to create vibrant communities people are proud to call home.


RBIC Event at The Belden-Stratford

July 18

6 – 8 p.m.

Landmarks Illinois’ Real Estate and Building Industries Council (RBIC) will host a networking reception at The Belden-Stratford in Lincoln Park, offering guests an inside look at the transformation of the 100-year-old, National Register-listed former hotel into luxury apartments.

Tickets go on sale soon. Sponsorship is now available. Visit our website to learn more.

Learn more

New on the Preservation news Blog

The Challenges and Opportunities of Reusing Historic Places to Create Affordable Housing - A Discussion with Affordable Housing Expert, Jayne Lourash

Jayne Lourash, Executive Director of the Laborers’ Home Development Corporation and Landmarks Illinois Board Member, talks about how reusing historic places can help alleviate the housing shortage in Illinois and beyond.

Read the article

Easement Highlight: Jefferson Ice House, Logan Square

The Jefferson Ice House is one of the most prominent small residential buildings in Logan Square’s landmark district. Its owners David Berkey and Andrew Schneider have secured its protection by donating a preservation easement to Landmarks Illinois for the property. The easement will not only protect the exterior of the house but also preserve the side yard as open space

Read the article

Additional Landmarks Illinois preservation news

  • Landmarks Illinois continues to advocate for the preservation of Baxter International Headquarters in Deerfield, included on our 2023 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. The Deerfield Plan Commission will hold a hearing on the future of the campus, which is at risk of being demolished and replaced with warehouse logistics facilities, on June 8. Members of the public can send comments opposing demolition to
  • Evanston city officials are trying to find a reuse solution for 2016 Most Endangered site, the Harley Clarke Mansion. The historic mansion was formerly leased to the nonprofit group, Artists Book House, which vacated the property earlier this year. On May 22, the Evanston City Council voted to proceed with a Request For Expressions of Interest to find a new user for Harley Clarke. Interested parties can stay tuned for opportunities to respond to the RFEI.
  • On May 7, Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald participated in a panel discussion at the Chicago History Museum celebrating Benjamin Marshall’s 149th birthday. The panel was part of the event that included a film screening and Q&A on Marshall, one of Chicago’s most prolific architects.


Download the full May 2023 Preservation News Roundup:


May 2023 Preservation News

Support our advocacy

Be a voice for the future of our communities by supporting Landmarks Illinois. Our work enhances communities, empowers citizens, promotes local economic development and offers environmentally sound solutions.

Become A Member