Preservation News Roundup: October 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.

Landmarks Illinois celebrates 2021 Preservation Award Winners October 22

The 2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards took place October 22, 2021, at the Davis Theater in Chicago, celebrating the nine, 2021 award-winning projects and the people who made them possible. The event welcomed both in-person and virtual audiences.

Additionally, to honor the memory and creative spirit of the late Richard H. Driehaus, Landmarks Illinois’ longtime partner in preservation, Landmarks Illinois presented a special Richard H. Driehaus Legacy Award for Innovation to Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep. Landmarks Illinois also debuted a special video tribute to Mr. Driehaus. Watch it here.

Miss the event? Watch a recording of the awards ceremony here.

Or, click below to see photos from the event.

Pictured: (Left to right)Jackie Taylor Holsten and Peter Holsten, previous award winners, present an award to David Chase & Kimberly Rachal for Epiphany Center for the Arts in Chicago. They are joined on stage by Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald.

Event Photos

Rock Island County moves forward with demolition of historic courthouse

The Rock Island County Board voted October 20 to approve a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the county, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office, which allows demolition of the historic Rock Island County Courthouse to proceed following recordation of the building.

Landmarks Illinois included the historic courthouse on its 2018 and 2019 Most Endangered Historic Places lists. And, In February 2019, Landmarks Illinois joined the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Rock Island Preservation Society, the Moline Preservation Society, the Broadway Historic District Association and local residents Fred Shaw and Diane Oestreich, to file a lawsuit against the Rock Island County Board and Rock Island County Public Building Commission to prevent the county agencies from illegally tearing down the publicly owned courthouse. A July 2020 Appellate Court decision agreed with Landmarks Illinois’ argument that Rock Island County cannot defy state agencies and must comply with the Illinois State Historic Resources Preservation Act in its pursuit to demolish the historic courthouse.

Below is Landmarks Illinois’ statement on the news of the MOA.

“Landmarks Illinois has read the memorandum of agreement and is disappointed that demolition of the Rock Island County Courthouse is allowed to proceed with recordation of the building as the only stipulation,” said Frank Butterfield, chief operating officer for Landmarks Illinois. “Landmarks Illinois stands by our years-long advocacy efforts to ensure that the Rock Island County Board followed state preservation law as the county sought to destroy an important part of Rock Island’s history.

The state law defines a process to explore and evaluate alternatives to the demolition of the historic courthouse, and we remain disheartened by the Rock Island County Board’s refusal to meaningfully pursue any option other than demolition,” Butterfield said. “Landmarks Illinois and co-plaintiffs clearly established that there was interest in private reuse and reinvestment of the historic courthouse, and the county’s own documents confirmed reuse would be less expensive than demolition and new construction. Despite this, the county continues to move forward in favor of tearing down the irreplaceable historic building using taxpayer dollars.

Despite the county’s victories in court and pending demolition of the courthouse, Butterfield said the Appellate Court’s ruling “has set a positive precedent for state agencies charged with preservation should Rock Island County or another local government attempt to circumvent the law again. It is also our hope and expectation that those state agencies reflect on this case in the future and take a stronger stance on protecting our historic places.”

Read more in the news:

Watch now: Rock Island County board approves agreement for recordation of courthouse prior to demolition
October 19, Quad City Times

State of Illinois to require photos, records of old Rock Island County Courthouse be created before demolition
October 19, WQAD

Editorial: The beginning of the end
October 17, Quad City Times

Demolition of old Rock Island County courthouse moves forward
October 12, Quad City Times



The demolition of Adler and Sullivan’s Chicago Stock Exchange Building sparked the creation of Landmarks Illinois in 1971. The former arched entrance to the building, preserved today at the Chicago Art Institute, has continued to inspire our branding over the past five decades, beginning with the creation of the organization’s first logo.

In this special 50th Anniversary article, we speak with two artists who have used the architecturally significant arch to create artwork for Landmarks Illinois: Vicki Granaki, who designed LI’s first logo in the 1970s (pictured above), and Jill Kramer, who made a special 50th anniversary print in 2021.

Read the article

Skyline Council teams up with Habitat for Humanity to build homes in West Pullman

On October 9, the Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois joined the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois and Women in Structural Engineering for Habitat for Humanity Chicago’s “Women Build Day.”

This is the second year Skyline Council has participated in the annual build event, which gathers teams of female volunteers who work to construct affordable and quality homes for women-led families. Skyline Council members worked this year with a homeowner to install siding on her house West Pullman. This is the second year Skyline Council has participated in the volunteer event.

Click here to see more photos



NOVEMBER 3, 12-1 p.m.

Learn how a former Kmart, long seen as a disposable building ready for the landfill, was transformed into a vibrant campus for Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan. Project principles, current and former students and school staff will lead this discussion on the project that took home the Richard H. Driehaus Legacy Award for Innovation at last week’s 2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards Ceremony.


NOVEMBER 30, 6-8:30 p.m.

Landmarks Illinois’ Real Estate and Building Industries Council celebrates the transformation of the long-vacant, former Cook County Hospital. The in-person event will include peer-to-peer networking with Chicagoland’s real estate and building industries community, extensive building tours and cocktail reception.

Save the date

Illinois State Preservation Caucus gathers in Springfield

On October 26, AIA Illinois and Landmarks Illinois hosted a reception for the Illinois Historic Preservation Caucus as an official kickoff and relaunch of the caucus. The reception was held in Springfield at the Town House, a 1958 condominium building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The goal of the caucus is to develop and focus on legislative initiatives that advance historic preservation activities statewide. This may include extending and enhancing the state historic tax credit, incentives to retrofit historic buildings for energy efficiency, partnering with other caucuses to find ways to increase the designation and investment in underrepresented sites, and/or repairs and maintenance of our State Historic Sites.

Legislators in attendance of the kickoff meeting discussed legislative priorities for the caucus, including an extension and expansion of the successful state historic preservation tax credit. Preservation Caucus co-chairs are:

  • Sen. Cristina Castro, 22nd District
  • Sen. Jil Tracy, 47th District
  • Rep. Ryan Spain, 73rd District
  • Rep. Michael Zalewski, 23rd District

Pictured: Illinois Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside) talks to guests at the kickoff meeting this week.

Additional Landmarks Illinois news

  • The former home of Blues legend Muddy Waters in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood was designated a Chicago Landmark. Landmarks Illinois co-authored the landmark designation report with City of Chicago Historic Preservation Division staff and partnered with Waters’ great-granddaughter Chandra Cooper in the landmarking effort at the former Most Endangered site. Cooper leads the Muddy Waters Original Jam Out (MOJO) Museum, which is working to transform the house into a museum and cultural center. Landmarks Illinois also awarded the MOJO Museum a grant through the Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side.
  • The Halsted and Willow Gateway in Lincoln Park, also known as the Halsted and Willow Group, was also designated a Chicago Landmark this month. The Halsted and Willow Streets intersection is home to four Victorian-era buildings on three of the corners, serving as a gateway to the Sheffield neighborhood and sitting adjacent to the Sheffield National Register Historic District. Landmarks Illinois listed the Halsted & Willow Gateway and its 1800s-eras buildings on its Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois in 2014 due to the threat of redevelopment. Landmarks Illinois also provided a Preservation Heritage Fund Grant in 2018 to help pay for an architectural historian to prepare the City of Chicago Landmark District designation report.
  • Landmarks Illinois welcomed two new members to its staff in October: Events Manager Alma Rebronja and Regional Advocacy Manager Quinn Adamowski. Alma will help develop and lead Landmarks Illinois’ engaging and unique events and Quinn will serve as the organization’s frontline preservation advocate in Greater Illinois communities. Please join us in welcoming them to the Landmarks Illinois team! Learn more about both Alma & Quinn at our website.
  • Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald participated in a panel discussion, “Preserving the Past: Public History, Oral History and Digital Storytelling,” on October 13 as part of the Calumet Heritage Area 22nd Annual Conference. The Calumet Heritage Partnership is a diverse, bi-state partnership organizations and individuals committed to celebrating, preserving and protecting the unique heritage of the Calumet region.
  • On October 1, the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office sent a nomination to list the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago on the National Register of Historic Places to the National Park Service for evaluation. Landmarks Illinois commissioned the nomination, with funding support from the National Trust For Historic Preservation. Also this month, the State of Illinois received two responses to its RFP for the sale of the post modern building, included on Landmarks Illinois’ Most Endangered Historic Places list four times since 2017. Listing on the National Register would enable a developer to utilize federal historic preservation tax credits in a rehabilitation of the building.
  • Landmarks Illinois mourned the loss this month of civil rights activist, historian and author Timuel D. Black Jr, who passed at the age of 102. Mr. Black devoted his life to promoting Black history, especially on the South Side of Chicago where he long called home. Landmarks Illinois honored him as a Legendary Landmark in 2020 and created a special grant program, the Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side to support preservation projects in Mr. Black’s community.
  • Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois, joined State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) on WBEZ October 20 to discuss the creation of Cultural Districts in Illinois. Sen. Pacione-Zayas led the sponsorship of a new state bill that will create the cultural districts, including a “Puerto Rico Town” in Chicago’s Humboldt Park. Listen here.

Download the full October 2021 Preservation News Roundup below.

October 2021 Preservation News Roundup

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