Preservation News Roundup: September 2020

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 announces 2020 Preservation Award Recipients

Landmarks Illinois has announced the recipients of this year’s Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards! The annual awards program, now in its 27th year, honors exceptional historic preservation projects and the people saving important places in Illinois. Read more about the announcement.

This year’s award winners represent a wide range of Illinois preservation projects, from multi-million dollar redevelopments in large cities to grassroots, local efforts in small towns. Yet they will all will play an important role in revitalizing our Illinois communities in the months and years to come. The 2020 award winners will be honored at a virtual awards ceremony October 21, 2020, the details of which are below. In addition to an award, recipients receive a $1,000 prize.

“While we cannot gather in person this year to celebrate the incredibly dedicated people who led these inspiring projects, Landmarks Illinois is as proud as ever to recognize their contribution to saving our historic places.” -BONNIE McDONALD, Landmarks Illinois President & CEO

Read more in the news:

Whitman’s Roff House wins Landmarks Illinois award
WGFA, September 15

Carl and Marilyn Johnson devote 50 years to Galena historic preservation
Telegraph Herald, September 14

Aurora Arts Center project wins preservation award
Aurora Beacon-News, September 11

Construction on former Moline school recognized with preservation award
WQAD, September 10

2020 Award Recipients


Wednesday, October 21, 2020
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Our (first-ever)virtual awards ceremony will honor the people behind this year’s nine award-winning historic preservation projects in Illinois. The event is free to Landmarks Illinois members! $10 for non-members



Wednesday, October 21, 2020
5 p.m.

A pre-awards ceremony Happy Hour hosted by the Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois! The interactive event, featuring live music, will include a virtual taste testing led by Eris Brewery & Cider House of Chicago & Prairie Street Brewing Company of Rockford.


Registration for both events is required! Click the button below to see details of both events and to sign up for the virtual celebration!


Learn More & Register

Landmarks Illinois grant will support revitalization of Muddy Waters' former Chicago home

Landmarks Illinois has awarded the first grant through its new Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side to the Muddy Waters Original Jam Out (MOJO) Museum, a nonprofit working to preserve blues legend Muddy Waters’ former home in North Kenwood and convert it into a museum and cultural center. McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters, purchased the brick two-flat in 1954 and lived in it until the 1970s.

Landmarks Illinois launched this new grant fund in May 2020 in celebration of the life and work of acclaimed civil rights leader Timuel D. Black, Jr. The MOJO Museum will use its grant funds from Landmarks Illinois to help make critical repairs to Muddy Waters’ former home as part of the first phase of the multi-phase restoration and redevelopment plan for the 131-year-old structure.

“The revitalized home will become a community asset and a focal point for the incredible musical culture Chicago is known for.” -BONNIE McDONALD, Landmarks Illinois President & CEO


Read more in the news:

Muddy Waters Shrine In Chicago A Step Closer To Reality
WBBM, September 28


South Side of Chicago projects are eligible for grant funding

The Landmarks Illinois Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side supports grantees in their effort to preserve and promote the history, culture and architecture of Chicago’s South Side. Visit our website to see if your preservation project qualifies for funding through the grant program.



Call for nominations: Landmarks Illinois Influencers

Landmarks Illinois turns 50 in 2021.

To celebrate our past and welcome our future, we’re dedicating our annual spring fundraiser to the people who influenced our development along the way.

We’re asking you to nominate a Landmarks Illinois Influencer for recognition.

An “influencer” is someone who has had, or will have, a profound effect on Illinois’ historic preservation movement and has, thereby, shaped Landmarks Illinois. Their impact could be long- or short-term and their preservation efforts may involve advocacy and policy campaigns, public engagement, organizational development, leadership, creating new preservation tools and more. The person can be any age and a professional preservationist, a past or current Landmarks Illinois board or staff member, a volunteer, activist and/or someone whose work or efforts have impacted preservation in Illinois. Ultimately, we want the influencers we honor in 2021 to represent Landmarks Illinois’ values and the broad diversity of our state’s preservation movement.


Visit our website to learn more about Landmarks Illinois Influencers and the nomination process.


Preservation Heritage Fund Grants support projects in Chicago, Havana, Peoria & Plainfield

In September, Landmarks Illinois awarded $10,000 in grant funding through the Preservation Heritage Fund Grant program. Each recipient received a $2,500 matching grant. Read our press release for more on this news.

September Preservation Heritage Fund Grant Recipients:

  • Pentecostal Church of Holiness, Chicago: an 89-year-old church in the North Lawndale neighborhood
  • City of Havana: Havana Water Tower
  • Peoria Historical Society, Peoria: Pettengill-Morron Historic House Museum
  • Plainfield Historical Society, Plainfield: Turner Mottinger House

Click the button below to learn more about each grant recipient and preservation project. (Photo: Havana Water Tower. Credit: Historic Havana Illinois.)


Apply for a grant!

Preservation Heritage Fund Grants provide financial support to people and organizations in Illinois leading historic preservation projects at significant structures that are under threat of demolition, require stabilization and/or reuse or structural evaluation or those that need to be evaluated for landmark eligibility. Visit our website to see if your preservation project qualifies for funding through the grant program.

Funding is also available through the Barbara C. and Thomas E. Donnelley II Preservation Fund for Illinois. Learn about preservation projects these grants support at our website.



WATCH: "Women Who Built Illinois" September Preservation Snapshots Lecture

Landmarks Illinois hosted a Preservation Snapshots Lecture September 22 led by Landmarks Illinois Director of Advocacy Lisa DiChiera and Landmarks Illinois Skyline Council Member Erica Ruggiero of McGuire Igleski & Associates. The lecture focused on Landmarks Illinois’ new initiative to launch a database of women architects, engineers, developers, builders, landscape designers and clients in Illinois between 1879 and 1979 and their built projects throughout the state. Click the video above to watch DiChiera & Ruggiero discuss the “Women Who Built Illinois” project. You can also visit our website to read more about the project.


Additional Landmarks Illinois News

  • Landmarks Illinois is working with the New Philadelphia Association on fundraising and planning for the long-term preservation and interpretation of the New Philadelphia historic site in Pike County. New Philadelphia was the first town (1836) platted and registered by an African American and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated National Historic Landmark. Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) introduced legislation this month to establish the New Philadelphia National Historical Park in the State of Illinois as a unit of the National Park System.


  • Landmarks Illinois continues to support Chicago Landmark designation for the Perkins-Nordine House, located in the Edgewater neighborhood at 6106 N Kenmore Ave. The home was formerly owned by “Word Jazz” icon Ken Nordine. Following a more than year-long advocacy campaign aimed at preventing demolition led by the Edgewater Historical Society, with assistance from Landmarks Illinois and Preservation Chicago, the new owners have consented to landmark designation. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks (CCL) is set to discuss final landmark recommendation at its October 1 meeting. Visit the CCL’s website to submit public comment on this or other agenda items and to live stream the meeting.


  • Landmarks Illinois is also continues to help Friends of the Old Millstadt Water Tower in its preservation campaign to save the historic water tower from demolition. Landmarks Illinois’ Frank Butterfield helped to arrange an agreement in 2016 between the local advocacy group and the Village of Millstadt. Friends of the Old Millstadt Water Tower is in its final year to fundraise $200,000 to save the water tower, which Landmarks Illinois included on its 2014 Most Endangered list.




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