Preservation News Roundup: September 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.

Winners of 2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards announced

Outstanding preservation efforts in the Illinois communities of Aledo, Chicago, Nauvoo, Paris, Towanda and Waukegan are the recipients of the 2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards

“Our 2021 award-winning projects are models for what preservation can and should be: the creative, inclusive and sustainable reuse of our built environment promoting local job creation and community driven economic development.” – BONNIE McDONALD, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois

The nine award-winning preservation projects and the people who made them possible will be honored at an in-person & virtual ceremony the evening of October 22 at the historic Davis Theater in Chicago. See the winners here.

Read more in the news:

Epiphany Center for the Arts Wins 2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse
Daily Herald, September 20

Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep wins award for adaptive reuse after Kmart transformation
Fox Chicago/WFLD, September 14

Nauvoo restoration project wins state preservation award
Quincy Herald-Whig, September 10

Union Station, Epiphany Church Projects Honored For ‘Creative, Inclusive And Sustainable’ Overhauls
Block Club Chicago, September 8

Tiger Senior Apartments Receives 2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award
WJW Architects Blog, September 8

Reuse of former Paris High School earns preservation award
Journal Gazette & Times Courier, September 7

Old Aledo library recognized for recent transformation
WQAD, September 7

Two Pullman Projects Among Landmarks Illinois’ 2021 Preservation Award Winners
Connect News, September 1

Learn more



Landmarks Illinois Programs Manager Julie Carpenter writes how artists are activating Illinois’ historic places, sending a strong message to the community that these places are viable, vibrant and worth preserving.

“Art and architecture have always been natural bedfellows, and for the preservation movement, artists play a particularly vital role in bringing awareness to places that are important to cultural heritage and social histories,” the article states.

Visit the Landmarks Illinois Preservation News Blog to read the full article originally published in our August 2020 edition of The Arch newsletter. The article calls attention to art at historic places like The Forum in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and Terrain Exhibitions in Springfield (pictured).

Read the article

Historic Preservation Tax Credit Alert

Earlier this month, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee passed a key piece of infrastructure legislation that included important Historic Preservation Tax Credit provisions such as:

  • A temporary increase on the credit from 20% to 30%
  • A permanent increase in the rehabilitation credit for small projects
  • Enabling HTC to be used for public school buildings

However, there is no guarantee these expansions, which will further incentivize investment in our historic places, will be included in the final federal bill. They could be reduced, or worse, eliminated entirely. The provision that would increase the historic preservation tax credit for small projects, in particular, would ensure rural and non-urban areas have a better ability to take advantage of the tax incentive.

Please reach out to our Illinois Senators Sen. Tammy Duckworth & Sen. Dick Durbin and ask them to support and pass these important tax credit provisions!

(Pictured: The Mercer County Carnegie Library in Aledo, Illinois, which is being honored with a 2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award. The historic building is located in the National Register-listed Downtown Aledo Historic District, a designation that allowed the building owners to take advantage of Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits for restoration costs.)

Take action



Join us Friday, October 22 at the Davis Theater in Chicago for an evening celebration that will include an awards ceremony honoring the nine, 2021 preservation award-winning projects and the people who made them possible. A reception with food and beverage will follow. The awards ceremony will also be available as a virtual presentation to reach Landmarks Illinois’ broad base of constituents across Illinois.



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 2021 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award winning project.


Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in Hinsdale saved

The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Frederick Bagley House in Hinsdale, which was for sale without landmark protection, was sold to preservation-minded buyers earlier this month.

Designed in 1894, the Bagley home went on the market in July but did not have any legal preservation protection, putting it at risk of demolition and redevelopment. Landmarks Illinois was proud to partner with the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and Hinsdale preservationists to advocate for preservation of the historic home.

“We are grateful for all the support and warm welcome we received from the Village of Hinsdale and its Historic Preservation Commission and excited to take over as stewards from the sellers, who took care of the Bagley House for several decades,” said the new homeowners, Safina Uberoi and Lukas Ruecker, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

Landmarks Illinois was proud to partner with the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and Hinsdale preservationists to advocate for preservation of the home.

Read more in the news:

Meet the couple rescuing a Frank Lloyd Wright in Hinsdale
Crain’s Chicago Business, September 16

No Wrecking Ball. Hinsdale’s Wright House Saved
Hinsdale Patch, September 14


(Photo Credit: Patrick Mahoney, AIA)

Learn More

Additional Landmarks Illinois news

  • The Skyline Council of Landmarks Illinois and Brick of Chicago hosted a neighborhood tour and pub crawl of Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood on Friday, September 17. Skyline Council member Will Quam of Brick of Chicago led guests on the tour that included stops at local residential architecture, historic sites and local bars in the northwest side neighborhood. See photos of the tour here. Learn more about Brick of Chicago and check out Will’s other walking tours here.
  • Landmarks Illinois joined People for Community Recovery (PCR) in submitting a Chicago Landmark designation application this month for two important structures at Altgeld Gardens in Chicago listed on Landmarks Illinois’ 2021 Most Endangered Historic Places list: School Building C, built in 1944, and the commercial Shop Building, known by locals as “Up-Top,” built in 1945 and designed by Keck & Keck. School Building C served as the community’s first high school, and the Shop Building originally housed a grocery store, drug store, beauty shop and doctor’s office. Both structures have been largely vacant for years and are deteriorating. The landmark designation suggestion was part of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks Program Committee’s public suggestion process for new Chicago landmarks. A National Register nomination for Altgeld Gardens, commissioned by the Chicago Housing Authority, is also underway. The national nomination is expected to be presented at the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council’s October 29 meeting.
  • Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald attended the UNESCO World Heritage List Inscription Plaque Dedication Ceremony at Unity Temple in Oak Park last weekend. The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2019. See pictures here.
  • McDonald also traveled to Monee this month to celebrate the opening of the Monee Heritage Center at the historic Monee Creamery on September 10. The building was constructed in the 1870s and functioned as a creamery until 1900. During the 20th century, it was used as a private residence, a storehouse and even a haunted house for Halloween. Before the Monee Historic Society began restoring the property on Court Street, it had been long vacant and deteriorated. Learn more.
  • The State of Illinois RFP deadline for the sale of the post modern James R. Thompson Center in Chicago is coming up on October 8. Landmarks Illinois has called attention to the iconic structure built in 1984 and designed by Helmut Jahn for the last five years due to the possible threat of demolition and development at the site. It has been included on Landmarks Illinois’ Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois four times since 2017.
  • Our preservation partners at Route History in Springfield were featured in an article published this month that focused on our collective efforts to preserve stories and places along Illinois’ historic Route 66. “As a country we have not been good at preserving cultural history, partly due to systemic racism. I think now we are realizing how much American history has been lost. This project will try to rectify that,” said Stacy Grundy, Vice President of Route History & Landmarks Illinois Board Member. The article, “Resiliency on the Mother Road,” published in Storied, a publication of Grundy’s alma mater, the University of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignRead it here.
  • An original historic building plaque was stolen late last month off the former Central Manufacturing District post office building in Chicago. The former Landmarks Illinois Most Endangered property, at1950 W. Pershing Road, is being rehabilitated by Aberdeen Development Inc., which has offered a reward for the return of the historic building marker. There has been no news in September of the plaque being recovered. Learn more here.

Download the full September 2021 Preservation News Roundup below

September 2021 Preservation News Roundup

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