Landmarks Illinois

Landmarks Illinois Names 12 Historic Sites to 2019 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois

Yesterday, at a press conference in Springfield, Landmarks Illinois announced its 2019 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois, naming 12 historically, architecturally and culturally significant sites throughout the state to its annual list of threatened properties - including 6 Chicago-area buildings.

"A troubling trend with this year's Most Endangered sites is the number of historic places that face demolition despite strong and active community support for preservation," said Bonnie McDonald, Landmarks Illinois President & CEO. "People all over Illinois are working to save special places that help tell the unique stories and history of their neighborhoods despite the many challenges that stand in their way."

The 2019 list includes two sites Landmarks Illinois has previously called attention to on their Most Endangered program – the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago and the Rock Island County Courthouse. "These repeat listings demonstrate Landmarks Illinois' dedicated and ongoing efforts to help communities across the state find solutions to preserve our historic places," said McDonald.

Since 1995, the organization highlighted 242 threatened buildings and successfully preserved 113 sites and is actively supporting efforts to save 16 more.

Legendary Landmarks Celebration

Since 2006, Landmarks Illinois has honored individuals, families and corporations at its annual fundraiser, the Legendary Landmarks Celebration. This year’s event will be held Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

Landmarks Illinois is honoring Wintrust and Murphy Development Group as 2019 Corporate Legendary Landmarks and civic leaders Judith & Raymond McCaskey as 2019 Legendary Landmarks.

"Landmarks Illinois carefully curates honorees named Legendary Landmarks based on the significance and longevity of the designee's cultural, philanthropic and corporate contributions to Chicago and beyond," said Bonnie McDonald, Landmarks Illinois President & CEO. "Our 2019 Legendary Landmarks have personal and meaningful connections to historic preservation among their many stellar achievements, and we are proud to illuminate these individuals and corporations as Legendary Landmarks."

Landmarks Illinois is a membership-based nonprofit organization advocating for the preservation and reuse of historic and architecturally significant properties throughout the state.

Legendary Landmarks

Landmarks Illinois will host its 13th annual Legendary Landmarks Celebration next month. Each year, the event honors civic and cultural leaders who are making an impact on Chicago and Illinois - and this year's honorees are:

  • Berglund Construction
  • Daniel Levin, Founder and Chairman of The Habitat Company
  • Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President

“These exceptional leaders have devoted their careers to investing in the people and places that make Chicago one of the world’s great cities,” said Bonnie McDonald, Landmarks Illinois President & CEO. “Thanks to the ongoing work of our 2018 Legendary Landmarks Honorees, Chicagoans have attractive, safe and authentic places to live and work and distinct places to enjoy together.

Click here to learn more about this event or the important work of the honorees and Landmarks Illinois.

Another Historic Building Set To Be Demolished

Earlier this month, the Springfield City Council voted unanimously to move forward with demolishing the historic Springfield YWCA building; overturning a recommendation by the city’s Historic Sites Commission to reject the demolition permit for the 100+ year-old building.

The building was designed by architect George Helmle and built in 1913 to be a place of "intense civic pride by the city of Springfield." In a statement following the Council Vote, Landmarks Illinois said that it "considers the future demolition of the YWCA building – a designated historic landmark – a major loss to the city of Springfield, its historic district and local heritage tourism."

“By voting for demolition, the city has foreclosed on the opportunity for private investors to create an attractive and unique contributor to the local economy through the adaptive reuse of the YWCA,” said Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois. “It is shortsighted to demolish an existing asset that is included in three development proposals and create yet another vacant lot in the historic district, all while advocates have demonstrated that reuse is possible. This vote sets a terrible precedent for the city to lay waste to a property that it designated, through a public process, as having historic value.”

It is always disappointing to see a community opt for the demolition of an historically significant building rather than plan for its adaptive reuse. You can learn more about the work of Landmarks Illinois here.

2016 Legendary Landmarks Celebration

Since 2006,  Landmarks Illinois has hosted an annual event to recognize noted Chicagoans for their contributions to the city’s civic and cultural legacy, and their belief that a great city is defined by its legendary architecture.

This year's event will be held three weeks from today, on Monday, March 7 at the Hilton Chicago and will honor W.E. O'Neil, The Neal Family and COL Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Ret.).

"Our three honorees have made significant contributions in cultivating Chicago’s cultural heritage as the sustaining pivot for the city’s growth,” said Bonnie McDonald, President and CEO of Landmarks Illinois.

The event highlights the people and places that make Chicago extraordinary in every way. Click here more information.

Landmarks Illinois is the state’s leading voice for historic preservation. It is the only not-for-profit organization inspiring local action, statewide, to catalyze incremental and transformational community change by reinvesting in our built environment.