Landmarks Illinois has announced its 2017 list of Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. The list includes ten structures ranging from buildings to infrastructure across the state. Launched in 1995, the Most Endangered list highlights historic sites in severe need of “responsible stewardship, creative reuse plans and/or advances in public policy”
“This year’s most endangered list includes a variety of iconic places that define our Illinois communities and our state’s heritage,” said Bonnie McDonald, president & CEO of Landmarks Illinois. “From historic bridges, to a round barn, to mid-century modern buildings, the sites on our 2017 Most Endangered list are wide-ranging and demonstrate the need for financial incentives and private-public partnerships. Landmarks Illinois stands ready to help all of these historic properties find productive and creative reuse opportunities.”
The 2017 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois list includes:
- James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, Cook County. Designed by Helmut Jahn.
- O’Hare Rotunda Building, Chicago, Cook County. Design by Gertrude Kerbis.
- Singer Pavilion, Chicago, Cook County. Designed by Loebl, Scholssman, and Bennett.
- Ryan’s Round Barn, Johnson-Sauk Trail State Recreation Area, Henry County.
- McKee House, Lombard, DuPage County.
- Norway Temperance Hall, Norway, LaSalle County.
- Federal Historic Tax Credit, Statewide.
- Historic Bridges, Statewide.
- Route 66, Statewide.
- World War I Monuments, Statewide.
Each of these sites is threatened by neglect or purposeful attack. The James R. Thomson Center, the post-modern civic building in Chicago’s downtown, has been targeted by Illinois’s Governor Bruce Rauner. If the governor has his way, the building, which contains the state’s government offices, would be demolished or sold to make way for a new skyscraper.
Of note, the Federal Historic Tax Credit is not a specific site, but a program that affects historic places across the country. The tax credit is part of the National Parks Service which is facing major budget cuts under the current federal administration.
Route 66, which begins at the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago and runs to the Santa Monica Pier, faces a similar challenge. The National Park Service’s Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is due to expire in the next three years. If the program is not renewed, the historic highway, which is already in despite need of maintenance, faces an uncertain future.