Landmarks Illinois announces 2021 most endangered historic places

Landmarks Illinois has announced Illinois’ Most Endangered Historic Places in 2021, its annual list of the most threatened architecturally and culturally important sites across the state.

Properties included in Illinois’ Annual Highest Risk Historic Locations in Illinois are those that are at risk of lack of maintenance due to lack of or inadequate repair funding and are at risk of demolition and / or inadequate remediation. The annual list of the most vulnerable people, which is already in its 27th year of existence, aims to increase lobbying and provide support for the eventual preservation of each property. Landmark Illinois works with local attorneys affiliated with every property contained on the most vulnerable historic locations in Illinois, as well as elected officials and construction and conservation professionals to find a viable conservation solution for the threatened locations.

Illinois Most Endangered Historic Locations in 2021

RECEIPT GARDENS SHOP BUILDING AND SCHOOL BUILDINGS C AND E, CHICAGO, COOK COUNTY

The privately owned store building (called “Up-Top” by local residents), built in 1945 and designed by Keck & Keck, and its memorial wall, as well as School Building C and School Building E of the Chicago Public Schools. Both designed by John C. Christiansen and built in 1944 and 1950, respectively, are in need of extensive renovation and reuse in the Chicago Housing Authority’s public housing complex on Chicago’s Far South Side.

JAMES R. THOMPSON CENTER, CHICAGO, COOK COUNTY

Designed in 1985 by Helmut Jahn, the state-owned and neglected building in the heart of Chicago’s Loop is the best-known icon of postmodern architecture in Illinois. However, it is being prepared for sale as a redevelopment lot and should be marketed as such an opportunity for re-use. This is the fourth year since 2017 that Landmarks Illinois has added this site to its Most Endangered Historic Locations in Illinois.

KLAS RESTAURANT, CICERO, COOK COUNTY

The 99-year-old, now vacant commercial building, which for decades served as the anchor for the Cermak Road business district in Cicero and is significant for its cultural history to the Czech community of Chicagoland, is currently for sale and is unprotected.

ILLINOIS TERMINAL INTERURBAN STATION, DECATUR, MACON COUNTY

The former train station from 1931, which was last used as a church, is cleared and put up for sale. Many residents are concerned about the deterioration and loss of community services rendered at this neighborhood landmark.

BROADVIEW HOTEL, EAST ST. LOUIS, ST. CLAIR COUNTY

A redevelopment plan to convert the 1926 hotel building into 110 affordable senior housing units will fail without Illinois lawmakers approving an extension of the historic River Edge redevelopment zone tax credit, due to expire later this year. There is active legislation in place, SB0157, which is considering extending this historic tax credit for an additional five years.

SCOTT FORESMAN HEADQUARTERS, GLENVIEW, COOK COUNTY

The schoolbook company’s former headquarters, which was built in 1966 and is an award-winning mid-century modern design by architects Perkins & Will, is now for sale unprotected and marketed as a residential redevelopment location.

HAVANA WATER TOWER, HAVANA, MASON COUNTY

Built in 1889 and identified by the community, the Havana symbol is threatened by the deterioration of the brick floor, metal water tank, and surrounding retaining wall while the city struggles to find sources of income for critical repairs.

JOLIET STEEL MILL MAIN OFFICE BUILDING, JOLIET, BECOMES COUNTY

The office building, built in 1891 on the closed Joliet Steel site, has been vacant since the 1980s. The current owner, US Steel, was unwilling to stabilize the structure or sell it separately from the rest of the site for possible refurbishment and reuse.

THE GREEN BOOK IS IN ILLINOIS, STATE

Illinois Landmark and Route History partners in Springfield are working to document and preserve the stories associated with the Green Book and remaining locations. The Green Book was a guidebook published between the late 1930s and 1960s when segregation and the Jim Crow laws made it necessary to keep a list of places that provide safe services and accommodation to African American travelers.

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