By Anna Lothson
A list of the state's Ten Most Endangered Historic Places was announced today at a press conference in Springfield.
Now in its 18th year, this statewide lists calls attention to threatened historic resources in need of assistance in the form of responsible stewardship and/or creative reuse plans. The economic downturn, public deficits and a lack of available financing continue to challenge the historical sites throughout Illinois, according to a Landmark Illinois news release.
"The sites named to the list are all exceptionally important," Jean Follett, interim executive director of Landmark Illinois said. "By calling attention to them we hope to encourage solutions for their preservation."
The properties on this year's list includes the Maywood Home for Soldiers' Widows, located at 224 North First Ave., Maywood, along with an 1854 limestone house, a twelve-story terracotta clad office tower, a turn-of-the-century city hall, a Georgian Revival building that housed the widows of Civil War soldiers, and a 1928 former residential hotel, among others.
Landmark Illinois, the state's leading voice for historic preservation, named eight other endangered historic properties as well as a thematic grouping to its annual list which focuses attention on sites that are threatened by deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funds, or inappropriate development.
The Maywood Home located in Cook County was built in 1924 to house the widows of civil war soldiers. Its red brick façade marks a prominent location on First Avenue and it offers deep porches overlooking the Des Plaines River. A small fire in 2003 forced its closing and it has been vacant ever since, with the Village of Maywood taking ownership in 2008.
Since the inception of Landmark Illinois' "Ten Most" list in 1995, more than a third of the properties have been saved, less than a quarter have been demolished, and the rest remain threated or are being rehabilitation.
The complete list, including photos of the following sites, is available online at Landmarks.org.