As it releases its 20th annual list of endangered buildings statewide, Landmarks Illinois also made a strong statement about just how challenged Illinois preservationists may be this year. Directly addressing Gov. Rauner's cost-cutting, the list also includes the State Historic Preservation office, currently on the chopping block in Springfield. The 2015 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois also includes three Chicago sites amid a roster that pays particular focus to mid-century modern homes and suburban sites in River Edge Redevelopment Zones that may lose potential funding if action isn't taken soon. The most mysterious may be the Arnold-Crowe House, a deteriorating Garfield Park mansion in Moorish revival style was once owned by Schwinn Bicycle Company co-founder Adolph Arnold and Robert E. Crowe, the prosecutor of Leopold and Loeb. Pete Toalson of Land and Sea Department currently owns the home, but with banks unwilling to finance reconstruction due to the high rate of foreclosure in the neighborhood, and a city demolition hold on the property, the future looks uncertain.
Built in 1917, North Lawndale's Central Park Theater, a 1,780-seat movie palace designed by Rapp and Rapp, the noted firm behind similar projects such as the Uptown Theatre, currently requires massive overhauls to reopen. The current owner, House of Prayer Church of God in Christ, simply can't afford repairs and may place it on the open market. Benny Goodman made his professional debut here in 1921.
Don't let the fancy terra cotta ornamentation fool you; this John Ahlschlager & Son-designed bakery, once the busiest in the nation, is all business. Residents in Washington Park wish it was still humming with activity, and while plans have been proposed and floated to find a creative reuse for the building, nothing has materialized.
Additional sites across Illinois include:
- Black Hawk Statue, Lowden State Park, 1411 N. River Road, Oregon
- Bowen Building, Peoria State Hospital, 4125 W. Pfeiffer Road, Bartonville
- Condell House, 605 S. 4th Street, Springfield
- William H. Coventry House & Barn, 7704 Rt. 14 N., Harvard
- Elgin Tower Building, 100 E. Chicago Ave., Elgin
- The Hobbs Building, 2 N. River Street, Aurora
- Madison Theater, 500 W. Main Street, Peoria
- The Murphy Building, 234 Collinsville Ave., East St. Louis
- Ziock Building, 416 S. Main Street, Rockford
- St. James Academy, 220 Illinois Street, Lemont
- Thatchcot House, 515 S. 13th Street, Herrin
· Landmarks Illinois announces 2015 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois [Landmarks Illinois]
· Mapping Chicago's 7 Most Endangered Buildings [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous Preservation Watch coverage [Curbed Chicago]