Landmarks Illinois names most endangered historic places

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Landmarks Illinois has included the State Historic Preservation Office on its annual list of most endangered historic places. The organization on Wednesday named locations as diverse as the home of the Schwinn Bicycle Co. founder and a fifty-foot statue of Black Hawk and includes The Thatchcot House in Herrin, an interpretation of an English thatched cottage. However, Landmarks Illinois noted Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed to move the historic preservation agency into the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to help close a more than $6 billion budget shortfall. Landmarks Illinois president Bonnie McDonald says the work of the State Historic Preservation Office is important to local residents and local economies. Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly says the historic sites will continue to be preserved, while saving the state more than $5 million a year. The organization also pointed to the expiration in 2017 of the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Historic Tax Credit. It was created to revive and redevelop challenged historic properties in five river-adjacent cities.