For Now, Old Rock Island Courthouse Saved

For Now, Old Rock Island Courthouse Saved

The imminent demolition of the old Rock Island County Courthouse is blocked as a state appellate court steps in. On Thursday, a ruling is issued that forces local agencies to follow Illinois law calling for public input on the preservation of historic buildings. The old courthouse was built in 1896 by Frederick Gunn and Louis Curtis.

According to a suit filed by preservationists, the old courthouse was considered “a significant example of Spanish Renaissance or Roman-style architecture.” In late 2018, the old courthouse was replaced by a new courthouse. The Rock Island County and its Public Building Commission moved immediately to destroy it, spurred by the county’s Chief Judge Walter Braud.

Landmarks Illinois and including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Rock Island Preservation Society, the Moline Preservation Society, the Broadway Historic District Association, and local residents Fred Shaw and Diane Oestreich led the preservation movement. They filed a suit to block the demolition.

The preservationists partly charged that the local agencies were not following requirements to seek other uses for the property under the Illinois State Historic Resources Preservation Act. The suit was dismissed by the local courts but the preservationists appealed and won a restraining order. On Thursday, the Third District Appellate Court of Illinois ruled the old courthouse was eligible for protection.

The Court found it eligible for protection under the “plain and unambiguous language” of the state preservation act. The Court also emphasized that protectionists had standing to file the suit. Bonnie McDonald, the organization’s president said, “Landmarks Illinois is pleased the appellate court determined that the county must follow state preservation law, affirming the public’s right to be consulted on the future of their courthouse.”

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

Related Posts
Chicago Steel vs. Chicago Ice Sharks: Game Results
The Chicago Steel (20-7-6-0; 46 pts), playing as the Chicago Ice Sharks for one night
Shedd Aquarium to Renovate on $500M Project
Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium says it will start work in 2022 on a $500 million project to “renovate
Chicago to have casino-resort; selection process is on
In order to develop a world-class experience in the City of Chicago that will push
7 New Year Resolution to Your Financial Fitness
I's almost time to ring in the New Year — and many people are looking forward
Lori Lightfoot Accuses Stores of Not Doing Enough for Safety
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has accused stores of not taking adequate measures to prevent themselves from being
Statistics over shopping behavior on Thanksgiving Day
U.S. brick-and-mortar stores regained some popularity during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but overall there
Pekin Man Is Sentenced to 12 Years 7 Months for Possession of Methamphetamine
Daniel W. Dawe, a 48-year-old man from Pekin, Illinois, has been sentenced to twelve years
JAHM offers to listen to the voices the Early 20th Century
Now, Joliet citizens can listen to the voices that sounded more than fifty years ago.
SIUC is called to stop disciplinary investigation into Chinese professor
CARBONDALE – Southern Illinois University Carbondale Faculty Association (SIUCFA) calls Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC)
IDES to Change Unemployment Insurance
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that in the coming