Reporting Regine Schlesinger
CHICAGO (CBS) – Illinois preservationists are out with their latest list of the state’s 10 most endangered historic sites.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports Landmarks Illinois’ “Endangered Places 2013” list includes a variety of structures, including the Gage House, a pre-Civil War home built by one of Winnetka’s earliest settlers, and the Mineola Lounge and Marina hotel in Fox Lake, which once served as a hangout for Al Capone.
The one-time North Kenwood neighborhood home of blues musician Muddy Waters also made the list.
Landmarks Illinois president Bonnie McDonald said the 19th century brick rowhouse has been vacant for about 10 years, is currently in foreclosure, and has been cited for multiple building code violations.
She said the building was crucial in Waters’ evolution as a great musician.
“He put together, really, a practice studio in the home, and was developing his style, as well has having fellow blues musicians come and practice with him,” she said.
McDonald said Landmarks Illinois is trying to help the current owner in finding a way to honor Waters’ legacy and restore the home.
The group’s list also includes the state’s community mausoleums, located at several sites throughout the state. They once served as alternatives to traditional cemeteries.
McDonald said – pardon the pun – mausoleums like those in Beecher and Roodhouse face grave futures.
“Unfortunately, the people who were interred there are being subject to vandalism, as well as the deteriorating property,” she said.
Also on the list of endangered structures are Chicago’s moveable bascule bridges along the Chicago River – some of which are inoperable and due to be replaced with fixed bridges – as well as the Joel Wiant House in West Chicago, the 19th century Lincoln Colored Home for orphaned black children in Springfield, the Madison Theater in Peoria, the Miner’s Institute in Collinsville, the Newcomb Hotel in Quincy
For the past few years, Prentice Women’s Hospital on the Northwestern University campus in Chicago had made the list, but no longer. The fight to save that hospital ended earlier this year, when Northwestern was granted a permit to tear down Prentice to make way for a new biomedical research center.