SPRINGFIELD, Ill. | More than two dozen Illinois buildings and downtown districts — including a mausoleum in Beecher — have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Twenty-three buildings and 11 historic districts were added to the register in 2013, according to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
They include everything from the mausoleum on Horner Lane in Beecher and an East St. Louis hotel to historic districts in Galena and Plainfield and a Chicago furniture factory.
Landmarks Illinois recently awarded a $1,500 matching grant from its Preservation Heritage Fund to the Beecher Mausoleum Guardian Angels to repair the roof of mausoleum, according to a news release.
The Beecher Mausoleum, constructed of reinforced concrete with a Bedford limestone veneer, was designed by Cecil E. Bryan in 1913. Containing 210 crypts, the property has suffered from vandalism and neglect for many years. This property, along with several other mausoleums throughout the state, was listed on Landmarks Illinois' Ten Most Endangered Historic Properties List in 2013. The mausoleum roof will be replaced with the donated services of the Local 11 United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, Westchester; and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers, Local 21, Chicago. The $1,500 Heritage Fund grant will help purchase project materials.
Inclusion on the list of historic places means properties are deemed worthy of preservation and makes them eligible for financial incentives.
"(It) really drives home what a wonderful legacy we enjoy in Illinois," said Amy Martin, who is the director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. "Preserving historic buildings and districts helps communities stay vibrant."
The National Park Service added the sites to the register based on recommendations from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Thousands of Illinois sites, representing each of the state's 102 counties, are on the register.
Preservationists say saving historic sites is important to communities.