SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois National Bank’s Conference and Operation Center at 431 S. 4th Street was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization announced Wednesday, November 15th in Waukegan, Illinois. Members and staff of Downtown Springfield, Inc attended the awards ceremony. The award will be presented to Illinois National Bank on Wednesday, December 6th during a Business After Hours event hosted by the bank in the new facility. The presentation will be made at 5:30 p.m. and will include remarks by Richard K. McCord, president and CEO of Illinois National Bank; Victoria Clemons, executive director of Downtown Springfield, Inc. and Gary Plummer, president and CEO of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. The press is invited to attend.
Illinois National Bank restored the facades and showroom of the neglected Jennings Ford Dealership to its original 1919 appearance. The decorative white-glazed terra cotta and masonry were restored according to the National Park Service’s Preservation Briefs. This work included repair of broken tiles, hand grinding of all the mortar joints and faithful matching of the color and profile of the finished mortar joints. New windows were designed to match the size, profile and configuration of the original steel system. Inside, the showroom was restored to the original 1921 contract documents. The limed-oak paneling was cleaned while plaster walls, ceiling and ornamentation were repaired and repainted. The original chandelier lighting fixtures were completely restored and all of the ornamental fixtures were refinished or re-fabricated. The building now houses the Operations Division of Illinois National Bank. The bank listed the building on the National Register of Historic Places and sought historic tax credits for the extensive rehabilitation.
It was also announced at the Illinois Main Street Annual Conference in Waukegan that Downtown Springfield, Inc. has reached Premier Program status, meaning a mature Main Street program that will serve as a model to those just beginning the downtown revitalization process. Illinois Main Street is a comprehensive community revitalization program that promotes historic preservation and economic development of the state's traditional business districts. Illinois Main Street is based on a model developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Presently, Illinois has 69 active Main Street communities, growing from 9 when the program began in 1993. Since it's inception, designated communities have reported net gains of more than 1,500 new downtown businesses, and created 3,200 full-time jobs and 2,400 part-time jobs. Main Streets have spurred more than $123 million in public improvements and more than $411 million in private reinvestments in their downtowns.