DeKalb named Certified Local Government

By Jean Volz

With its winding, tree-lined brick roads and its historic old mansions, DeKalb is a town which has an abundance of aesthetic beauty coupled with historical significance.

Therefore, it is no surprise that six months ago the town’s Landmark Commission decided to apply to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) to be certified as a Local Government.

A press release issued by Mike Ward of the IHPA said DeKalb has been given Certified Local Government status as of this October.

Ward said DeKalb was named a Certified Local Government for many reasons, which included its landmark preservation efforts, ordinances and establishment of a Landmark Commission.

According to Ward, DeKalb now is eligible for grant funds set aside specifically for Certified Local Government projects.

Steven Bigolin, chair of DeKalb’s Landmark Commission, said the grants were the primary reason for the application to the IHPA.

Ward said programs which DeKalb might initiate via the funding include surveys, educational programs and supplementary materials and rehabilitation on national landmark property.

“At the moment we don’t have any plans in the works,” Bigolin said.

However, he said the grants might be used in the future for the restoration of the brick roads in the landmark area of the Huntley Park Historical District.

Other DeKalb area landmarks include the Current Farm Bureau and Altgeld Hall, although these places are only recognized landmarks on the local level, Bigolin said.

But DeKalb should be aware there are numerous sites that have been declared National Landmarks and appear in the National Landmark Registry.

Historical homes such as the Elwood house, the Glidden home and the Gurler house are all nationally recognized, Bigolin said.

He also asserted, “There are a lot of other potential National Registry buildings.”

Bigolin said he will be attending a series of workshops this Saturday in Springfield which are for Certified Local Governments.

Additionally, he said DeKalb will be the site for the 1994 yearly meeting of the Landmark Preservation Council of Illinois.

“We applied in 1991 and were selected this past spring as the location,” Bigolin said.

The conference will take place next June and is expected to draw around 230 preservationists from all areas of the state, he said.

Ward said DeKalb is one of 26 towns throughout the state to be named a Certified Local Government.

In response to that, Bigolin said, “I am really pleased that we were declared.”