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2 sites in Starved Rock Country added to National Register in 2018

Thirty properties were added in 2018 to the National Register of Historic Places, including two in Starved Rock Country.

The places recognized are scattered across the state and include a nationally significant African American art center, a former village hall and fire station, and nine historic districts that combined include more than 2,800 significant properties.

Places are added to the register by the National Park Service based on recommendations from the State Historic Preservation Office, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of properties that merit special attention and preservation. Every Illinois county has at least one property or historic district listed in the National Register.

In general, properties have to be more than 50 years old to be eligible for the National Register. A listing places no obligations on private property owners but does make properties eligible for some financial incentives.

The North and South Main Street Historic Districts in Princeton were listed Jan. 18 to the register.

Princeton’s downtown has two historic commercial centers, one along South Main Street adjacent to Courthouse Square, and the other being the commercial district along North Main Street near the city's railroad station.

South Main Street Historic District developed as Princeton’s earliest downtown. It is comprised of the County Courthouse and Courthouse Square, the buildings that surround the square, and two commercial blocks of South Main Street were built during this downtown area’s historic period of development.

The Princeton North Main Street Historic District developed as Princeton’s second downtown, built in response to the 1854 coming of the railroad to Princeton and the construction of a train depot at this location. It is comprised of the commercial buildings that developed in close proximity to the train station and roughly three blocks of largely commercial buildings.

The districts are intact collections of commercial buildings that represent architectural styles commonly found in small-town American towns and cities during the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries.

The Hampshire Colony Congregational Church in Princeton was listed Aug. 28.

The Hampshire Colony Congregational Church, built in 1906, is a noteworthy example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, identified by its rounded arches at the entrances and windows, hipped roof with side gables and square towers. The church also is significant for its construction with concrete blocks that resembled stone. Unlike the concrete masonry units used in modern construction, these blocks could be molded in different designs. This type of material had been gaining in popularity nationwide when construction on the Princeton church began in 1905. The church was dedicated in 1906; its clock tower was completed in 1911.

Go to https://www2.illinois.gov/IISNews/19688-IDNR_National_Register_of_Historic_Places_Release.pdf for a full listing of places put on the list in 2018.

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