The long process of adding Macomb’s downtown district to the National Historic Register is about to come to an end.
The Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council will meet February 22 in Springfield to consider the city’s application. Its recommendation will be sent to the National Park Service, which almost always follows the council’s suggestion.
It could be May before the park service makes the official announcement.
Historic Consultant Victoria Granacki, who’s been helping Macomb with its application, likes the city’s chances.
“I think the courthouse is what’s really remarkable about it (Macomb’s downtown). And the square. It just makes it so much more interesting,” Granacki said.
Granacki led a public informational meeting at the Western Illinois Museum. Many of those in attendance are affiliated with buildings in the district.
Granacki said a building owner in a historic district is eligible for tax incentives. In exchange, they’re expected to preserve the historic character of at least the building’s façade.
“Each building should be true to itself,” Granacki said.
“If it was an 1860s building, it should look as much like the 1860s. If it was like a Woolworth’s, which was 1936, it should look like a 1936.”
She said the goal should be to preserve the time character of any building built between 1834 and 1959.
The city says the downtown area is broadly defined as being bounded by Calhoun, McArthur, Jefferson, and Campbell Streets.