Illinois preservation organization tours historic sites in Rockf - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Illinois preservation organization tours historic sites in Rockford

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

The Prairie Street Brewhouse building has a lot of history behind it.  It started out housing one of the nation's first breweries.  Now a days you will find apartments, a micro brewery, restaurant, and event space all under one roof.

"We're just so excited that it's taken off and that its as successful as it is," Prairie Street Brewhouse Owner Diane Koch said

According to local architect Gary Anderson, the Brewhouse is just one example of how Rockford is thriving with economic development plans to rejuvenate the city, specifically downtown.

"We have over 60 million dollars worth of projects that have been completed and now underway,"Anderson said. 

Anderson shows off what he calls success stories to the board of Landmarks Illinois, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the preservation of historic sites.  In fact, Landmarks played a role in turning the Brewhouse into what it is today.

Prairie Street was dubbed a historical landmark and renovated in 2014.  The nonprofit helped owners secure historic tax credits to pay for those improvements.

"So we're going to be showing them the results of that and what we can expect to see in the next year," Anderson said.

This weekend board members get a tour of Rockford to look at finished products and upcoming projects.  So far Landmarks says it likes what it sees.

"It makes a more vibrant place for us to live," Landmarks Illinois President and CEO Bonnie McDonald said. "It adds to local economic development efforts which raises the property values."

The group also toured other sites like Laurent House, the Watch Factory, Tinker Cottage, and the historic Ziock Hotel project, which could soon be renovated.

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