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In recognition of National Preservation Month, Geneva’s Historic Preservation Commission has created a virtual tour celebrating our community’s architectural heritage and the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.
The virtual tour, which can be found on the City’s website at the link below, recognizes historically significant structures within Geneva under the theme “This Place Matters.” The Commission is shining a spotlight on local buildings and events that – in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Act into law – were considered historic, becoming historic and modern-era architecture.
As people take a virtual trip down memory lane, they are invited to add feedback and personal recollections about Geneva’s iconic architecture in the comments section on each page. The Commission wanted to create an opportunity for community dialogue about the changing face of preservation and what may be recognized as historic by different generations of Geneva residents.
“This project highlights the value of historic preservation and is a fun way for people to connect with Geneva’s history,” Historic Preservation Commissioner Al Hiller said. “Seeing what was historic when the Preservation Act was passed and what is considered historic today may be eye-opening to many. This program also helps illustrate how adaptive re-use has had a positive effect on the charm and character of Geneva.”
Posters, designed by Hiller promoting the tour, were distributed throughout Geneva’s two historic districts this week. The tour will remain active and will be updated throughout the year with additional places that can be documented as having been constructed/completed in 1866, 1916 and 1966. People wanting to submit their property for consideration can post the information in the tour comments section or contact the City’s Historic Preservation Planner Michael Lambert at 630-938-4541 or email@example.com.
While Historic Preservation Commissioner Carolyn Zinke was undertaking research for the project, she was surprised to learn that her own home had been significantly remodeled in 1966.
“As I see it, the Historic Preservation Commission is dedicated to providing information about preservation in Geneva to our community, and the 2016 virtual tour is meant to foster that effort,” Zinke said. “For me personally, searching the newspaper archives, sharing memories of these buildings with other people on social media and talking with property owners about the history of their buildings was my celebration of historic preservation in our community.”
Another component of Preservation Month is the City’s biennial Historic Preservation Awards. The program honors property owners that have finished both small and large projects that exemplify a dedication to Geneva’s highly treasured historic character. Submissions are being reviewed now and winners will be announced in June.
The property owners will be recognized at an upcoming City Council meeting, and a presentation detailing the winning entries will be posted on the City’s website next month.