Historic preservation in Elgin has been making advances for over 30 years. Efforts began in the early 1980s as a grassroots movement by residents of an eastside neighborhood known as the Gifford Park Neighborhood. It was generally recognized that the effects of urban renewal of the 1960s had caused the erosion of downtown Elgin, which was slowly making its way into the neighborhoods that surrounded it.
Local Landmark Ordinance
One of the methods determined to be effective in controlling this wearing away of downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods was to enable the City to identify and protect architecturally significant properties and neighborhoods through the creation of a local landmark ordinance.
This enabled individual structures to be designated as landmarks and groups of structures to be designated as historic districts.
Historic preservation is handled through the Planning and Neighborhood Services Department, a division of Community Development.
Local Historic Architecture
If you are interested in local historic architecture, then you may want to visit the award winning website, Historic Elgin. This site brings awareness to Elgin's architectural and cultural heritage. Information on this site was gathered from the Elgin Heritage Commission's Building Plaque Program.
You may also find some fascinating, historic photographs of Elgin's homes and businesses found here.