Thursday, June 16, 2011

ISSCS: Can Someone Save this Building?

One of the main buildings on the old Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home property is in bad shape. Other parts of the property have been repurposed but the once impressive main building (that is very visible because it's on a fairly busy street) sits vacant.  There is a similar site in Milwaukee that has its own foundation which is raising funds to restore the chapel on the property. There is the ISSCS Historical Preservation Society, which raised money for a statue on the property, but since this particular building is privately owned, that society would not be able to take action.

The local building is privately owned but most likely a victim to the recession. Every time I see that building, I try to think of possible uses: an art gallery, a museum, condos, a central location for a rapidly growing local organization that currently has no site, a unique-use building for one of the local institutions of higher learning. . .

The list of expenses involved in preparing this building for use is probably long and intimidating. But the longer it sits unused, the longer that list will become until everyone will agree that 'it's just not cost-effective to do work on it' and 'it's such a shame that nothing was done sooner'.

It's "sooner" right now.


  1. It's definitely a shame, I'm curious as to who owns it and why they're willing to just sit on the property. At least they haven't torn it down, I guess. But yeah, you'd think it'd be a somewhat straightforward process to turn it into apartments or the like.

    1. I would love to see someone take this building and make something nice out of it. I was at isscs from 1969-1872 it maybe apartments.It was a great place when I was there. carol b.