Ever hear of the Lincoln Colored Home? Maybe you will now, since it’s on this year’s Top Ten Endangered Historic Places list from Landmarks Illinois. The building dates to 1904 and sits about a mile east of the Capitol in Springfield. It served as an orphanage until 1944. Lyman Hubbard wanted to develop it into a museum and community center.
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Hubbard passed away last year, but his son, Lyman Jr., says, “The Lincoln Colored Home meant a lot to my dad, personally. Some of his best buddies in grade school lived in the Colored Home. And he was concerned that some of the significance of the property would be lost if it were destroyed. It symbolizes what a rich white woman and a poor black woman were able to do when they put aside cultural differences, put aside political differences, for the common good.” Hubbard says at the turn of the last century, Springfield’s three orphanages were white-only.
Landmarks Illinois tries to use its influence to preserve structures in need of more than a little TLC. President Bonnie McDonald says in the nearly twenty years the Top Ten list has been in existence, about eighty percent have been saved from demolition.