ALTON - Community members received an information-packed Downtown Alton Historic District update this week at Old Bakery Beer. Above is a full video of the meeting and below is a synopsis of the event. Also shown are photographs and a map of parts of the new proposed district with hopes of a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation's historic places worthy of preservation.
A thorough application for the Alton Downtown Historic District has been sent to the Historic Building Survey, Research, and Preliminary Submittal to Illinois State Historic Preservation Office. AltonWorks funded the effort. Karen Bode-Baxter said within the next 30-60 days they should hear something on whether or not the preliminary application is accepted.
Bode-Baxter was a keynote presenter at the meeting at Old Bakery Beer. She is a preservation specialist. Others who have played key roles are Dennis Hyland, an architect with KO and Company, and Doug Bader, chairman of the Alton Historical Commission.
Technically, the National Register application was prepared by Bode Baxter, Preservation Specialist, and Ruth Keenoy, Timothy P. Maloney, with research assistance by numerous volunteers from:
Alton Area Landmarks Association.
Alton Historical Commission.
Alton Main Street.
Hayner Geneology and Local History Library.
Dennis Hyland, AltonWorks.
Alton Main Street Executive Director Sara McGibany said her organization is "so excited" about the prospect of Downtown Alton becoming an officially designated historic district on the National Register.
McGibany also provided considerable assistance with the application.
"It has been fascinating to learn about the architectural significance of our beautiful buildings; the nomination document is like a walk through time, telling the story of the businesses that inhabited each address over the decades along with historical maps and photographs," she said.
Hyland said the turnout was significant at Old Bakery Beer with probably upward of 100 people in attendance.
“It was nice to see that kind of positive energy and enthusiasm,” Hyland said. “The history we are creating in the Downtown Alton area is of major benefit to access and eligibility for historic tax credits which are a financial tool to help preservation projects like these make sense financially.”
This is a map of the section proposed for the new Alton historic district: