Plainfield seeking historic downtown designation
By Madhu Mayer For The Herald-News April 17, 2012 5:36PM
Updated: May 19, 2012 8:10AM
PLAINFIELD — The Village of Plainfield has started the process to join an exclusive club.
The Plainfield Village Board on Monday approved hiring architect Douglas E. Gilbert of Oak Park to prepare a National Register application for the community’s downtown historic district. The cost will be $10,920.
The village last fall was awarded a $15,500 grant from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency for the preparation of a National Register application for downtown.
Village planner Michael Garrigan said the grant covers 70 percent of the costs and the village would be responsible for 30 percent of nomination costs. Though the bid is less than the maximum $15,500 allotted, Garrigan said the village still is responsible for paying 30 percent of the $10,920 amount.
The purpose of the grant, he explained, is to prepare a National Register application for the village’s downtown historic district. The district was approved by the village board in September 2011 and contains 65 parcels between Route 59 and James Street along Lockport Street.
If granted, the National Register designation would provide any property owner within the district a potential 20 percent federal tax credit for exterior renovation work. Additionally, the designation would add Plainfield to a list of 14 communities in Illinois that have downtowns on the National Register, including St. Charles, Geneva, Lake Forest and Evanston.
In March, Garrigan said staff forwarded a request for proposals to 12 preservationists. After receiving three proposals by the deadline, Garrigan said the applicants were interviewed by the Historic Preservation Landmarks Committee.
The committee recommended Gilbert to do the work, who, Garrigan said, was the lowest bidder.
Garrigan said Gilbert has extensive experience preparing National Register applications and expects to have the work completed by April of next year.