Mar 132010
 

Some of the world’s richest farmland is at risk by a planned extension of Olympian Drive from Market Street in Champaign to Route 45 north of Urbana. 85 acres could be lost to the road itself and 1,600 acres to industrial uses. The purpose of the extension is to provide connectivity between I-57 and Route 45, just 1 mile north of I-74.

Cost estimates vary but, the County officials expect at least $30M. Contributions will be required of Champaign & Urbana ($5-6M), Champaign County, the State of Illinois ($5M), and Federal funds ($8-10M). The project is being sold to promote economic development while hundreds of acres of develop-able land in the county is available without disturbing active agriculture.

A delegation of 18 public officials and business interests recently visited Washington D.C. to lobby for the federal funds.

Please sign the petition on line: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopolympiandrive/

Become a Facebook fan: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Olympian-Drive-Group/362486134343?filter=2

Please contact these elected officials before March 15 and ask them to say NO to the Olympian Drive expansion:

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY BOARD MEMBERS

URBANA CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

CHAMPAIGN CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVES

Ask them to say NO to Olympian Drive.

Tell them that:

  • The Olympian Drive is unnecessary sprawl plenty of other development options exist. Quick-take is an unacceptable use of force for this project.
  • All economic development isn’t concrete and smokestacks. Farmers pump millions into our economy each year, enriching our communities.
  • You do not support this project and want the $30 million spent on education, families, job retention, and existing infrastructure.
Feb 052010
 

An Alert From Preservation Action

In a major blow to our nation’s federal historic preservation program, the President’s budget, released on Monday of this week, requested the elimination of both the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) and Preserve America (PA) programs – representing a $25 million cut to the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). An Action Alert can be viewed here.

In the termination language that accompanied the budget, it was stated that the “SAT and PA programs have not demonstrated how they contribute to nationwide historic preservation goals.” Further, it was suggested that elimination of these programs would enable the National Park Service to “focus resources on managing national parks and other activities that most closely align with its core mission.”

Funding for Heritage Areas was also cut by $9 million. Once again, the White House justified this cut by citing the need for the National Park Service to focus on “national parks and lack of management,” which further suggests that the Administration believes the management of cultural resources is not in line with the NPS’s core mission.

At the same time the President severely cut historic preservation programs, he increased the funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to $620 million, and stated his intention to seek full funding (at $900 million) by 2014. The LWCF and HPF, considered “sister funds,” both receive their annual deposits from outer-continental shelf oil and gas drilling leases. Unlike the HPF, which funds a variety of programs that focus on cultural resources, the LWCF’s primary purpose is to acquire land and provide for park maintenance.

The preference the administration is showing towards natural resources versus cultural resources, rather than a comprehensive approach which reflects the complete mission of the National Park Service is cause for concern.

In the coming weeks, it is essential that you contact your members of congress to let them know that cultural resources and natural resources are of equal importance. With the administration’s current focus on job creation and economic development, it will be critical to our effort to link historic preservation to these important goals.

Senator Dick Durbin (D)
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2152 (202) 224-2152
Fax: (202) 228-0400

Website: http://durbin.senate.gov/
Contact Form: http://durbin.senate.gov/sitepages/contact.htm

Senator Roland Burris (D)
523 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2854 (202) 224-2854
Fax: (202) 228-5417

Website: http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/senators/one_item_and_teasers/burris.htm
Contact Form: Email: Senator_RolandBurris@Burris.Senate.Gov

Congressman Tim Johnson (R)
U.S. House of Representatives – 15th District
1229 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2371 (202) 225-2371
Fax: (202) 226-0791

2004 Fox Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 403-4690 (217) 403-4690
Fax: (217) 403-4691

Website: http://www.house.gov/timjohnson/
Contact Form: http://www.house.gov/timjohnson/contact/index.shtml

February 5th, 2010

Mar 282009
 

On Wednesday, March 11, the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois announced that the historic Mumford House, the oldest building on the UIUC campus, would not be relocated. Instead, the house will be rehabilitated on its original, South Quad site.

The Mumford House

The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois discussed the proposed relocation of the Mumford House at the regular Board meeting. The Board heard comments from Jim Peters (President, Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois) and Karen Kummer (Executive Director, Preservation and Conservation Association of Champaign County). The Board will prepare a resolution to restore the Mumford House on site for vote at their next meeting in May. LPCI offered support with the preservation effort through pro bono architects and engineers. PACA thanks all who wrote letters of support for the Mumford House.

A copy of the UIUC news release can be found here. An article appeared in the News-Gazette on March 11, 2009 and on Vince Michael’s blog.

Jan 112009
 

The oldest building on campus, the historic Mumford House, is threatened. The University of Illinois is seriously considering moving this historic building from its original site on the South Quad off campus to the corner of South Race and West Windsor streets in Urbana. This action will seriously impact the historic integrity of the building and its association with the founding of the University of Illinois.

Mumford House was built in 1870, just three years after the Illinois Industrial University was founded. It is the oldest building on campus and a rare survivor from the College of Agriculture’s original “Experimental” South Farms, which were located on the South Quad. The National Historic Landmark Morrow Plots are just a small vestige of the former research fields located here. The house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed under the direction of Regent Milton Gregory as a “Model Farmhouse” to inspire quality and efficient housing for Illinois farmers. The house was first occupied by Professor Jonathan Burrill (nationally famous plant pathologist, state horticulturalist, and Acting Regent) and later by three College of Agriculture deans: George Morrow, Eugene Davenport, and Herbert Mumford. In the 1940s, the house was converted to office use and used by the Small Homes Council, the School of Architecture, and by Art History faculty. Since the mid-1990s, the house has been vacant, with little maintenance, although it is still structurally sound.

This historic house has been threatened with demolition before. In the 1990s, there was a plan to raze the building as part of the construction of the Temple Buell Architecture Building. After preservationists protested, that proposal was dropped, and instead, the Buell building was sited further west.

This time the University proposes to move the house to an, as yet, non-existent Agricultural Interpretative Center, which will be located off of the main campus at the far east edge of the current South Farms. With this move, the historic integrity of the house and its site’s close association with the founding of the University and the original College of Agriculture will be lost forever. Instead, the house will be located on busy Windsor Road (scheduled for widening in the near future) and sited toward the proposed commercial redevelopment of Orchard Downs.

A Public Meeting on this proposed moved will be held Thursday, January 22, 2009 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Heritage Room of the College of ACES Library, 1101 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana (south of Turner Hall) for the purpose of receiving testimony on the proposed relocation. This meeting is being held pursuant to Public Law 86-707, Illinois Historic Resources Preservation Act, that requires consultation between state agencies and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) when state-funded projects affect historic resources. Representatives from IHPA will be in attendance at the meeting to take public comment about the proposed move.

PACA is urging its members to attend the meeting and give testimony (limited to three minutes) and/or send a written statement to: Pres. B. Joseph White, University of Illinois, 506 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL, 61801 with copies to Melvin Skvarla, 1501 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820 and Anne Haaker, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 1 Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield, IL 62701. ( bjwhite@uillinois.edu; mskvarla@uillinois.edu; Anne.Haaker@Illinois.gov )

This building is our oldest connection to why the University is here. It is a tangible part of the University’s history. We need to be keepers of this history, to show that we value the connection, and to make the effort to preserve Mumford House in its historic place.

Jan 052009
 

Preservation Alert!

The oldest building on campus, the historic Mumford House, is threatened.The University of Illinois is seriously considering moving this historic building from its original site on the South Quad off campus to the corner of South Race and West Windsor streets in Urbana. This action will seriously impact the historic integrity of the building and its association with the founding of the University of Illinois.

Mumford House was built in 1870, just three years after the Illinois Industrial University was founded.It is the oldest building on campus and a rare survivor from the College of Agriculture’s original “Experimental” South Farms, which were located on the South Quad.The National Historic Landmark Morrow Plots are just a small vestige of the former research fields located here.The house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed under the direction of Regent Milton Gregory as a “Model Farmhouse” to inspire quality and efficient housing for Illinois farmers.The house was first occupied by Professor Jonathan Burrill (nationally famous plant pathologist, state horticulturalist, and Acting Regent) and later by three College of Agriculture deans:George Morrow, Eugene Davenport, and Herbert Mumford.In the 1940s, the house was converted to office use and used by the Small Homes Council, the School of Architecture, and by Art History faculty.Since the mid-1990s, the house has been vacant, with little maintenance, although it is still structurally sound.

This historic house has been threatened with demolition before.In the 1990s, there was a plan to raze the building as part of the construction of the Temple Buell Architecture Building.After preservationists protested, that proposal was dropped, and instead, the Buell building was sited further west.

This time the University proposes to move the house to an, as yet, non-existent Agricultural Interpretative Center, which will be located off of the main campus at the far east edge of the current South Farms.With this move, the historic integrity of the house and its site’s close association with the founding of the University and the original College of Agriculture will be lost forever.Instead, the house will be located on busy Windsor Road (scheduled for widening in the near future) and sited toward the proposed commercial redevelopment of Orchard Downs.

A Public Meeting on this proposed moved will be held Thursday, January 22, 2009 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Heritage Room of the College of ACES Library, 1101 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana (south of Turner Hall) for the purpose of receiving testimony on the proposed relocation.This meeting is being held pursuant to Public Law 86-707, Illinois Historic Resources Preservation Act, that requires consultation between state agencies and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) when state-funded projects affect historic resources.Representatives from IHPA will be in attendance at the meeting to take public comment about the proposed move.

PACA is urging its members to attend the meeting and give testimony (limited to three minutes) and/or send a written statement to: Pres. B. Joseph White, University of Illinois, 506 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL, 61801 with copies to Melvin Skvarla, 1501 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820 and Anne Haaker, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 1 Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield, IL 62701.(bjwhite@uillinois.edu; mskvarla@uillinois.edu; Anne.Haaker@Illinois.gov.)

This building is our oldest connection to why the University is here. It is a tangible part of the University’s history.We need to be keepers of this history, to show that we value the connection, and to make the effort to preserve Mumford House in its historic place.