Urbana plans to honor 100 most important buildings

The city of Urbana is working on a project to honor the 100 most important buildings in the community.

Rebecca Bird, city planner, said a grant from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency for about $6,000, given in February of this year, fueled this project.

The property has to be 50 years old or older and within the Urbana city limits to qualify. However, there are exceptions to the age of the building if the property is something “extraordinary” with a national significance or a unique architectural quality, she said.

She added that the city of Urbana has received 300 submissions so far from residents, “but we are no where near finished.”

The city will be teaming up with The Urbana Historic Preservation Commission on July 6 to view all the properties in a slideshow presentation and vote yes, no or maybe to refine the list of 300 buildings.

“Hopefully at the end, the list will be a good representation of all of the architectural types we have in the community,” Bird said.

When the list is released at the end of the summer or early fall, Bird said she expects it to be on the city’s website with a list of addresses, photos, and descriptions of the significance and architecture. She added that the city is hoping to create a brochure of the buildings as well for a walking or driving tour of Urbana.

“I think it’s a way for the community to celebrate its heritage,” Bird said. “For people visiting the community, it’s a way to showcase what we have.”