Photo By Dean Olsen
Horace Mann plans to tear down the buildings at 622 E. Washington St. (left) and 618 E. Washington to create green space and parking. The city council awarded $600,000 in TIF funds for the project prior to learning both buildings are part of the Central Springfield National Register Historic District. The city’s Historic Sites Commission declined a March 6 request from the Downtown Springfield Heritage Foundation to take a stand opposing demolition. A March 7 council vote for reconsideration failed.


While I don't want to point fingers, there has been a lack of communication and connectivity between all parties ("Attempted rescue," March 6). That is the reason why the Historic Sites Commission didn't take any action on Monday, March 6. Nobody enjoys being blindsided at the 11th hour.

Bob Immel

Member, Historic Sites Commission


No guts, no glory, for the Historic Sites Commission. Pathetic lack of leadership. The longstanding members should resign.

Joe McMenamin

Alderman, Ward 7


If people have not noticed yet, there are no businesses that wish to locate to a ghost town. Stop saving every building downtown by thinking of the past. Start taking action for the future to change the downtown by giving opportunity. Clean up the downtown; get rid of the old guard on all councils and boards for Sangamon County and Springfield.

There is a reason why myself and so many others have left Sangamon County, let alone Illinois. It was not for taxes and bad weather.

Greg Zoll



This just feels wrong ("No demolition delay," March 9). It doesn't fit the definition of TIF funding and makes it appear the city is in cahoots with Horace Mann. What do we really get in return for the tax loss? And doesn't their taxable rate as owners decrease immediately after leveling it anyway? Show me the precedence on this.

Aaron Graves



How is it that buildings in the downtown fall into long-term disuse with leaking roofs that cause structures to collapse? Well, I would venture to guess the owners do not keep up on the properties. If you pay your taxes and the buildings are vacant, and there are no complaints, how would the city or anyone know what is going on with the building?

Obviously, the reconsideration vote swayed just one alderperson (Erin Conley, Ward 6). The alderperson for Ward 5, Lakeisha Purchase, voted once again in favor of the teardown. I give credit to the mayor for allowing the opponents to speak in hopes that would sway the proponents. There is still hope. Maybe the mayor will veto the ordinance.

Chris Long



The Ferguson building at Sixth and Monroe streets, currently one of the tallest open-windowed bird cages in Illinois, should certainly deserve some attention from our after-the-fact Springfield historic preservationists.

Ron Howell


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