Area around McDonough County Courthouse makes National Register

City leaders and historic preservationists

in Macomb say they're pleased with the latest designation to the National Register of Historic Places.

The latest addition is around the McDonough County Courthouse.

Mayor Mike Inman said the city began working to get the historic register designation back in 2008. Since then, the city has created a historic preservation commission, has been recognized by the state, and now has received approval from the U-S Department of Interior. Inman said the city will capitalize on this.

"Well, you know, the idea that we can claim to be a historic downtown, we think that it's a calling card for the community, it's a branding of sorts for the downtown and we think it's a positive. We think at the end of the day, does it set us apart, we think so," Inman said.

The designated area sits around the McDonough County Courthouse. It's bordered by Campbell, Washington and McArthur Streets, and the railroad tracks on the north side. The chairman of the Macomb Historic Preservation Commission said volunteer have spent hours working on this project.

"This was a long process, we had consultants that helped us.The city staff also helped in this process. It was the feeling of the commission and the direction of the city council that we would like to do something about the square," Dennis Danowski said.

The mayor also said once a city is listed on the National Register, it's there permanently. It gives communities and property owners access to grants and other resources to continue promoting and preserving their part of history.

Three properties in Macomb already were listed on National Register of Historic Places - the Bailey House, the old LaMoine Hotel and the McDonough County Courthouse.