Originally Posted Online: Feb. 08, 2013, 7:56 pm
Last Updated: Feb. 08, 2013, 11:03 pm
National historic register will list Sheffield village hall
Comment on this story
The Sheffield Village Hall has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1910, it is the only municipal building designed by architect George Franklin Barber best known for his residential homes and mansions.
The Sheffield Village Hall has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
On Friday, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency announced four buildings had been added to the national list: the Classic Revival-styled village hall at 239 S. Main St., Sheffield, and three Chicago structures.
The two-story village hall was designed in 1910 by George F. Barber, a DeKalb architect who moved his base to Knoxville, Tenn., in 1888. He used mail-order catalogs to market his residential designs worldwide, with his plans used for houses in every state and as far away as Japan and the Philippines. Approximately 50 of his houses are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Sheffield Village Hall, however, is the only documented municipal building designed by Mr. Barber.
"We've worked on it (the designation) for four to five years," said Mary Ann Cernovich, who spearheaded efforts to have the hall listed in the register. "We were really excited, and affirmed, that others thought it was important, too."
In 1909, Sheffield officials decided the western Bureau County village had outgrown its original hall built in 1887 and appropriated $8,000 for a new one.
The Barber-designed building -- which included a jail and a fire department -- was completed in December 1910 for $10,154 using red bricks made at the Sheffield Shale and Product Co. Two years later, Sheffield's telephone exchange was added to the hall's occupants.
"Despite minor changes, the village hall retains nearly all character-defining elements including spatial configuration, materials and finishes," according to its register application. "The original conditions are verified by surviving blueprints and specifications."
The village hall is the second structure on the register from Sheffield, a town of about 900 people 40 miles east of the Quad-Cities. The 1880 St. Peter's Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church -- the first Danish Lutheran Church built in the U.S. -- was listed in 1973.
Illinois' other register additions announced Friday were the 1920 Neuville apartment building in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, thePolish Roman Catholic Union of America Building and the Vesta Accumulator Co. Building.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.