Overview

The Historic Preservation Commission was created by the Belvidere City Council as a means of encouraging the preservation of historically and architecturally significant structures and areas of the City of Belvidere (See Chapter 58 of the Municipal Code). The Commission consists of seven members that are residents of the city or persons owning real property in the city appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. The members of the Commission are appointed on the basis of expertise, experience or interest in the areas of archaeology, architectural history, art, building construction or engineering, finance, historical and architectural preservation, law, local government, neighborhood organizing, or real estate. Members of the Commission are appointed for terms of three years.  The current members of the commission are: 

  • Becky Tobin, Chair
  • Kris Bryan, Vice-Chair
  • Anna Pivoras 
  • David Kummerow 
  • Lisa Kummerow 
  • Filitsa Platopoulos
  • Belinda Roberts 

The Commission currently meets on the Fourth Tuesday of every month at 5:30 PM in the City Council Chambers of Belvidere City Hall, 401 Whitney Boulevard, Belvidere, Illinois. 
 

Purpose

The purpose of the Belvidere Historic Preservation Commission is to oversee and to promote the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of improvements of historical interest or value for the interest of the health, prosperity, safety and welfare of the people of the city by:

  1. Providing a mechanism to identify and preserve the historical and architectural characteristics of the city that represent elements of the city's cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
  2. Promoting civic pride in the beauty and noble accomplishments of the past as represented in the city's landmarks and historic districts.
  3. Stabilizing and improving the economic vitality and value of the city's landmarks and historic areas.
  4. Protecting and enhancing the attractiveness of the city to homebuyers, visitors and shoppers, thereby supporting business, commerce and industry, and providing economic benefit to the city.
  5. Fostering and encouraging preservation and restoration of structures, areas and neighborhoods, and thereby preventing future urban blight.

 

Landmark and Historic District Designation

In order to designate any area or property as either a Landmark or a Historic District, the Commission and the City Council shall make express findings that the area or property in question meets one or more of the criteria of Section 58-61 of the Municipal Code and has integrity of design.  Any person, group of persons, corporation or association, including but not limited to the Commission may apply to the Belvidere Historic Preservation Commission for the designation of a Landmark or Historic District. Application for shall be filed with the planning department and reviewed by the Commission and by the City Council. Applications for designation of Historic Districts shall contain the names of no less than 51 percent of the property owners as signatories to the application.
 

Belvidere’s Local Historic Districts

The City of Belvidere has one locally designated historic district—West Hurlbut Avenue (200-400) Historic District--governed by the Historic Preservation Commission. Any changes made to the exterior of any structure within the district will require a Certificate of Appropriateness. 

  • West Hurlbut Avenue Historic District Map

 

Belvidere’s National Register Districts

The City is currently in the survey process of creating two National Register Districts in downtown Belvidere.  Please follow the links below to view the survey report and registration forms.
  
North_State_NR_Nomination.pdf
South_State_NR_Nomination.pdf

 
 

Belvidere’s Local Landmarks

Belvidere has 31 locally designated landmarks throughout the city.

Belvidere National Register Landmarks

There are four National Register Landmarks located in Belvidere:

  • Belvidere High School, First Street and Pearl Avenue
  • Petit Chapel, Belvidere Cemetery, 1121 North Main Street
  • Belvidere Post Office, 200 South State Street
  • Lampert Residence, 410 East Lincoln Avenue

Certificate of Appropriateness

All property owners with Landmark properties or with property located in a Historic Districts wanting to make changes to the exterior of the properties must receive approval from the Belvidere Historic Preservation Commission in the form of a Certificate of Appropriateness prior to making any changes.
 
The completed application for a Certificate of Appropriateness shall be submitted to the planning department with supporting documents (photographs, drawings, sample materials) of the current conditions and the proposed changes by the Third Tuesday of the month.

 
 

Survey

As a participant in the Certified Local Government program, a goal is established to inventory all the structures in the city that are older than 50 years old, by professionals meeting the 36 CFR Part 61 requirements for the IHPA. The Commission will seek ongoing federal and state assistance in sharing in the costs when available. The purpose of the survey is to identify and document historic resources to help make well-informed decisions regarding the community’s historic resources; to identify properties or areas that qualify for landmark designation; to identify properties that are threatened or in deteriorating condition; to help provide information to educate the community of the significance and the value of the historic resources; and to provide a written history of the community’s assets for generations to come.
 
The entire priority area for intensive survey is the ten blocks north of the Kishwaukee River; the six blocks east and west of State Street on the north and the ten blocks south of the Kishwaukee River and the five blocks west of State Street; and six blocks south of the Kishwaukee River and the six blocks east of State Street. The north portion of the survey area contains approximately 375 acres with around 1093 sites; the south area is approximately 264 acres with 793 sites. It is estimated that the entire identified survey area will take fifteen to twenty years to complete. 
 
In January, 2012 a historic resource survey was conducted by Nick Dorochoff of Dorochoff Consulting LLC of areas in downtown Belvidere along North and South State Street. Approximately 160 buildings, sites and structures were surveyed and documented as a part of the Downtown Belvidere Revitalization Strategy.  

Historic Resources Survey Report 01.pdf
Historic Resources Survey Report 02.pdf
Historic Resources Survey Report 03.pdf
Historic Resources Survey Report 04.pdf
Historic Resources Survey Report 05.pdf
Historic Resources Survey Report 06.pdf

 
 
The phase I project, adjacent to the North State Street survey area was surveyed and documented in 2014.   The seventy-acre tract yielded 150 survey documents including monuments in Big Thunder Park. The historic context completed as part of the project highlighted the settlement patterns between the north and south survey areas. The consultants identified one National Register of Historic Places District encompassing a large portion of the survey area (112 contributing and 19 non-contributing structures), two possible local historic districts and 17 properties worthy of local historic landmark listing.

Courthouse Square Survey Results

Courthouse Square Survey 2014, part 1

Courthouse Square Survey 2014, part 2

Courthouse Square Survey 2014, part 3

Courthouse Square Survey 2014, part 4

Courthouse Square Survey Report 2014

Court Square Survey Report Phase II

  

Historic Preservation Guidelines

The Secretary of the Interior created The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. These guidelines give detailed instructions on the federal rules and regulations for any designated historic property. 
 
The Belvidere Historic Preservation Commission Guidelines follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards as listed in Section 58.93 of the Municipal Code.
 

Available Funding and Incentives

The following funding sources may be available to assist for historic properties:
 Local

  • Downtown Façade Program
  • TIF Funding

State and National

Additional Resources

State

National Organizations

Newsletters

Historic Newsletter(1)

Historic Newsletter(2)

 

Awards