PACA Heritage Awards 2022
"Urbana was founded in the 1830’s. Major developments in the city took place from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. The buildings in Downtown, like opera houses, hotels, banks and saloons reflected the development of the area as county capital.
With its oldest structures dating back to the 1870’s the downtown area is comprised of a great and interesting variety architecturalstyles and types including Italianate, Romanesque Revival, Classical Revival, and Tudor Revival. Ten buildings in the district were designed by the city’s most important architect Joseph Royer.
Downtown Urbana Historic District was added to National Register of Historic Places in 2019. This national program coordinates and supports public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. The listing covers 7 city blocks and 41 properties: Three of these are also locally-designated landmarks: including the Urbana-Lincoln Hotel, which was recently purchased with renovation planning underway, as well as Busey’s Hall and Tiernan’s Block
The nomination was made possible through the hard work of the city planning division and HPC chair Alice Novak and her Historic Preservation planning class which wrote the nomination application. Efforts to capitalize on the district for public engagement include creating a tour using Pocketsight online platform which allows people to tour the site on their own in person or virtually.
Being included on the NRHP is a formal acknowledgement of the importance of downtown Urbana and provides better protection for these important places. It is an impetus for the preservation and redevelopment in the area that helps secure the character and beauty of the place for future generations. Congratulations on your Heritage Award 2022!" --- Geoffrey Haider-Badenhorst, Vice President, PACA, at the PACA Heritage Awards 2022 for Urbana efforts of Downtown Urbana Historic District.
Pictured above:Joe Zalabak, PACA Presenter; Marcus Ricci, Urbana Planner; Alice Novak, HPC Chair and Dan Maloney, owner of the Cohen Building.