The United States Department of the Interior and National Park Service made the designation on January 24th. From the press release:

A satellite view map of Downtown Champaign. The commerical district is outlined in red. 52 contributing structures are in blue, and 11 non-contributing structures are in red. Image provided by City of Champaign.Image provided by City of Champaign.

The benefits of the Historic District designation include property owner access to a 20% income tax credit for the rehabilitation of income-producing historic structures within the district, access to the National Park Service’s Technical Preservation Services, and overall increased awareness of Downtown Champaign’s history and heritage through increased educational and promotional opportunities.

Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen stated, “This designation is a wonderful recognition of the historic structures that remain a significant part of our revitalized Downtown. Additionally, it provides downtown property owners access to new funding sources as they continue to work to rehabilitate and preserve downtown’s historic buildings. We look forward to the continued and growing success of our Downtown as additional buildings in our City’s core are restored and rebuilt.”

This designation was made possible through a public/private partnership involving the City of Champaign, Mr. Nigel Morgan, Mrs. Janet Bubin, and Dr. William Youngerman who initiated the process and engaged the consulting partners (Valerie Olafson and Pam Hein of Rockford) who completed the research and application for the nomination.

Top photo from City of Champaign Facebook page.