Prestigious Elgin Mayor's Awards For Preservation To Be Presented Sept. 1

Prestigious Elgin Mayor’s Awards For Preservation To Be Presented Sept. 1

The Elgin Heritage Commission will honor outstanding contributors to Elgin’s heritage at the prestigious Mayor’s Awards Ceremony held at the Historic (former) Ackemann Department Store.

The event will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 1, on the third floor, now known as The Highland Loft Event Venue, 168 E. Highland Ave.

Due to Restore Illinois Phase 4 restrictions, this event will be closed to the public and is invitation only. The ceremony will, however, be streamed live on the City of Elgin Facebook page beginning at 7 p.m.

Given annually by the mayor, upon recommendation of the Elgin Heritage Commission, the Mayor’s Awards recognize those who have preserved and promoted the heritage of Elgin. Mayor David Kaptain will present 10 recipients with preservation awards this year.

Nominated by their peers, the award recipients were selected based upon their dedicated efforts to preserving Elgin’s historic architecture, neighborhoods and cultural resources.

The Mayor’s Awards for Preservation will be presented to the following 10 recipients:

Downtown Neighborhood Association – Design Committee

For volunteering to restack, protect and catalog the 1923 Crocker Theater pieces for future use.

Elgin Math and Science Academy

For restoring and rehabbing the 1937 Art Cabin, designed by Prairie School architect, John S. Van Bergen.

Bluff City Cemetery – Common Grave Memorial Project

For installing a memorial marker at the Common Grave site for those Elgin residents who were reburied on this site from the Old Channing Cemetery in 1968. A tree and bench on this site were also installed in memory of the late Steve Stroud.

‘Education for All: Elgin High School – 150 years’ Exhibit


For creating a unique and engaging exhibit celebrating Elgin High School’s 150th anniversary.

Paul and Jean Bednar


For the sensitive exterior and interior rehabilitation of 706 Douglas Ave.

East Side Neighborhood Garden

For organizing a community garden, established in 2019, that has added tremendous value to the Elgin Historic District.

Explore Elgin Area

For promoting Elgin as an architecture destination through digital advertising highlighting Elgin’s Historic House Tour, Open Elgin, the painted ladies, the museums and Historic Elgin webpage to visitors outside the area as well as Elgin residents.

John Braese

For his leadership and heavy involvement behind the Elgin Civil War Reenactment held at the property adjacent to the Elgin Mental Health Center from 2017-2019.

Mira Wojciechowska

For her tireless support and volunteerism of Elgin’s history and community events.

Patrick Mueller and Eric Nalepka

Before and after photos.

For their sensitive rehabilitation of the exterior and interior of 14-16 S. Chapel Street.

6 Heritage Building Plaques

Six heritage building plaque will also be presented to Elgin homeowners who have researched the history and architecture of their historic homes this year. Since the program’s establishment in 1986, over 500 plaques have been presented. This year’s recipients are:

  • Tom Michalski and Annie Paczkowski, 335 N. Commonwealth Avenue
  • O’Connor-Leetz Funeral Home, 364 Division Street
  • Grant and Kristi Born, 112-114 N. Spring Street
  • Roberto Rizo, Jose Luis Rizo & Lilia Corral, 120 Tennyson Court
  • Rachel Clark and Anne Vogt, 377 Vincent Place
  • Cory and Doris Ooyen, 955 Wing Street

For more information, please contact Historic Preservation Planner Christen Sundquist at 847-931-6004 or visit

About the Heritage Commission

The Elgin Heritage Commission is a citizen’s advisory commission that promotes Elgin’s historic preservation activity through the protection, maintenance and preservation of the city’s architectural, historic and cultural resources. The Elgin Heritage Commission is composed of nine voting members appointed by the mayor with the consent of the Elgin City Council.

About Elgin

Nestled along the banks of the Fox River, Elgin, Illinois is approximately 38 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and is home to over 112,000 people. The growing city enjoys ready access to public transportation, diverse housing stock and a mix of commercial establishments.

The city’s AAA bond rating is testament to its strong financial management and solid economic environment. Many national and international businesses have taken advantage of Elgin’s close proximity to the Elgin-O’Hare Tollway and to the “Golden Corridor of Technology and Commerce” along Interstate-90. Elgin features a nationally acclaimed library system, an array of healthcare options and educational opportunities for all ages.

Residents and visitors enjoy a thriving cultural arts community, world-class parks, award-winning golf courses, historical museums and nearly 200 places of worship. This vibrant, diverse and volunteer-rich community is known for its strong history of civic engagement.

SOURCE: city of Elgin news release