SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Federal money will pay for restoration work at Abraham Lincoln’s law office in Springfield.
The site’s exterior has visible deterioration and the $166,000 grant will fund facade work, window repairs and new doors, among other improvements, according to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
The Lincoln Herndon Law Offices closed after Labor Day 2014 for what was expected to be a $1.1 million restoration, including the re-creation of a Tinsley Dry Goods store on the bottom floor. The project was one of dozens statewide that were stalled by the lack of a state budget.
Justin Blandford, superintendent of Springfield historic sites for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, said the grant will at least pay for repairs that would be required to reopen the site.
“This is the highest priority work for that particular site right now,” Blandford told The State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/2dmAZhz ). “There’s been very visible deterioration on the exterior. It gives us an opportunity to do some high-profile work. It’s an incremental step.”
The rest of the overall restoration project depends on approval of a state capital bill.
“It’s a toehold in that direction,” Blandford said.
The agency’s project reviewer, Darius Bryjka, said a variety of historic sources were used as the basis for the restoration design because there weren’t any existing photos from the era.
“There was an advertisement for the S.M. Tinsley Building, a woodcut that was published in the late 1840s,” Bryjka said. “In the woodcut, it showed the signs that were painted on the building. That’s the primary evidence that we have.”
Artist Troy Freeman of Free Sky Studios began work Tuesday on the upper-story lettering.
“We’re putting the icing on the cake,” Freeman said. “We identified the correct fonts for the period, and used the woodcut and other materials. We worked on the spacing with the architect and Historic Preservation. We’ll put some chalk lines up there to make sure it’s all done correctly.”
Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com