Landmarks ILL

Landmarks Illinois announces Ten Most Endangered Historic Places for 2013: Includes Madison Theater in Peoria.

Landmarks ILLTen Most Endangered Historic Places for 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, Springfield, Ill. — A list of the state’s Ten Most Endangered Historic Places was announced today at a press conference in Springfield.

Now in its 18th year, this statewide list calls attention to threatened historic resources in need of assistance in the form of responsible stewardship, creative reuse plans, and/or advances in public policy. The slow economic recovery, municipal deficits and a lack of available financing continue to challenge historic sites throughout Illinois.

“The sites named to the list are all exceptionally important to not only local residents, but the local economy,” said Bonnie McDonald, President of Landmarks Illinois. “By calling attention  to the potential for their reuse and revitalization, we are encouraging job creation and economic development across Illinois – something everyone can support.”

The properties on this year’s list are: a large wood-frame former resort hotel, a grouping of Chicago bascule bridges, a former home for African-American orphans, a handsome 1880s former hotel, the home of the legendary Blues icon Muddy Waters, two community mausoleums, a rare preCivil War Era North Shore mansion, an 1869 settler’s home in the west suburbs, a local miners
union meeting hall and Peoria’s last great movie palace.

Since the inception of Landmarks Illinois’ Ten Most list in 1995, more than a third of the  listed properties have been saved, less than a quarter have been demolished, and the rest are in  varying stages between being continually threatened and rehabilitation.

(Click here to read the entire press release.)


Photo credit: Marvin Forssander-Baird

The Madison Theater makes statewide endangered list
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Springfield, Ill.—The Madison Theater, 500 Main St., Peoria (Peoria County), has been named to Landmarks Illinois’ annual Ten Most Endangered Historic Places list, which was announced today at a press conference in Springfield.

“This is the last great movie palace in Peoria” said Bonnie McDonald, President of Landmarks Illinois. “Its reopening would be a great economic boost for downtown Peoria.” Landmarks Illinois, the state’s leading voice for historic preservation, named seven  other endangered historic properties as well as two thematic groupings to its annual list  which focuses attention on sites that are threatened by deterioration, lack of maintenance,  insufficient funds, or inappropriate development. The magnificent Madison Theater (1922) anchors a key block in Peoria’s downtown.

Designed by Frederic J. Klein, architect of several other major theaters around the state, the  Madison has been vacant and deteriorating for almost ten years. With the historic Pere Marquette Hotel undergoing rehabilitation just across the street, saving the theater will help  to focus continued economic development downtown and draw tourism dollars to its local businesses. The owner claims it is “beyond repair” and seeks its demolition. A newlyappointed Downtown Advisory Commission and the City can work to identify a new, vibrant use for this architectural gem that will help the owner enhance the downtown for residents, business owners, and hotel patrons.

(Read the entire press release about the Madison Theater here.)


  1. The view we see are the fire exits from the lobby. Entrance is on far left with Pere Marquette Hotel across street. Was a Great-States (Paramount) house. I worked there part time while at Bradley University.
    Don Bohatka, Director, THSA

  2. The original entrance and lobby have been turned into a bar. The view we see is now the entrance to the theater.

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