News from the Morrison Historic Preservation Commission
The Morrison Historic Preservation Commission, an agency of the City of Morrison, has announced that it has begun the effort to make application for an appropriate section of the community’s downtown to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The National Register (as it is more commonly known) is managed by the National Park Service and is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Beyond mere “recognition,” such a designation carries with it many tangible and potential benefits. From increased commercial traffic born of being able to market the newly recognized ambiance of Morrison’s downtown to encouraging the maintenance of our community’s core to discouraging outside interests from placing “big boxes” on the city’s perimeter that draw the life blood out of a Main Street to tax credits for qualifying improvements, this initiative promises nothing but good things down the road for local merchants and, accordingly, for all of our citizenry.
Contrary to tales otherwise, merely being within a National Register Historic District does not bring any rules or restrictions with it, so there is no “down side” to this fantastic opportunity. In other words, “property rights” will not be impaired in any fashion whatsoever, and the financial benefits can be significant.
The first step was to engage the services of a professional with the expertise to guide the Commission through the application process. Because Morrison is a Certified Local Government (CLG- a municipality that has an acceptable local historic preservation ordinance in place), the Commission was able to apply for one of its grants to fund the consultant’s fee. Through the generosity of the grant review manager, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA), Morrison has proudly accepted its selection as one of this year’s recipients. As the grant provisions required a 30% local “match,” the five-member MHPC and other interested parties are each donating their time and effort in volunteer hours to make up the required $6000.
Mr. Darius Bryjka of In(Alliance), a nationally recognized expert in these matters, has been hired as the project’s specialist. In consultation with the MHPC and the IHPA, Mr. Bryjka’s first task is to suggest the boundaries of the proposed district. He will also be hosting public informational sessions to help public understanding and to answer any questions.