Bicentennial Plaza – A REALTOR® Community Partnership
Work has begun on an ambitious plan to transform a parking lot into a plaza which will showcase Springfield’s history and ties to Abraham Lincoln.
Bicentennial Plaza – A REALTOR® Community Partnership is a $2 million investment in the city’s downtown which will help realize a long-held vision of a pedestrian walkway linking the Abraham Lincoln Home Historic Site with the Illinois Executive Mansion and state Capitol. The plaza is being built on land owned by Illinois REALTORS®.
“Illinois REALTORS® wanted to do something significant to celebrate the state that has provided so much to our members and those who rely on them,” said the association’s 2018 president, Matt Difanis. “Since our headquarters is located in the heart of Springfield’s historic district, our members felt it was important to play a supporting role in the bicentennial celebration.”
Bicentennial Plaza is being built in part with $1 million provided by the city of Springfield. In addition to donating use of its land, Illinois REALTORS® and other private partners are providing the balance of the funds necessary to complete the project.
Lincoln’s vision reflected in design
Bicentennial Plaza is dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln’s vision for America as a country with opportunity and equality for all. Located between Fifth and Sixth streets, just north of Illinois REALTORS®’ headquarters, the area around Bicentennial Plaza has sites linked to Abraham Lincoln, who historians say would have often used the Jackson Street Corridor while he lived in Springfield.
The plaza will have more than a dozen interpretive panels showcasing the people who lived and worked in Springfield and who advanced his vision. Also included will be a marker commemorating the federal Fair Housing Act which guaranteed housing opportunity for all. Learn how you can be a part of this history by adding your name to the plaza’s walkway.
The Illinois Bicentennial Commission identified Bicentennial Plaza as a “Signature Project” of the yearlong celebration.
Working with heart statewide
Check out the bicentennial legacy projects selected by our 29 local REALTOR® associations. Some are fundraising for local historic home repairs or “wishlists,” others are funding historical murals for their community or promoting historic properties and historical societies.