Downtown District Listed on Historic Register
February 12, 2019

Downtown District Listed on Historic Register

The City of Rochelle is pleased to announce that Rochelle has been included in the National Register of Historic Places. 

“Rochelle’s Historic District exemplifies the beauty in the history of our community,” said Community Development Director Michelle Pease.  “Focusing on pre-1968 government and commercial buildings, the Historic District brings the opportunity to enhance the architecture that we already enjoy in Rochelle.”

In 2018, the City has engaged the Ramsey Historic Consultants firm to prepare a National Register Nomination for Rochelle’s Downtown Historic District. The tasks included in the project are as follows: coordinate with the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office and the City of Rochelle to establish district boundaries and project schedule, preliminary research, field survey and photography, additional research and preparation of draft nomination, submission of final nomination, public meetings and presentation to the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council.

“The City of Rochelle is committed to offering our local businesses and property owners every opportunity to succeed. Access to the benefits and tools to enhance these historic properties is just one way we can do that,” said City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.

Historic Districts act as a way of maintaining the history and telling the story of the community while providing access to a key financing tools including a 20% historic tax credit. These financing tools act as the key for struggling downtowns where property values sometimes do not justify the cost to improve these buildings. The tax credit acts as the gap filler and makes a project less risky for a bank and therefore more attractive for investment. To access the credit, the redevelopment projects must meet the Standards for Rehabilitation, which ensures a development product that honors the architecture and history of the building. Should a building owner not wish to utilize historic tax credits, they have the liberty to make changes to the building however they please; they are not constricted by the designation as a National Register Historic District.