The Preservation Services Division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency is home to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for Illinois. Each state and territory has a SHPO, an office authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The SHPO is charged with administering federal and state preservation programs and laws, including: overseeing the nomination of sites to the National Register of Historic Places; conducting surveys of historic and archaeological resources; reviewing federal and state undertakings (such as road projects) for their impact on cultural resources; working with local governments in developing local historic preservation programs in preparation for designation as Certified Local Governments; administering rehabilitation tax incentives for qualified historic buildings; providing Main Street design services; and providing education, training, and technical assistance to the public in historic preservation matters.

IHPA has created a free screensaver that features contemporary images of historic places in Illinois. These colorful images showcase a variety of historic places, buildings, landscapes from across the state.  The collection features state-owned historic sites such as the Dana-Thomas House and the Ft. des Chartres as well as urban high rises and Illinois Main Streets.  Let these images turn your computer into a tour of Illinois' best.

Illinois Historic Places Screensaver

(Windows only)


Why Preserve?

It is reasonable to ask, "Why preserve?" when faced with the decision of what to do with an older property. The thought of starting fresh when faced with the problems of an older home or building is attractive in our modern society. The downside of this tendency, however, is that we lose part of our history every time we raze an old building. Without the old structures, cities take on a different character; neighborhoods lose their identity; we more easily forget those who went before us. Each time an old building is torn down, one of our cultural roots let go.

When we preserve and restore our historic resources-buildings, sites, structures, objects, and landscapes-we gain a lot:

We maintain our community's appearance and character, which gives it an identity and a personality all its own.

We give our children a glimpse of the architecture of their forefathers and mothers.

We save the artistic workmanship so evident in older structures.

We "recycle" structures into other uses: how many other purposes can you think of for old train stations?