From Landmarks Illinois
Wednesday, April 6, 2011, Springfield, Ill.â€”The Belleville Turner Hall, 15 N. First St. in Belleville (St. Clair County), was named to Landmarks Illinois’ annual “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places” list, which was announced today at a press conference in the State Capitol.
“At the time of its construction, this was one of the largest private gyms in the U.S.,” said Jim Peters, President of Landmarks Illinois. “We hope that the publicity generated by this “10 Most” listing will spark a new use for this important building.”
Landmarks Illinois, the state’s leading voice for historic preservation, listed nine other endangered historic properties on its annual list which focuses attention on sites throughout Illinois threatened by deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funds, or inappropriate development.
The Belleville Turner Hall, with Art Deco and Gothic ornamentation, was constructed by the German community in 1923-24 as a social and civic center. Its primary purpose was a venue for physical fitness and educational programs for the community. Owned by the City of Belleville since 2006 and vacant, the building is in need of a new use and immediate repairs. A grassroots organization has offered to raise funds for repairs and to develop a plan for converting the building into a visual and performing arts center, but the City has not expressed interest.
More information at www.landmarks.org.