National Register Historic District
DOWNTOWN MURPHYSBORO LISTED AS NATIONAL REGISTER HISTORIC DISTRICT
The Murphysboro Downtown Historic District was designated by the National Park Service as a National Register of Historic Places historic district in December of 2022. Centered on Walnut St. or Highway 149 from proximately 9th Street to 15th Street, the district currently includes sixty-five buildings. The buildings range in age from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century and include examples of Romanesque, Italianate, Victorian, Tapestry Brick and mid-century Modern architecture. The late architect R. Z. Gill was instrumental in the design and completion of many buildings within the district. Murphysboro’s Downtown Historic District was designated due to its long history as a center of commercial activity and as a transportation hub, along with its notable architecture.
Work to complete the National Register of Historic Places historic district nomination form was performed by Southern Illinois Historic Preservation of Murphysboro, Illinois, over the past two years. The need for a Downtown Murphysboro Historic District was included in the recent Murphysboro city plan and received support from the Murphysboro Historic Preservation Commission.
Murphysboro Main Street, Inc. acknowledged this need by supporting and funding the project.
Both federal and state tax credits are available to commercial property owners in the district for building rehabilitation/re-use once they receive a certified historic structure designation from the National Park Service. Property owners interested in obtaining a certified historic structure designation for their commercial property can contact Southern Illinois Historic Preservation.
Southern Illinois Historic Preservation
Dr. Rachel Malcolm Ensor
618 201-7435 firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Why does it stop at 15th Street? This doesn't include the GM&O Depot, 17th Street, or the old Blankenship building, which was restored and is now Faye's.
A: The National Register Historic District nomination process is conducted in two phases with Springfield's Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA). The first phase involves a survey of existing buildings/structures that may potentially be included in the district and requesting permission to apply for a National Register district formally. After completing our Phase I survey, we submitted our recommendations to IHPA for their review. Our phase I recommendations did include the old M&O Depot, Faye’s, and Grob buildings. They reduced the size of the district, which unfortunately does not include those buildings. Once IHPA set the boundary, we conducted an intensive historical, archival, and architectural study of buildings within the proposed boundary to support the National Register nomination. The Murphysboro Downtown National Register Historic District is a commercial historic district focusing on the courthouse square and downtown area. On a side note, the Old M&O Depot is already listed in the NRHP.
Q: Between 16th & 17th Street, two blocks south of Walnut St, is the Logan Museum. Why wasn't it included?
A: The Logan Museum and property are located within the local Logan Historic District and are not on Main St., nor within a block north or south, and are not commercial property. They, therefore, did not fit the criteria for inclusion.
Q: Why are churches not included?
A: The churches also did not meet the criteria since the district is a commercial historic district.
Q: What does this mean for me as a business owner?
A: For Enterprises Zone and TIF questions, contact the City of Murphysboro. Your local CPA might also be able to help. For renovation questions (as they pertain to historical guidelines), contact Dr. Ensor.
Q: I own a building in the Historic District. What does that mean if I want to do renovations to my building?
A: Since building alterations (new roof etc.) may require a building permit under the city code, contact Charlie Eisert at the Murphysboro code office to see if a permit is required before starting work. Generally speaking, the code office and Murphysboro Historic Preservation Commission are mainly concerned about exterior building changes, not so much with interior modifications. Potential federal and state tax credits are available if their building is designated as a “certified historic structure” by the National Park Service. Southern Illinois Historic Preservation offers professional guidance regarding the appropriate items tax creditworthy to building owners.
John A. Logan Historical District
The John A. Logan Historic District was established after it was recognized by the Murphysboro Historic Preservation Commission on September 11, 2012. This local landmark historic district is bound by Edith Street on the north to South 15th Street, to Stecher Street, to South 17th Street, and is home to the General John A. Logan Museum, Bullar House, Jackson County Historical Society, Shelley House, Essick House, Horsfield Print Shop, Limbert Cottage, Hughes House, Pat's Praire, Dalton House, and the General's Birthplace Site.
The Logan Historic Arts Neighborhood is a historic district and home to Luca Cruzat’s Art Studio, RME Art Studio & Gallery, Molly Groom Alter Metalsmith Studio, Darby Ortolano Ceramics, Murphysboro School of Art, the Burton Barn, General John a Logan Museum and Oak Street Art. Many art and history events occur within the area monthly such as Logan Days, the Oak Street Art Fair and First Friday’s Art Walk. The Logan Historic Arts Neighborhood (LHAN) is a group that encompasses the district but also artists living and working in the area. It is part of an effort to imbue the neighborhood with the arts, history, music, and theater. It is an "umbrella" that brings together artists, the museum and the historic district coordinating events to benefit all, placemaking an art area and supporting the creative people, events and organizations in this section of town.
Oak Street Art
Oak Street Art is a group of women artists formed from a group that did seasonal trunk shows together in the past. After a decision to have a street art fair years ago, the Oak Street Art Fair was born, hence the Oak Street Art Group.