Antioch Gets a Facelift

Downtown Antioch is getting a new streetscape with new lighting, landscaping and wayfinding signage as well as public space improvements

68

The Village is excited to be working with the nationally recognized, Lakota Group, on a new “Downtown Beautification Plan” for Downtown Antioch. Lakota was hired by the Village Board in early 2021 to come up with a series of proposals to improve the physical appearance of Downtown Antioch, including a new streetscape, lighting, landscaping, and wayfinding signage. The Village Board has also identified several areas for new public space improvements, including the property at the southeast corner of Main and Depot, Toft Street, and the underutilized alleys that dot the Downtown.

With the recent purchase of the vacant property at the intersection of Main and Depot Street, the Village Board envisions the creation of a new public gathering space for the residents of the Village. Over the past number of months, Lakota has been gathering the opinions of the residents on what they envision for these public spaces. Ideas for the property have ranged from restoring the natural creek that once flowed through, to creating a new gathering space for public events. Over the next several months, Lakota will be working on concepts and drawings on various placemaking ideas of how these public spaces can be improved.

The Village recognizes the importance of great placemaking and building off the existing charm of Downtown Antioch. Many of the concepts that will be proposed will be displayed at the Fall Wine Walk on September 25th, 2021. Lakota and the Village will be hosting a tent for the public to drop by and look at some of ideas related to this beautification project, so, please make some time and stop by the booth at the corner of Toft and Lake.

The Village of Antioch has started a new chapter in historic preservation with five community members being appointed to the Village’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). Ainsley Wonderling was appointed as the chairperson, along with Kacey Stevens, Kelly Nawrocki, David Cornes, AIA, and Margaret Cole. Working along with resident and property owners who have an interest in preserving the historic fabric of the Village, the HPC hopes to start the process of surveying the Village’s historic stock of buildings. Many of the historic buildings along Main Street and residential streets around the Downtown have defined the character of Antioch for generations but have lacked any form of protection. The goal of the Historic Preservation Commission is to work with property owners in landmarking and preserving their buildings for future generations.

Along with the extensive investment that the Village has made in its successful “Façade program” which encourages building owners to restore their buildings, landmarking buildings can have tax benefits, and the commission wants to educate the public on the financial benefits that landmarking your building can have. In addition, the commission is looking for information on the history of the numerous historic buildings scattered throughout the Village, including the families that lived there, the businesses that once occupied the space, along with historic photographs.

With the great work that the “Lakes Region Historical Society” has been doing for many years, the Antioch Historic Preservation Commission, for the first time will have the power under the Antioch Historic Preservation Ordinance to work with willing property owners who would like to landmark their buildings. The hope of the committee is to landmark several important buildings over the next number of years and start a new tradition of preserving the very best of Antioch.

For any questions on the Historic Preservation Committee or the Historic Preservation Commission, please contact Michael Garrigan, AICP< CNU-A, Community Development Director at (847) 395-9422.