Project Archive

1917 Charleston Post Office

Mike and Denise Corray were the top bidders in the auction for the 1917, National Register of Historic Places eligible, Colonial Revival-style Charleston Post Office at 320 6th Street. The building was listed for sale by the USPS in March 2012 under a protective covenant with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, with the stipulation that the building could not be demolished if purchased during the covenant period. The building, located just north of the courthouse, will serve as the location for the Summit Community Pet Center. The Corrays recently closed on the property and plan to make minor renovations to the interior for its new use. In compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, much of the existing original fabric of the building will be maintained, including the spiral staircase, terrazzo floors, crown moldings, and wainscot. In an article in the January 17 issue of the Charleston Times-Courier, Mike Corray states, "To me this is a fantastic building — it's the best in historic value in Charleston. We couldn't have bought a better building."

Darius Bryjka and David Halpin of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, along with Frank Butterfield of Landmarks, Illinois and members of the Charleston Historic Preservation Commission made a site visit in January to review the Corrays' plans and to offer assistance with incentive programs should they decide to apply for them.

Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Shiloh

The site of Camp Shiloh, the 1935-37 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) encampment area located within the boundaries of Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in Pleasant Grove Township, has been the subject of invasive plant clearing by local volunteers and archaeological investigations by Fever River Research since the fall of 2011. Archaeological investigations were funded by a grant from the Lumpkin Family Foundation. Long term objectives for the cantonment area are restoration of the eastern woodlands environment, construction of walking trails and CCC-era interpretation of the site. The Lincoln-Sargent Farm Foundation is taking the lead on this project and has been assisted by numerous individual volunteers, as well as Lincoln Trails Council, Red Hawk District Boy Scout Troops and Venture Crews, the EIU graduate program in Historical Administration, and the EIU undergraduate program in Recreation Administration.

The National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Camp Shiloh site was presented to the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council in October of 2013 and then forwarded to the National Park Service for final approval. Camp Shiloh was formally listed on the National Register on 22 January 2014. The site was listed for its archaeological significance and will be the only property in the State of Illinois recognized nationally for its Civilian Conservation Corps Labor Camp context.

To learn about the Civilian Conservation Corps in Coles County, please visit

Mattoon Time Theatre

Council members Steve Thompson, Carolyn Cloyd, Earl Halbe discuss the history and cultural significance of this Mattoon landmark and opportunities for future uses (January 29, 2015).
Click Here to Watch

Will Rogers Theater and Commercial Block

The 1935 Art Deco Will Rogers Theater and Commercial Block located at 705-715 Monroe Avenue in Charleston is currently undergoing rehabilitation with the ultimate goal of providing contemporary retail space and a venue for film viewing and live performances. Owners Katie and Jim Troccoli are undertaking a “do it yourself” project on the facility and hope to have tenants for the commercial spaces in the near future. The theater rehabilitation will be the most complicated/comprehensive part of the project and will be addressed after the building envelope is sealed and the commercial spaces are completed. Springfield architect Dave Leonatti of the firm of Melotte Morse Leonatti Parker, Ltd. is providing design guidance for the project.