Shelbyville Daily Union

Local News

March 22, 2013

Effort on to save Charleston Post Office

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — The neoclassical building that housed the city’s post office for many years has unique historic architecture that dates back to 1917, which the Charleston Historic Preservation Commission is working hard to make sure is protected.

Elisa Roberts, commissioner with the CHPC, said the old Charleston post office, 320 Sixth St., has architectural and historical significance that is worth saving.

“It would be nice to have a preservation-minded buyer come forth and do an adaptive reuse of the building,” Roberts said.

The one-story, all-brick structure is currently up for sale through Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Reality of Champaign. The building is listed for $145,000 to potential buyers interested in rehabilitating the space and is under a two-year preservation covenant, which ends in March 2014. By Samantha Bilharz.

The U.S. Postal Service and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency signed a preservation covenant in March 2012 which provides the building protection from demolition for two years. With one year left on the protective covenant, the only requirement for those interested in purchasing the building is to keep the interior terrazzo floors and spiral staircase.

After the two years is over, the covenant will be void and whoever buys it is not required to keep the building intact — which means the historic building could be at risk of demolition.

Roberts said the historic preservation commission is redoubling its efforts to make sure the building gets in the hands of a buyer who will preserve the building’s rich history.

“Today you couldn’t build a building like the Charleston post office for the price — it would be expensive to recreate,” she said.

According to Roberts, the architecture that is unique to the building includes the terrazzo floors, wood frame/sash windows, wainscot paneling, rondels over the three outdoor windows and wood dado paneling, in addition to many other features that could be an asset to potential buyers.

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