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Joliet Arsenal flagpole named County landmark

Shown are (standing, from left) Les Russell, John Persic, Bert Niehls, Larry Hall, Wilmington Mayor Marty Orr and Darla Neises, and (seated) HPC Chairwoman Virginia Ferry. (Photo courtesy of Will County Land Use Department)
Shown are (standing, from left) Les Russell, John Persic, Bert Niehls, Larry Hall, Wilmington Mayor Marty Orr and Darla Neises, and (seated) HPC Chairwoman Virginia Ferry. (Photo courtesy of Will County Land Use Department)

     WILMINGTON -- Will County’s Historic Preservation Commission honored the City of Wilmington and Bert Niehls for the recent landmark designation of the Joliet Arsenal flagpole now part of the Island City Memorial in Wilmington.

 

     The Preservation Commission presented them with a bronze plaque on Nov. 6 to commemorate the historic significance of the flagpole. Niehls had been instrumental in efforts to have the flagpole recognized. 

 

     The Island City Memorial is now home to the flagpole, which was relocated from the former Joliet Arsenal property to its current location in about 2003.  The Joliet Army Ammunition Plant was a major employer in the Will County area, and its operations played a significant role in ammunition productions for the U.S. Army. 

 

     “On behalf of the Commission, I commend the City of Wilmington and Mr. Niehls for their work on the memorial.  I remain grateful to the City of Wilmington as well as all of our property owners who have landmarked their properties,” said Historic Preservation Commission Chairwoman Virginia Ferry. “Through this action, Will County property owners continue to show the relevance of historic preservation and how it matters to them and to their communities.”

 

     With unanimous approval from the Will County Board earlier this year, the historic property became the 46th landmark designated on Will County’s Register of Historic Places. The flagpole joins a diverse array of properties, including bridges, houses, barns, cemeteries, and churches, that have been landmarked since the County established its 1992 historic preservation ordinance. Securing a spot on the County’s Register provides greater assurance that the properties will be protected for future generations.

 

     “I congratulate our landmark property owners who have taken such a proactive approach to preserving Will County’s rich heritage. Through their pursuit of landmark designation, County citizens continue to demonstrate their care for and commitment to preserving our wonderful heritage,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh.  “I encourage all Will County citizens who own historic properties to consider the benefits and pursuit of landmark designation.  Through continued efforts, we can be assured that our heritage will remain celebrated and protected for generations to come.”

 

     For more information about Will County’s historic landmark program, go to http://www.willcountylanduse.com/historic-preservation. The Historic Preservation Commission is spearheaded by the Land Use Department led by Curt Paddock and is under the County Executive’s office. 

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