Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

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Illinois Historic Preservation Agency


The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency protects and promotes the pieces of history that, together, tell the story of Illinois.

The agency operates 56 historic sites and monuments – from the remains of a vast Native American city to a groundbreaking home designed by an architectural genius to a factory that helped change the course of labor relations in America. Twenty-six staffed sites offer unique programs, events, and tours.

IHPA also includes the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, where traditional exhibits and cutting-edge technology combine to tell the story of the nation’s greatest president. The library boasts an unparalleled collection of documents and artifacts related to Lincoln.

The agency also oversees nominations for the National Register of Historic Places, assists communities trying to protect their historic resources, administers tax incentives and more. Find out more about these services in our “Preserve History” section. Under state and federal law, protecting historic, architectural and archeological sites as part of the public planning process is one of the agency's primary responsibilities.

We offer tools for researching history and maintain the state’s immense collection of historical books, newspapers and artifacts.

The agency employs approximately 170 people around the state. They and our hardworking volunteers arrange hundreds of free public events, help schoolchildren appreciate the past, discover new documents and assist in identifying historic buildings. We also review construction projects for the potential impact on historic resources and investigate when human remains are found, if they’re more than a century old.

The agency spends about $27 million a year, or just $2.14 for every person in Illinois. Analysts calculate that tourism at state historic sites contributes $193 million a year to the Illinois economy.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency is overseen by a board of seven trustees appointed by the governor. They, in turn, choose the agency director.