Springfield takes part in simultaneous statewide flag ceremonies

The Old State Capitol in Springfield was the site of an Illinois Bicentennial flag-raising ceremony shortly after noon. In fact, municipalities all over the state were encouraged to simultaneously participate.

Springfield kicked off its celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial Monday shortly after noon by conducting an Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony on the grounds of the Old State Capitol.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder was joined by Illinois Bicentennial Springfield Co-chair Pam Van Alstine, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator, media and a crowd of interested observers. The ceremony was held in conjunction with other municipalities’ ceremonies across the state, kicking off a year-long celebration of Illinois’ Bicentennial.

Illinois became a state in 1818.

Maya Ojugbele sang the “Star-Spangled Bannner,” while Damian Kaplan sang “Illinois,” the official state song.

After accepting a proclamation from Langfelder, Lincoln led the crowd in a countdown to the flag raising. For more information on statewide bicentennial events, visit Illinois200.com. For Springfield events, go to IL200Springfield.org.

Former bank building cleared from Bicentennial Plaza lot

Despite the rebar used to reinforce concrete, the last wall of a bank vault is tipped over by a heavy equipment operator Tuesday at the site of the Bicentennial Plaza in Springfield. (Bill Kozar photo)

Workers continued to make progress on Bicentennial Plaza – a REALTOR® Community Partnership in downtown Springfield, knocking down the last wall of a former bank building Tuesday morning.

Demolition of the building and removal of debris had been going on for several weeks, and slowed as the only remaining part above ground was the bank vault. After the vault was knocked down, only the foundation below the building remained.

Work on the plaza continues, where towers will eventually hold large interpretative panels with messages that recognize significant moments of Springfield and Illinois history with an emphasis on diversity and minority relations. The project is expected to play a central role in the state’s 200th birthday celebration in August 2018, and is part of an ambitious effort to connect the city’s historic downtown sites.

Below is a series of photos taken over several weeks that depict different stages of the building’s demolition.

 

Illinois REALTORS® Bicentennial Task Force Launches “Home is Where the Heart Is” Essay Contest

Illinois REALTORS Bicentennial EssayIllinois REALTORS® Bicentennial Task Force is excited to launch their “Home Is Where the Heart Is” Essay Contest as part of Illinois bicentennial celebrations!

The essay contest, which began Nov. 15, is open to Illinois high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private or home schools. A total of 23 students across the state will be awarded a scholarship to help with school-related expenses. Scholarship winners will be selected by adherence to the theme of “Home Is Where the Heart Is”. In addition, judges will also be looking at creativity, originality, grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Requirements:

  • The contest submission deadline is Feb. 15, 2018.
  • The contest opened for submissions on Nov. 15, 2017.
  • Essays can be no more than 700 words but must be a minimum of 500 words.
  • Essays must be the original work of the student.
  • Essays reflect the theme “Home Is Where the Heart Is

Awards:

  • $1,000 – 1 top scholarship award recipient
  • $750 – 11 scholarship award recipients
  • $250 – 11 scholarship award recipients

The intent of the monetary award is for the student’s school-related expenses.

Winners will be announced on April 1, 2018. Scholarship winners will also receive statewide recognition from Illinois REALTORS® and the State of Illinois Bicentennial Commission.

The association is an official endorsed partner with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, which oversees the state’s plans for the milestone birthday. Bicentennial Plaza – a REALTOR® Community Partnership is a signature project of the state bicentennial celebrations.

Visit the Illinois REALTORS® Bicentennial webpage for the official rules and contest entry form, available both in print and online, and share with a high schooler you may know – they could be a part of the historic 200th  birthday of Illinois.

Progress continues on Springfield Bicentennial Plaza

After heavy equipment digs holes for tower footings at the Springfield Bicentennial Plaza, a worker scoops up dirt and moves it across the lot.

Construction crews continue to make significant progress as they used heavy equipment to drill footings for towers at the site of Bicentennial Plaza – A REALTOR® Community Partnership in downtown Springfield

Just north of the Illinois REALTORS® offices, the towers will eventually hold large interpretative panels with messages that recognize significant moments of Springfield and Illinois history with an emphasis on diversity and minority relations. The project, which is expected to play a central role in the state’s 200th birthday celebration in August 2018, is part of an ambitious effort to connect the city’s historic downtown sites.

Workers discuss the afternoon plans at the site of Springfield’s Bicentennial Plaza.

Gary Clayton, Chief Executive Officer, Illinois REALTORS® describes the project as in the “demolition and site development stage.” Sewer lines and telecommunications cables have been relocated. In the near future, power lines will be reconfigured, and a former bank building that is partially razed will be completely removed.

General contractors and subcontractors will meet twice a month to discuss plans for the following two weeks. Weather will continue to play a role in the project’s progress.

Just off Fifth St., at the site of the future Bicentennial Plaza in downtown Springfield, workers use a drill to prepare for tower footings.

“We’re hoping for a mild winter, without a lot of precipitation in December and January,” says Clayton.

 

 

 

Deadline extended to Nov. 12 for Illinois Bicentennial video contest — win 2 tickets to Hamilton

College and high school students have roughly a week to submit their own original video for the “Something to Learn About Illinois History” Illinois Bicentennial contest, if they’re vying for a pair of tickets to the musical Hamilton on Dec. 3.

That’s according to Illinois200.com, the “Official Website of the Governor’s Office of Illinois Bicentennial.” Go here to enter.

Contestants must supply a 45-to-60-second video from a smartphone or video camera that highlights a fact, event, place, person or something to learn about Illinois history. A total of 100 winners will be chosen, and their videos may be aired or posted online as part of the Illinois Bicentennial countdown.

Each of the winners will receive a pair of tickets to the Sunday, Dec. 3 matinee showing of Hamilton in Chicago.

Students enrolled in an Illinois high school, community college, college, university or technical school are eligible to enter.