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The original item was published from 4/29/2010 11:41:22 AM to 5/3/2010 12:00:08 AM.

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Posted on: April 29, 2010

[ARCHIVED] Elgin's Great Unveiling Kicks Off Preservation Month

Elgin’s annual Great Unveiling will kick-off Preservation Month activities this Saturday, May 1, with seven residences throughout the city having vinyl and aluminum siding removed with the help of four neighborhood groups beginning at 9 a.m.

The Great Unveiling was started by the Gifford Park Association in 1997 and offered property owners volunteer help to remove non-original siding and $1,000 cash to begin renovation work. The City began to co-sponsor the program with GPA in 2005 with GPA providing the volunteers to remove the non-original siding and the City giving property owners $4,000 to $5,000 to begin renovation work.

This year, the City will grant property owners $4,000 to unveil a house and $5,000 to unveil a house and garage. Four neighborhood groups have volunteered to participate: the Southwest Area Neighborhood (SWAN), Northeast Neighborhood Association, Northwest Neighborhood Association and GPA. Since its inception, there have been about 60 homes that have benefited from the program.

“It’s a great community building exercise,” said Elgin’s Preservation Planner Jennifer Fritz-Williams. “Residents get some free labor to remove the siding in addition to the $4,000 grant. We continue throughout the day until all the homes are completed.”

Two of the City’s homes purchased as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program will also be unveiled. The homes located at 318 South Street and 162 Summit Street will be for sale once renovation work is completed.

Other homes participating in the Great Unveiling are: 120 N. Liberty Street, 248 Michigan, 221 Michigan 279 Villa Place and 1029 St. John Street.

Elgin’s Preservation Month is sponsored by the Elgin Heritage Commission which works to promote the protection, maintenance and preservation of the City’s architecture.

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