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Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 06:17 pm


Carolyn Oxtoby has spent more than 30 years restoring and preserving historic buildings in Springfield, from the famous Lincoln-Herndon Law Office to the former Masonic Temple she helped turn into the Hoogland Center for the Arts. She worked to save and restore Springfield’s Elijah Iles House and even started the local nonprofit Heritage Foundation, which helps put vacant and underutilized buildings in the hands of prospective developers. Now, her efforts have earned her recognition from a statewide group concerned with historic preservation. Landmarks Illinois will award Oxtoby its Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony in Chicago Oct. 23.

“I didn’t know anything about this until they called me to tell me I had won,” Oxtoby says with a laugh. Jerry Jacobson of Springfield, who is involved in local preservation efforts himself, nominated Oxtoby for the award, because, as he says, “She was a pioneer to start preservation here in the capital city of Illinois.” Jacobson calls Oxtoby the “spiritual and financial foundation of the Hoogland Center.” Her leadership is just outstanding. This award is long overdue and it was my honor to recommend her for it.”
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