Palestine, Illinois, “The Pioneer City”, is the oldest municipality in the State of Illinois. In celebration of its bicentennial in 2011, Palestine embarked on a revitalization of their unique and historic downtown. Prairie Engineers provided topographical surveys and engineering design for new sidewalks and an enhanced streetscape in Palestine’s downtown historic business district. This project included public involvement, inspections of basements for abandoned coal chutes, and coordination with the Illinois Department of Transportation for use of Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program funds. Additional funding sources for the project included a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and a United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant.
The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency was coordinated with due to the large number of historic buildings and historic canopy supports unique to the Village. The design sought to increase ADA accessibility and better accommodate the Village’s growing tourism base while retaining and honoring the historic character of this unique town. Construction is anticipated in 2015.