“A gateway to the Illinois Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor

Why We Think They’re Great: In 1838, laborers used local limestone and timber to construct a large warehouse on the edge of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in Lockport, IL. This building was as essential in the production and operation of the canal in the 1800’s as it was in the lasting significance of the city of Lockport. In the years after the construction of the canal was complete, the building had many different purposes and many different owners. The Great Depression took its toll on the building, so in the 1980’s, Gaylord Donnelley, a grandson of one of the previous owners, decided to revitalize the historical site. Gaylord Donnelley did not see the building only for what it was – he saw the building for what it could be. He renovated the building by adding a restaurant, a gallery and a visitor’s center. President Ronald Reagan was so impressed with the development, he awarded Gaylord Donnelly with the President’s Historic Preservation Award in 1988, and the Gaylord Building became a “national symbol for adaptive re-use”. The Gaylord Building now provides educational programs to the community and hosts family events and guided tours.  To learn more or support The Gaylord Building, visit www.GaylordBuilding.org or call (815) 838-9400.

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