(the following article was featured in the March 13, 2013, edition of The Paper: by Tom Tock)
The Dwight Correctional Center, which is destined for closure March 31, has been mentioned a number of times as being on the National Registry of Historic Places, but it is not. Neither is it on the State of Illinois’ list of historic places. A phone call last week to Stacey Solano, Chief Public Information Officer for the Illinois Department of Corrections, asking what the historic status of the Dwight Correctional Center might be, brought a mixed response.
Solano told The Paper that it was her understanding a number of structures at the Center had once been placed on the Registry, but she could not state that definitively. She suggested that the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency be contacted for more precise information. In any event, Solano said, the State of Illinois would be maintaining the buildings and grounds at the Correctional Center after its closure. No time limit for that maintenance was indicated. Mike Jackson, Chief Architect of the Illinois Historic Preservation, responded to inform The Paper that in 1993, 18 structures at the Dwight Correc-tional Center were determined to be eligible for, but not officially placed on, the National Registry. However, for public purposes, Jackson said, those 18 structures would be considered historic and would have to be treated as though they were on the Registry. That means any future use or development of the property should be approved by state agencies. If the property is ever placed on the National Registry, certain tax incentives would be available to a developer.