Forgotten Illinois 200

Lessons of Place: Photographing Endangered Historic Sites in Illinois

For Forgotten Illinois Liz Chilsen researched and created photographs at endangered historic sites in Illinois seeking to answer the core question: “What can these endangered sites tell us about the ever-evolving identity of our state?”

Using as a basis Landmarks Illinois’ 2018 list of Endangered Historic Sites, Chilsen created visual stories and shared them via exhibitions, public programs, and online media publications. Carrying out this project, Chilsen strives to know these places more deeply, to better understand their contributions to our state’s history and identity, and to share this understanding broadly, engaging new audiences in the dialog.

Liz Chilsen’s Lessons of Place blog

Des Plaines United Methodist Campground

The Waldorf Tabernacle in the Des Plaines United Methodist Campground.
Model of the Waldorf Tabernacle
Model of the Waldorf Tabernacle
Des Plaines, Illinois
A period map shows how summer camp homes were arranged around the central Waldorf Tabernacle at the Des Plaines Methodist Campground.
The Waldorf Tabernacle in the Des Plaines United Methodist Campground.
The Waldorf Tabernacle in the Des Plaines United Methodist Campground.
The Waldorf Tabernacle in the Des Plaines United Methodist Campground.
The Waldorf Tabernacle in the Des Plaines United Methodist Campground.
What preservationists are up against at the Waldorf Tabernacle: see that high water mud line running across the bottom section of the screens? That marks the level of a flood from the nearby Des Plaines river.
The Waldorf Tabernacle in the Des Plaines United Methodist Campground.

Freeport Oakdale Chautauqua Building

Oregon, Illinois, “The Eternal Indian”

Shelbyville Chautauqua Tabernacle