For three months, the fate of the Diocese of Rockford’s former Chancery building has hung in the balance as community activists worked to save the building. Now, their hopes to save the Chancery building may be up in the air as the Code & Regulation Committee voted against the proposed landmark designation on Monday night.
The fight for the Chancery building on North Court Street continued for months as community members hoped to turn it into a historic landmark. The owners of the property, the Diocese of Rockford, fought to keep the former Chancery, along with St. Peter’s School and former Convent from being marked as historic landmarks.
Although they’re under the ownership of the Diocese, the buildings signify home for many residents. Residents argued the structures could still serve a purpose if they are renovated.
On the other side of the argument, the Diocese of Rockford, who would take on the cost of refurbishing the property, say it would have to invest up to $5 million to make them habitable. They measure that number against the projected $100,000 it would spend to demolish the site, which they already have plans for. Those standing for the Diocese cite the Constitution, and the separation of church and state, in support of their rights to the land.
The historic landmark proposal vote will still go to full counsel, just without the Code & Regulation Committee’s recommendation.