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Collinsville historic house park project ahead of schedule


From Illinois Business Journal news services

COLLINSVILLE — Work to establish a new park whose centerpiece is one of the most historic structures in the city is ahead of schedule.

The city recently announced that the Collins Park project is ahead of schedule, thanks to an earlier than expected move of the D.D. Collins House from its previous location.

Crews demolished the Martha Manning Warehouse and Main Square Apartments to make way for the park, then relocated the home approximately 200 feet toward the corner of Main Street and Combs Avenue.

Miller and Maack General Contractors and Henderson Associates Architects have kept the project on budget and ahead of schedule, Uptown Coordinator Leah Joyce said.

Collins Park will be a new community gathering place that will also serve as an attractive entryway to the Uptown area. The focal point of the park will be the city-owned D.D. Collins House. The house is a Greek revival home built in 1845. Its architecture is rare, preceding Victorian style architecture. The home was built by Judge Daniel Dove Collins (Madison County 2nd court, 1853-1857), first president of the Collinsville Village Board.

The historic home is undergoing complete restoration to return it to its original state. This will be the first historic home attraction for the city and plans are to furnish it to the period of 1840-1860.

The site around it is being returned to green space, and a community park will be created. The project will utilize native plantings and sustainable attributes. When the Collins Park is complete, the home will serve Collinsville residents and youth, as well as regional tourists with informational displays, educational programs, and interpretive gardens.

Though ownership of the home and park will remain with the City of Collinsville, a 501(c) Friends group has recently been formed. The Friends of the D.D. Collins House will act as a support group for the site. The group will maintain the educational garden, select and acquire interior décor, conduct tours, fundraise and develop educational materials and programs. Those interested in joining the Friends group may contact President Lavadna Hines at (618) 420-0288

The land remaining after the creation of the park will be marketed to developers for new residential or mixed-use development.

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