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Village of Elsah receives grant for renovation of historic restaurant building

elsahbuildingThe village of Elsah is receiving a grant from Landmarks Illinois to help restore the historic building that once housed the popular Elsah Landing restaurant.

“We are grateful to Landmarks Illinois for their commitment to historic preservation,” said Elsah Mayor Mike Pitchford, “and for this grant from their Preservation Heritage Fund that will help us bring a building back to life and available for someone who may be interested in bringing a unique restaurant back to Elsah.”

Landmarks Illinois is a membership-based non-profit organization serving the people of Illinois, as outlined in the attached press release.

Located on the Great River Road between Alton and Grafton, Elsah is a scenic village listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This grant will help the village continue renovations already begun on the building that originally served at the village’s first pharmacy after being built by Lee Mott in 1894. Still called the “Mott building,” the quaint structure is tucked between other historic buildings, such as one that now houses the Elsah General Store with its old-time candies and vintage sodas. The $3,000 matching grant will help support one component of the project: reinforcement of the original foundation made from local quarry stone and the raising of a sidewalk that provides access to the building’s dual entrance.

Restoring the Mott building and making it available for use by a restaurant is part of larger strategic plan to enhance economic vitality for a village already known as a venue for events and tourism.

“We believe an entrepreneur will be drawn to this opportunity,” said Pitchford, “because of Elsah’s unique character, historic significance, and picturesque settings for weddings and other events. More importantly, the grant helps ensure that this 19th century building will be preserved for future generations.”

Area residents still remember customer lines stretching around the block when the Mott Building housed the Elsah Landing restaurant from 1975 to 1993. More recently, the building was a second location for “My Just Desserts” that is still located in Alton.

“Elsah is a special place.” said Pitchford, “so we are pleased that this grant will help us attract an equally special restaurant that can be part of a sustainable future for the building and for the Village.”

PHOTO: After painting but before repair of foundation and sidewalk to be partially funded by the matching grant from Landmarks Illinois.

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