March – April 2023 Newsletter

Frankfort Area Historical Society of Will County, Illinois
P.O.Box 546, 132 Kansas Street, Frankfort IL  60423

(815) 469-6541 [email protected]

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

The United States Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to govern the preservation of cultural and historic resources in the United States. It establishes a national preservation program and a system of procedures that encourage the identification and protection of cultural and historic resources with national, state, tribal, and local significance. (National Trust for Historic Preservation)
The following years found many communities around the country, perhaps also inspired by the nation’s pending bicentennial in 1976, acting to preserve their own historical resources. Frankfort was no exception.

On May 21, 1973, the Village of Frankfort, Ordinance 816, established its Historic District as follows:


The C-6 Historical District is intended to preserve land and structures used primarily for a combination of commercial and residential uses and services to the residents of the Village of Frankfort. The area included in this district has historical significance as being the Business Center of original village as laid out in 1855. The Village has adopted an 1890 Theme, which includes the preservation, restoration, and improvement of this Historica1 Area. This District is characterized by old stores, taverns, shops, large homes suitable for unique businesses with low volume traffic. The boundary of this district is shown on the Frankfort Zoning Map.

Fifty years later, the challenge to preserve, restore, and improve the Historic District remains. Some properties have been torn down, some improved, and some restored. Empty spaces have allowed for the infill of new construction intended to complement the existing properties of the Historic District. While much has changed within the Historic District, much remains the same. Still, there are properties that are being reviewed for tear-down, rehabilitation, or new construction. One such property whose future remains undetermined is 2 Smith Street, commonly known as the Fra-Milco building. This property has a long history of businesses that built necessities for local residents.