In 2012, one of Enos Park’s long time residents and activists was recognized with a statewide preservation award. Fletcher “Bud” Farrar received the Joe Antunovich Award for Leadership from Landmarks Illinois in recognition of his many years of historic preservation efforts in the Enos Park area. Bud has been rehabilitating houses in the neighborhood since 1990 out of a desire to save the area once known as the “Jewel of Springfield.” He began renovating properties and renting them at nominal cost to a local social service organization that provided housing for single mothers and their children. Later, he created an entity known as Old Neighborhood Rehab and began selling the renovated properties as single-family residences. At the time of his award, he had renovated 23 properties in Enos Park with two more houses in progress.
Mayor’s Awards for Historic Preservation
In May of 2009, two of Enos Park’s most prominent residents were recognized for their restoration of many of the neighborhood’s historically significant homes and apartments. Each has set a standard which is the template for future renovation and restoration of the neighborhood.
Winners of the Mayor’s Award for Preservation of Historic properties are Owen Anderson and his wife Karen, and Fletcher Farrar and his wife, Mary Jessup. Both couples are long-time residents of Enos Park who have had an impact on numerous properties.
In 2016, the Historic Sites Commission recognized new Enos Park homeowners Courtney Williams and LaKeisha Purchase. The year before, they purchased a distressed house from Enos Park Development and set about completely renovating it and making it their new home. For their efforts, they received an award in the category of “Private Effort for the Renovation of an Historic Structure that includes Residential Use.”
In 2018, the Historic Sites Commission recognized In His Hands Orphans Outreach, an area nonprofit, for their renovation of 804 N. 7th St. This was the third house that Enos Park Development had donated to IHHOO to be completely renovated and sold at market value. For their efforts, they received an award in the category of “Private Effort for the Renovation of an Historic Structure that includes Residential Use.”
In 2021, the Historic Sites Commission presented an award to Inner City Mission, a nonprofit transitional housing provider based in Enos Park, for their renovation of a Lincoln-era House. Inner City Mission completely renovated the house at 726 N. 7th for use as office space, which freed up additional residential living space at the main site. ICM received an award in the category of “Preservation Effort Involving a Nonprofit Organization.”
One of the exciting things about Enos Park is that the neighborhood always has properties that are in the process of being brought back to life. The finished products are beautiful examples of the unique character of the neighborhood, and driving down the street it’s easy to spot the properties that have been restored. Here are just a few examples:
706-724 N. 5th St.
Victorian Enos Flats was built in the 1890’s by Zimri Enos, son of one of Springfield’s most prominent pioneer families. Enos Flats, or the “Row Houses,” were purchased in 1989 by Owen Anderson and he has been renovating them ever since. On the inside he has retained most of the original features including stained glass windows, steam radiators, tiled fireplaces, and claw footed tubs.
Over the last twenty years, Fletcher Farrar has led the way in preserving some of Enos Park’s most historical and architecturally significant homes. He and his wife created a not-for-profit entity, Old Neighborhood Rehab, that has been responsible for turning many blighted properties back into beautiful homes. While being true to the design standards of the late 1800’s and preserving all usable materials and structures of the original homes, Old Neighborhood Rehab has taken houses that were in danger of being demolished and returned them to their original grandeur. The preserved and renovated homes are then sold as single family, owned occupied homes. Old Neighborhood Rehab has been responsible for nearly 30 completely restored historic homes in Enos Park.
901 N. 5th St. (corner of 5th & Dodge)
731 N. 7th (corner of 7th & Enos)
810 N. 7th St.