SPRINGFIELD -- Amy Martin hopes her work at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will help in her new role as the director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.


 

SPRINGFIELD -- Amy Martin hopes her work with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will help in her new role as director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

At DCEO, Martin was acting deputy director of regional outreach for the department’s Main Street program. The program tries to spur economic growth by emphasizing community development and local history. Springfield is one of 44 communities that take part in Main Street.

“One of the things I hope to continue (at IHPA) is by generating revenue at all of the historic sites – it’s important, especially important for us, to bring in that essential funding during these tough economic times,” Martin said.

Martin declined to go into specifics about her plans, saying she will confer with her staff and review their accomplishments.

Martin said she applied for the IHPA position because of her Main Street background

“I am very interested in how historic preservation can be used as an economic development tool,” Martin said. “Through my efforts with that program at DCEO, I worked a lot with IHPA staff and historic preservation.”

IHPA operates more than 60 historic sites and memorials, including Lincoln's New Salem, the Old Capitol, the Lincoln Tomb and war memorials at Oak Ridge Cemetery, and the Dana-Thomas House, among other sites in the Springfield area. The agency also administers the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The agency’s board of trustees approved Martin unanimously Tuesday. Martin will take over the job from interim director Catherine Shannon on May 16.

Shannon described Martin as complementing her own skill set. While Martin has experience with historical development and tourism, Shannon said she is more comfortable working with the “nuts and bolts” of state government as deputy IHPA director, the job she will return to.

David Thomas can be reached at (217) 782-6882.