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Explore and Engage

Ellwood House Museum Awarded Public Grant Fund

Thu November 19, 2020

DeKalb, IL- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced on November 18, 2020, that the DeKalb Park District has been awarded a grant for $413,000 from the 2020 Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants program to support the maintenance of the Ellwood House Museum, located at 420 Linden Place.

“We are very excited to receive the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grant for the Museum campus,” stated Ellwood House Museum Executive Director, Brian Reis. “In recent years, the Museum has added popular evening programs and facility rentals, and this grant will make the site safer and easier to use for when the community returns for programming, weddings, tours, and exhibits in 2021!”

These funds will specifically be used towards stormwater management, roofing, and exterior lighting. The project scope would include new LED lampposts to be added to dark corners of the parking lot, and the long path stretching through the woods will be improved with a permanent surface. For the roofing, these funds will replace and upgrade the flat roof on the Visitor Center and channel large amounts of stormwater directly from the roof to a new rain garden adjacent to the building.

The extensive rain garden will provide a picturesque backdrop to the rental space and patio while alleviating the flooding issues around the building. Other landscape and interpretive signage improvements will be made to make the campus more friendly and educational for the thousands of annual visitors.

The Ellwood House Museum is a historic site, located on ten acres of parkland in the heart of DeKalb, engaging visitors with authentic examples of ingenuity and architecture by sharing the Ellwood Mansion, gardens, and Museum Campus. Learn more about improvements being made and virtual program offerings at or call (815) 756-4609.