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Bicentennial Plaza Dedicated in Springfield

Illinois and Springfield officials gathered in the capital city Sunday to dedicate a new plaza celebrating the state’s 200th anniversary.

The pedestrian walkway spans a block between the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Illinois Executive Mansion.

Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner, who led efforts to renovate the mansion, credited the Illinois Realtors for creating Bicentennial Plaza.

“[They] have really promoted this grand vision we all have of linking together all the great historic sites of our capital and it’s so exciting to see the vision come to fruition," she said.

The realtors raised more than $1 million to complete the project, and the city of Springfield chipped in another $1 million in tax increment financing money.

Community groups can host events in the block-long park. It’s decorated with lights and 16 interpretive panels about Springfield’s history.

Mary Hansen is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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