“Grant, Our Citizen”
photo courtesy of Charles Marsden


The Galena Foundation initiated its first major project, Old City Cemetery Restoration in 1986. Since then The Foundation has spearheaded many projects of historical significance in an effort to ensure the restorations are completed in a thoughtful and meaningful manner.

Currently, the Foundation is working in conjunction with the City of Galena to make improvements to Grant Park.

Learn more about the project: Grant Park Project

Turner Hall
115 S. Bench St.
Galena, Illinois

The Galena Foundation, working in cooperation with the trustees of the Joe Miller Trust and in partnership with the City of Galena, is engaged in a multi-year plan to make Turner Hall more appealing, comfortable and energy efficient.

Improvements include window repair; new fire escape; exterior repair, tuck pointing, waterproofing and painting; interior lighting and wiring upgrades; wood floor repair and refinishing; and more.

Since 1874, Turner Hall has served as a central gathering place for the citizens of Galena—a site for celebrations, performances, campaigns and fundraisers. The upgrades and preservation efforts will ensure Turner Hall remains a centerpiece of the Galena community.

Turner Hall website

Photo courtesy of Beth Baranski

Old Train Depot
101 Bouthillier St.
Galena, Illinois

The Galena Foundation partnered with the City of Galena to complete an accurate restoration of the Old Train Depot. Built in 1857 the structure was originally used as a passenger depot by the Illinois Central Railroad. The Depot, with its Italianate architecture, has long been a Galena landmark.

The restoration included replacing the mismatched brick and completing the tuckpointing so the building returned to its original appearance.

The Old Train Depot restoration project was named the 2013 winner for Historic Preservation by Galena’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Grant Park Gazebo
photo courtesy of Charles Marsden

Grant Park Gazebo
Park Ave.
Galena, Illinois

The Galena Foundation and the City of Galena undertook the complete restoration of the Gazebo in Grant Park.

Work involved replacement of deteriorated materials, waterproofing and painting. Research revealed the current paint colors of the gazebo were not historically accurate to the structure dating back to the 1890s. It was determined that the gazebo was originally painted white.

The Gazebo has been a fixture in Grant Park since the beginning of the 20th century and is depicted on the logo of the Galena Foundation.

Grant Park Fountain
photo courtesy of Charles Marsden

Grant Park Fountain

Park Ave.
Galena, Illinois

In 1891, the Ladies’ Auxiliary presented the City of Galena a centerpiece fountain to be placed in the newly created Grant Park. Numerous attempts to maintain and repair the fountain had occurred over the years; however, a major restoration was necessary to return the fountain to its original grandeur.

The Galena Foundation took a leadership role in both the restoration and fundraising effort. The restoration work included replacing damaged limestone and reinforcing the foundation; installing a new recirculating pump; stripping, sandblasting and repainting the entire structure; and commissioning the creation of replica figures from the original molds and replacement urns.

The fundraising effort was so successful that a fund was established to cover the costs of ongoing fountain maintenance.

Photo courtesy of Phil Aleo

High School Steps
Steps from Bench Street to Prospect Street
Located south of 235 S. Bench St.
Galena, Illinois

The restoration of the High School Steps was a joint project of the Galena Foundation and the City of Galena. At the time the project was started, it was the largest restoration undertaken by The Foundation since the organization was incorporated.

The successful fundraising campaign was led by the Galena Foundation. Over $100,000 was needed to complete the project. Many of the donors and their family members were passionate about the project because they had memories of using the High School Steps to get to and from school or work.

In the late 1990s the City of Galena and the Galena Foundation’s work to restore three sets of steps was recognized with a Richard H. Driehaus Award for outstanding restoration project.

Old Market House State Historic Site
123 N. Commerce St.
Galena, Illinois

The Market House in Galena was built in 1845-46 and was the focal point of the community until 1910. In 1947 when the City of Galena could no longer maintain the building and there was talk of tearing it down, it was turned over to the State of Illinois. In 1954, the State of Illinois did a masterful job restoring and saving the building.

The exterior of The Old Market House State Historic Site began to show signs of wear and was in need of repair and painting. Although the historic site manager had been working for years to obtain the funds, they had not come available.

A grassroots fundraising effort coupled with a collaboration between the Galena Foundation, the State of Illinois, VisitGalena and the Women of Courage and Commitment raised the funds needed to get the Market House exterior repaired and repainted.

The Old Market House State Historic Site currently houses the Galena Welcome Center and historical exhibits.

Old Fire House No. 1
Bench St.
Galena, Illinois

The Galena Foundation partnered with the Galena Fire Department and the City of Galena to restore the Old Fire House No. 1 on Bench Street next to the Washington Street Steps.

Constructed in 1851, Old Fire House No. 1 was built to serve the Liberty Engine Company No. 1. Built in the Italianate style, the structure is believed to be the oldest fire station in the state. Both the tower and the bell are original to the structure.

An additional collaboration restored Liberty, an original 1854 hand pumper, which arrived in Galena in early January 1855. Built by the Agnew Company in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, just 500 of these engines were built. It is reported that Liberty was kept in use for nearly 50 years. Liberty can be seen through the double glass doors on the front of the fire station.

Total Given for All Projects & Grants – $1,373,411.00 

Grant Park Restoration (2017-18), $250,000.00
Stockton Elementary 3rd Grade, School Historic Tour Grant, $500.00
Interior Doors, Methodist Church, $9,200.00
Old City Cemetery Restoration, $6,855.00
Steeple Restoration, First Presbyterian Church

Port of Galena, Galena Jo Daviess County HIstorical Society, $3,000.00
Window Replacement, Kreider Services Group Home, $18,113.00
Old City Cemetery Restoration, $17,674.00
Exterior Stairs, Old Train Depot, $2,200.00

Kohlsaat Bridge Plaque, $750.00
Museum Porch, Galena Jo Daviess County Historical Society, $1,000.00
Exterior Restoration, Jo Daviess County Courthouse, $10,000.00
Galena Illinois A Timeless Treasure, Book, $61,297.00

 *** 2015 ***
Turner Hall Restoration, City of Galena, $106,975.00
Kohlsaat Bridge Plaque, Galena/JDC Historic Society, $750.00
Jo Daviess County Courthouse Exterior Work, Jo Daviess County, $10,000.00
Grant Park Tree Inventory, City of Galena, $2,000.00
Front Museum Porch and Entry Step Painting, Galena/Jo Daviess County Historical Society, $1,000.00

 ****** 2014 ******
Alfie Mueller Exhibit, Galena Foundation Project, Project Contribution: $2,000.00
Geological Survey Guidebook, League of Women Voters Education Fund, $2,000.00
Old Market House Welcome Center Exterior Painting, Greater Galena Marketing Inc, $10,775.00
Hess House Exterior Porch and Shutter Restoration, Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation, $6,515.00
Replacement of Exterior Doors, First United Methodist Church, $7,667.43

 ****** 2013 ******
Grant Park Gazebo, City of Galena, $24,954.50
Grant/Washburne Neighborhood Fence Project, Galena State Historic Sites, $5,000.00
Front Doors & Stained Glass Window, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, $7,230.00
Repair Exterior Steps, United Methodist Church, $2,293.00
RuskinARC, Galena Foundation Project, $26,932.00

 ****** 2012 ******
Washburne State Historic Site, Galena State Historic Sites, State Grant: $50,000.00
(The Galena Foundation helped manage the grant.)
Restoration Project, Old Train Depot, $200,000.00

 ****** 2011 ******
Old Train Depot Restoration, Galena Foundation Project, $103,960.00
U.S. Grant Home Pathway, City of Galena, $10,000.00
Steeple, United Methodist Church, $5,000.00
Grant Park Beautification, O’Bel Trust Fund, $227.00
Museum Restoration, Galena Jo Daviess County Historical Society, $15,376.00
Roof Restoration, Galena Jo Daviess County Historical Society, $500.00

****** 2010 ******
Historic District Survey, City of Galena, $2,696.28
Masonry Chimney Restoration,  Galena Art & Recreation Center, $1,547.50
Stonework, Galena Public Library District, $3,762.50
Historic Preservation Through Modern Technology, Galena/JDC Historical Society, $20,000.00
High School Steps Sign, Galena Foundation Project, $1,417.75
Grant Park Beautification, O’Bel Trust Fund, $938.00
Washburne House Family Portrait, Washburne House, $250.00
Old Train Depot, $19,520.00

 ****** 2009 ******
Turner Hall Steps, City of Galena , $9,762.00
Building Restoration, Oddfellows, $8,779.00
Grant Park Beautification, O’Bel Trust Fund, $796.00

****** 2008 ******
Galena River Trail Interpretive Signs, Galena Rotary Club, $700.00
Grant Park Beautification, O’Bel Trust Fund, $924.00

 ****** 2007 ******
Grant Park Gazebo,  City of Galena, $14,927.00
U.S. Grant Statue, City of Galena, $23,000.00
Museum Renovations, Galena Historical Society & Museum, $16,574.00

 ****** 2006 ******
Belden School Restoration, Belden School Restoration Committee, $5,000.00
Library Roof Replacement, Galena Public Library, $10,000.00
Restoration of Interior Staircase, Galena Art & Restoration Center, $5,000.00
Julia Dent Grant Statue, General Ulysses S. Grant Home, $10,000.00

 ****** 2005 ******
Digital Preservation of Galena’s Photographic Heritage, Galena/JDC Historical Society, $3,524.00
Fire Department Pumper, Galena Foundation Project, Project Contribution, $5,000.00

 ****** 2004 ******
Grant Park Fountain, Galena Foundation Project, $40,000