Mt. Carroll, IL
203 E. Seminary Street, Mt. Carroll, IL
Multi-million investment over multiple years
To date, GROWTH has successfully attracted resources amounting to $32,550,000 that will be deployed directly into the campus to create vital housing, business, and community amenities.
GROWTH is working to breathe new life into this historic campus through its revitalization efforts that will result in new residents, new businesses, and enhanced quality of life in its mixed-use, multi-phase historic redevelopment of Shimer Square in Mount Carroll, IL. The project site encapsulates the entire campus footprint of the historic Shimer College, a 14-acre campus with a total of 17 buildings, former residential halls and instructional buildings solidly constructed between the time from 1903 and 1957.
In 2023, GROWTH kicked off Shimer Square's comprehensive redevelopment plan by first deploying $1.5 million from its Rebuild Illinois grant addressing the President's Home (Sawyer House) into a Resource Center, rehabilitating and restoring the front entry gate, and gearing up for more.
GROWTH is working diligently to advance the shared vision to restore the campus’ historic assets, capitalize on community pride, and bring the campus back to life. GROWTH continues to work through its comprehensive, multi-year development plan aimed to preserve and revitalize Shimer Square’s historic fabric while protecting its historic integrity.
As a community-based development organization, GROWTH is known nationally for how to get the “hard deals done.” GROWTH first identifies its redevelopment strategy and then seeks the capital necessary to close on financing to start construction. Many times, this takes three or more years to accomplish and consists of multiple, complex layers of financing.
Despite three years of delays due to COVID-19 and now facing growing construction costs and supply chain interruptions, GROWTH is persevering through strong collaborations leading to many successes and milestones for Shimer Square’s redevelopment effort.
To view progress, visit ShimerSquare.com.
Above: In May 2019, by community ballots and ultimately a coin toss by the Mayor, the campus was renamed Shimer Square, officially kicking off the multi-year, multi-phase redevelopment work throughout five (5) phases.
Name Changes Throughout History
Above: A historical photo of the former Shimer College campus. Shimer College was an American Great Books college, first founded in 1852 in the town of Mount Carroll, Illinois. This school was one of the first academies for women. Shimer College was originally known as Mount Carroll Seminary, having undergone multiple name changes throughout its existence.