Mt. Carroll, IL
203 E. Seminary Street, Mt. Carroll, IL
$60+ Million Investment over 7 years
Shimer Square is a comprehensive redevelopment of a former college campus into a mixture of housing, business, and community amenities.
The campus contains many older buildings, some buildings date back as far as to 1905. All are in need of repair and restoration. There are 17 total buildings on site.
GROWTH’s goals and objectives for Shimer Square is to incorporate a dynamic mixture of uses while putting the historic properties back into a tax generating status for the benefit of Mount Carroll residents, businesses, and visitors. The end result will also increase employment opportunities and engage area residents through programmed activities.
Projected redevelopment costs exceed $60 million with work anticipated to take over five to seven years to complete.
Shimer Square wins
GROWTH submitted the renaming of the development for the public to vote. Five choices and a write-in option was provided to the local newspaper where people could vote to rename the campus. 230 ballots were received.
The result? A tie between Shimer Square and Shimer Woods.
Both names received 94 total votes. The votes were counted three times by GROWTH staff, and the final tally resulting in a tie. “It was pretty unbelievable. We had to count the ballots a three times to make sure. Some ballots were signed by those that voted, and many left notes thanking us for the opportunity to weigh in,” commented Brian Hollenback, GROWTH President and CEO. He went on to add, “We all agreed that a coin toss by the Mayor at Mayfest would be fitting to determine the final winner. This is a true demonstration on the community’s love of this campus and its commitment to its redevelopment.”
The coin toss occurred at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 at Mayfest. The Mayor called “heads” for Shimer Square, flipped the coin and Beth Payne, Administration Director confirmed heads was the winner: Shimer Square it is.
Above: Located at 203 E. Seminary Street, the campus consists of 14 acres of park-like campus located in the center of Mount Carroll, Illinois.
Below: 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.
Name Changes Throughout History