Community Foundation moves to Marlowe Center of Philanthropy

Community Foundation moves to Marlowe Center of Philanthropy


On Oct. 30, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois moved to its new headquarters—The Byron C. and Jane Smith Marlowe Center of Philanthropy at 946 N. Second Street.

Meanwhile, the final touches are being made to the construction and renovation of the Marlowe Center, an historic home immediately north of the YMCA of the Rock River Valley.

Rockford design consultant Sarah Bell, who oversaw the conservation of historic furniture in the Coronado Theatre restoration project, is assisting with the Marlowe Center’s decor.

An early 20th century wooden executive desk has been donated by the law firm Williams and McCarthy as President Gloria Lundin’s new desk. “It’s a vintage piece that we’re having refinished, and it goes perfectly with the house,” Bell said. Nearly all of the Community Foundation’s modern-style furniture from its office on the 13th floor of the downtown Talcott Building, 321 W. State St., has been moved to the new location.

Other major contributions have come from Jane Marlowe in memory of her husband, Byron C. Marlowe, a former vice president of operations at Smith Oil Co., and from David and Jane Carlson, in whose name the attic has been masterfully converted to third-floor board room that features exposed wooden beams. The wood-paneled basement has been refurbished for the foundation’s In Youth We Trust program with a gift from Janet Kjellstrom, an avid supporter of youth and the arts.

Rockford architect David Hagney is overseeing the project, and Scandroli Construction Co. is the project’s general contractor.

All Marlowe Center work is being closely coordinated with the Rockford Historic Preservation Commission, with plans of one day placing the home on the National Register of Historic Places. The French-style limestone house, designed by architect Frank Carpenter, was built in 1915 for Cooperative Furniture Co. President Charles Lundberg and his family.

An Oct. 26 private reception was held to thank the generous donors and the many skilled workers who have brought a dream to reality. A community-wide open house will be held in the spring of 2002.

Lundin said $666,000 has been raised for the house restoration project, and there continue to be naming rights for the elevator shaft, walkways including the accessibility ramp, the parking lot, trees and benches. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity and enthusiasm this project has evoked,” Lundin said. “There are still many opportunities for people to help with the finishing touches.” To donate to the home restoration project, call the Foundation at 962-2110.

While the Foundation is leaving its downtown Rockford address—home since 1992—its new river front address is still within the confines of the River District. It also becomes a stakeholder in the Brown Hills/Knightsville neighborhood by virtue of its new location. “One of the Community Foundation missions is to encourage synergies between community organizations, so we are very excited to be a member of these two groups dedicated to preserving and revitalizing central Rockford,” Lundin said.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!