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The Illinois Council of The American Institute of Architects (AIA Illinois) has named the Du Quoin State Fair as one of Illinois’ 200 Great Places, in honor of the state’s Bicentennial in 2018. With this significant designation, Governor Bruce Rauner has proudly proclaimed May 25, 2018 as Du Quoin State Fair Day in the State of Illinois.

“The Du Quoin State Fairgrounds is a beautiful, picturesque gem in southern Illinois,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “To be listed among the architectural greats, such as structures built by Frank Lloyd Wright, is a real honor and distinction for southern Illinois and a great way to celebrate all that is born, built and grown in Illinois.”

Nominations came from architects from all parts of the state and were selected by AIA regional chapters. Nominations were weighed against criteria including the AIA’s “10 Principles of Livable Communities.” They must be publicly accessible, pedestrian-friendly, designed on a human scale, and provide vibrant, public spaces, among other requirements.

“Separately and in total, our 200 Great Places are more than just examples of good or even great design – they are a testament to humanity’s need to shape their environment in a way that is often both pleasing and thought-provoking,” said Kim Kurtenbach, AIA, architect with BLDD Architects and 2018 AIA Illinois Board President.

All of the 200 Great Places are featured in a new website at and on a new Instagram account @ilgreatplaces. Plans are underway to organize a local ceremony for the installation of a plaque provided by AIA Illinois which commemorates this recognition at the Du Quoin State Fair.

“Those of us at the Department of Agriculture are well-aware of the beauty and charm that exists at the 1200-acre site that calls the DuQuoin State Fair home, and now the rest of the world is being introduced to its charm,” said Ag Director Raymond Poe. “From its 1940’s art deco designed buildings to the Colonial Revival inspired structures, the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds is one of the most architecturally unique sites in the state.”

AIA Illinois’ Illinois Great Places recognition program was created in 2007 to commemorate AIA’s 150th anniversary and was designed to broadly include the “built environment,” which includes civil, landscape and engineering places, as well as architecture.