Gov. Bruce Rauner proclaimed May 25 as Du Quoin State Fair Day as the fairgrounds were named among the state's "200 Great Places" by an eminent architectural association.
The American Institute of Architects’ Illinois Council (AIA Illinois) gave the word following nominations from architects statewide and selection by individual AIA chapters. After meeting criteria included in AIA standards relating to local livability, Du Quoin’s State Fair now joins a coterie of other well-designed environments featured on a new website at illinoisgreatplaces.com.
"The Du Quoin State Fairgrounds is a beautiful, picturesque gem in southern Illinois," Rauner said. "To be listed among the architectural greats … is a real honor and distinction for southern Illinois and a great way to celebrate all that is born, built and grown in Illinois."
AIA standards include accessibility; pedestrian friendliness; proper scale; and overall vibrancy of public areas. Current AIA Illinois board President Kim Kurtenbach of BLDD Architects complimented the 200 Great Places collectively.
"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," she said.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Raymond Poe praised the eclectic building styles displayed on the 1,200-acre Du Quoin State Fairgrounds site, evoking its historic character and calling the venue “one of the most architecturally unique sites in the state.”