MONTICELLO — An updated visitors center is planned at Allerton Park & Retreat Center.
Tom and Jessica McCraw of Fort Worth, Texas, who grew up in Monticello, have donated funds for the renovation. The building was originally Robert Allerton's garden shed and later was turned into office space.
The 1,000-square-foot center will have interactive elements to tell the story of the 1,517-acre park and estate created by Allerton, an art collector and heir of First National Bank of Chicago co-founder Samuel Allerton. An endowment also will provide a salary for staffing.
Work is underway to find a designer and manufacturing of material for the center, set to open in fall 2022.
The fundraising is part of the Allerton’s ongoing “All In for Allerton” $8 million fundraising initiative, in conjunction with the University of Illinois’ “With Illinois” campaign, which ends June 30.