Rockford teams up with tollway to give East State Street gateway a fresh look

ROCKFORD (WREX) – When it comes to welcoming visitors to Rockford, East State Street is one of the busiest gateways to the region.

“We all know that curb appeal are the most important and often the longest lasting,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said.

However, since the sale and demolition of Rockford’s landmark Clock Tower Resort, area leaders say the East State Street gateway hasn’t looked the same.

“Over the last couple of years, the gateway or the front porch to our community, wasn’t looking very strong. We weren’t putting our best foot forward,” CEO and President of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitor Bureau John Groh said.

That’s why with the help of the Illinois Tollway, the city and the RACVB are trying to give the area a new look.

“Change is good,” Illinois Toll Highway Authority Board chairman Bob Schillerstrom said. “The clock tower was very good for the city of Rockford for a long period of time, but its a new day, with new opportunities and I think this signifies that.”

It’s part of the RACVB’s Forest City Beautiful Initiative, bringing new trees, flowers and artwork to key parts of the community like the East State Street gateway.

“What we’re seeing here is the beginning stages of what over the next few years will grow into a welcoming, beautiful, well-landscaped, well-planned out gateway,” Groh said.

A beatification plan that the city hopes not only refreshes the East State Street area, but also inspires similar projects and partnerships around the Stateline.

“We hope to replicate this in other key gateways in the Rocfkord region,” Groh said.

A welcome change for the East State Street area as leaders look to move forward with a new vision for Rockford’s landmark gateway.

The tollway and city of Rockford are wrapping up work on the new landscaping this fall and hope the new landscaping helps inspire future development at the former Clock Tower site.

Taylor Utzig

Taylor Utzig

Reporter

More News

13 Weather Authority

Rockford
30°
Freeport
29°
DeKalb
28°
Rochelle
29°
Sterling
31°
Janesville
30°
Monroe
29°
Rockford
30°
Freeport
29°
DeKalb
28°
Rochelle
29°
Sterling
31°
Janesville
30°
Monroe
29°
The weather keeps quiet in time for holiday travel

The weather keeps quiet in time for holiday travel

While we won't see much sunshine, the weather won't slow anyone down Wednesday.

Connect With WREX
Top Stories

Winnebago School District negotiations still ongoing, strike on the table

Will they strike? That's the big question tonight about Winnebago teachers. 

Jury: Man guilty of killing Machesney Park teen

Michael Mernack, 37, killed Rebecaa Finkenhofer, 16, at her Minns home on Dec. 28, 2016.

1 person killed in serious crash in front of Eisenhower M.S.

The Rockford Police Department is on the scene of a serious three car crash in front of Eisenhower Middle School.

Update: No injuries reported after fire at Crop Production Services near Dixon

13 WREX has learned that there has been a fire at Crop Production Services (CPS) in Dixon early this morning.

Complaints paired with outcry on social media prompts health inspection at RPS 205 schools, 13 News Digs Deeper into the reports

ROCKFORD (WREX) – Students and parents at East High School reached out to 13 News, saying they were unhappy with

Scroll to top
Skip to content