Younger Rockfordians create a future from city’s hidden jewels

In early December 2007, Gloria Lundin went to Beloit, Wis., to visit Ken Hendricks. With her was a framed postcard of the Elks Club building in downtown Rockford.

It was a small gift, she remembers, but one with meaning. Her husband, Jon, had been hatching a plan with Hendricks to turn the dilapidated building into a banquet hall befitting its more august history. But Jon died unexpectedly the previous May, leaving the club’s fate in limbo. 

Less than a month later, Hendricks was dead.

It was the year the Rock River Valley lost two visionaries. Read more.

Battling to save Midway Theater

Once a crown jewel of Rockford, the 1918 Midway Theater sits empty and dark at the gateway to downtown, blocks from resurgent businesses yet miles away from rebirth.

The marquee was once adorned with movie titles promising glitz and glamour, but now city merchants and community leaders say someone must save the Midway or it will die of neglect. Read more.