The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) Board worked with PSC, then the Tittle Luther Partnership, to create a venue for celebrating the artwork of award-winning illustrators of children’s books and to preserve the historic Rhodes Building. The center partners with these talented illustrators to produce exhibitions that appeal to all ages, offer free art activities and schedule workshops and meet-the-artist events.

The Rhodes Building was constructed in the 1920s as an automobile garage to support the Grace Hotel. The structure’s original canopies on the east and south facades were replaced, and the original wood roof structure, trusses and skylights were rehabilitated. The NCCIL design provided a historically appropriate exterior which met the Secretary of the Interior’s “Standards for Rehabilitation,” repaired the failing structural elements, and created the flexible exhibit, teaching and administrative spaces. Upon completion of construction in September of 2000, the building took its place as a critical element of the Abilene Cultural Historic District.