Category Archives: Architecture

Patrick Henry statue, St. Joseph School

The mystery of what happened to St. Joseph School’s statue of Patrick Henry may never be solved. But the question of how a life-sized marble sculpture of a Protestant patriot happened to stand above the entrance of a Catholic school … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Arts and letters, Buildings, Churches, Education, Schools and school districts | Leave a comment

Carl Rinnus, popular sculpture

Carl Rinnus (1912-93) is best known as the sculptor/fabricator of the giant fiberglass statue of Abraham Lincoln that stands just inside the Main Gate at the Illinois State Fair. He also created another locally famous piece of Springfield sculpture, the … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Arts and letters, Department stores, Lincoln, Abraham, Prominent figures | 4 Comments

Lustron all-steel homes

More than 4,000 people viewed Springfield’s first all-steel Lustron home when it opened for public inspection on June 26, 1949. The demonstration home at 2255 S. College St. was the first of five that eventually were built in Springfield and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings | 5 Comments

Price-Prather House, Williamsville (National Register)

Williamsville’s Price-Prather House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places partly for its architectural features, but the building’s early owners, especially J. Frank Prather (1859-1927), played major roles in development of the beef cattle industry in Sangamon County, … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Architecture, Buildings, Farming, Historic Sites, Prominent figures | 2 Comments

Ben F. Caldwell: politician, farmer, banker

Ben Franklin Caldwell (1848-1924) was a member of Congress and the Illinois legislature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He also was a farmer, banker and civic leader whose donations helped build schools in both Chatham and Thayer. … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Business, Fires, Historic Sites, Politics, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts | 3 Comments

Illinois State Fairgrounds Coliseum

The Illinois State Fairgrounds Coliseum was a huge hit when it first opened to fairgoers in 1901. But not huge enough, because the building had to be substantially expanded only two years later. The Coliseum, declared unsafe for use in … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, National Register, State government | 8 Comments

Old Stone House, Rochester

The Old Stone House, a project of the Rochester Historical Preservation Society, is an 1830s dwelling moved from its original site east of town to near Rochester Community Park. It is open periodically as a living history demonstration. The house … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Communities, Historic Sites, Lincoln, Abraham, Markers, Museums | 1 Comment

Oak Ridge Abbey (mausoleum)

When Springfield’s first mausoleum was built, its builders played on people’s fears of disease, grave robbery, decomposition and neglect. What’s more, they promised, interment in the Oak Ridge Abbey would protect against the possibility of premature burial. The interior of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Local government | Leave a comment

The Extraordinary Ordinary — 113 W. Mulberry St., Chatham

Note: This entry has been revised, thanks to information provided by Chatham-area Facebook users. Buildings customarily gain historic reputations from their age or because of their connections to a prominent person or event.  We also like them decorated in an … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Auto dealers, Buildings, Business, Prominent figures, Transportation | 1 Comment

Springfield square, 1859 (photos)

These photographs showing the four sides of the public square in 1859 are the most frequently viewed scenes of Springfield life during the years Abraham Lincoln lived in the city. They were taken by Preston Butler (1818-??), who had a … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Lincoln, Abraham | Leave a comment